Tuesday, January 23, 2018

When Deliverance Involves Hardships

by Emily Conrad
When Deliverance Invovles Hardships

I’m a good second-guesser. I can agonize over a decision and pray and seek counsel and, finally, make up my mind—only to later doubt I did the right thing.

The doubts come running when things don’t go like I’d planned. This is harder than I thought it’d be. It’s taking longer. So-and-so has it so much better; why didn’t I do what she’s doing? This can’t be how God’s will looks

In the throes of one of my worry/pity parties, my husband prayed that God would give me a glimmer of his wisdom to give me peace.

If you’re married but you don’t pray with your husband, now is the time to start. Singles, find a friend or family member and lift each other up. Prayer is powerful!

Within minutes of my husband’s request, I thought of the Israelites leaving Egypt. They wanted rescue from slavery, God heard their cries, and He sent Moses. But when things got tough, the people started to second-guess everything.

The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this desert to kill this whole assembly with hunger!” - Exodus 16:3, NET

Deliverance didn’t look the way they’d thought it would look. They thought they would've been better off dying in slavery.

Yet, despite all those doubts and hardships, they were where they were supposed to be. They were following the man God had sent them to follow. God was in complete control, providing for them and protecting them.

They just couldn’t see it because they believed their doubts instead of their God.

In my second-guessing worry, I was doing the same thing. I was interpreting my hardships as signs that I wasn’t on the path God had prepared for me.

This is dangerous. Trials are not a reliable indicator of whether we heard God’s direction correctly.

Hardships do not necessarily mean we’re on the wrong path.

As we see in Exodus, we can be smack-dab in the center of God’s plan for our lives and still face trials. As we see in Genesis 30 and 31 as Jacob deals with his uncle, people can mistreat and cheat us, and God can still simultaneously heap blessings upon us.

Our hope does not rest in how people treat us. It doesn’t depend on our immediate circumstances.

It depends on the God who has proven Himself faithful again and again—to the Israelites and to me.

He is the God who hears our cries. He miraculously meets our needs, whether that’s by splitting the sea, sending deliverers, or bringing to mind healing Scripture in response to a husband’s prayer.

This is a God who will not fail to bring His people to the promised land, despite the trials we face.

Let us always choose to look beyond our circumstances and doubts to the God who keeps His promises.

God will not fail to bring His people to the promised land, despite the #trials we face. #faith #hope @emilyrconrad

Photos used in this post are by Gemma Evans on Unsplash


Pearl Allard said...

Emily, this so describes me, too! I am a champion second-guesser when I need to remember to go back to what I know is true. “Let us always choose to look beyond our circumstances and doubts to the God who keeps His promises.” Love this look up perspective! Thank you for this post!

Pearl Allard said...

By the way, do you have the option to pin your posts on Pinterest? Are you on Pinterest?

Jerusha Agen said...

Yes, yes, yes! Wow, Emily. This post really hit home today, and will many more times so long as I don't forget the truth you shared here. I've taken that doubting path so many times, was hovering on the brink of taking it today. Thank you for pointing me to the right path that will lead me to the truth, the promises that endure forever, and far away from the lies of doubt that I so often choose to believe.

Emily Conrad said...

Yes, pin away! I am on there as @emilyrconrad. There are a couple of options for pinning, I think, but one easy one is the tiny Pinterest logo a couple of lines below the blue click-to-tweet. Just click that and it'll get you going! Thanks for asking!

Emily Conrad said...

So glad the post resonated with you, Pearl! It does fit the look up perspective, doesn't it? Love that tagline from your blog :)

Emily Conrad said...

It's so easy to doubt, though I wish it weren't. I'm grateful that God, in His goodness, will remind us again and again of His truth and the hope we have in Him!

Anne Carol said...

This post could have been written for me! Thank you for sharing! Can't tell you how many times in recent months I've been confused over God's will for me.

Emily Conrad said...

You're not alone! That's a hard thing for me to feel certain about, too, so I've been grateful for the way God answered that prayer. Especially if it helps others :) So glad you stopped by!