May 31, 2019
When Life Gets Worse Before It Gets Better
"God also said to Moses, ‘I am the LORD.'" Exodus 6:2 (NIV)
Had I entirely missed what God said, or was it just not turning out the way I thought it would or should? Either way, the situation was an utter mess.
Defeated and embarrassed, I tried to clean up the aftermath. Key word: I. Looking back, I wish I'd slowed down and considered the story of Moses before I made a single move.
In Exodus 3:10, God gave Moses the first step He wanted Moses to take, a small step in light of all Moses didn’t know was coming.
“Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt" (NLT).
As Moses listened to God's words, his greatest fears began to unfold.
I picture a man, staring at a bush that's on fire, shocked in unbelief.
Wait ... what did You say? Moses might have thought.
Yet in spite of his inner turmoil, Moses stepped out and obeyed, and that's when it happened. What he feared would happen, actually happened. Not only did Pharaoh say No way to the Lord's command, but his harsh treatment of the Israelites increased. The entire situation became a whole lot worse.
Are You serious, God? I think that may have been how I would have reacted.
The Bible says, "Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all.'" (Exodus 5:22-23, NASB).
Ah, Moses. I get you! Maybe you do too! Maybe you've also said, "Lord, this is what I get for taking that leap of faith? This situation ... me ... it's all worse than it was before I obeyed You!"
God goes on to respond to Moses' complaint: "‘Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.'
"God also said to Moses, ‘I am the LORD'” (Exodus 6:1b-2).
Wow. "I am the LORD." It's a plain and simple truth. God goes on to tell Moses many other plain and simple truths:
I will bring you out.
I will free you.
I will redeem you.
I will take you as My own.
I will be your God.
After this encouraging conversation with God, and after all that God said He would do, things didn't get better for Moses immediately. In fact, the lives of the people actually got worse. Much worse.
But the current situation wasn't the driving force of their future. God and His promises were. God said I AM. Period. No matter how bad the circumstances got - and they were about to get absolutely horrible - nothing changed about who God was and what He promised.
God has given you and me promises in His Word, promises for peace and a future with Him. Like Moses and the Israelites, for a season, life might get worse before it gets better. Sometimes worse is required to get a situation to better.
But no matter how bad the circumstances, it doesn’t change a thing in God's Kingdom. Sometimes, like the account in Exodus, our situation gets worse before it gets better because God is setting the stage for His power to get the most exposure! For His glory to be seen the greatest. For Moses and the entire Israelite tribe, that day came when the million-plus Israelites walked out of Egypt, loaded down with vast Egyptian wealth in their bags! (See Exodus 12:36.)
So, Lord, when my circumstances seem to get worse rather than better, I'll remember Your faithfulness in Egypt, and I will trust that You will be faithful in my life as well!
~ ~ ~
Lord, thank You that Your faithfulness is not based on what I can see around me, but on who You are and the truth that Your Word says. Holy Spirit, help me today to keep Your faithfulness as my focus. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 119:90, "Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures." (NIV)
Reading about God's faithfulness in His Word strengthens our faith to trust in His faithfulness in our future. Lynn Cowell's Bible study Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures digs deep into the lives of women in the Bible who trusted in and experienced God's faithfulness. Get your copy here.
Did you know Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-profit? While our resources are often free, it takes a team of talented staff to make them available to you! Right now during Each One, Reach One, we're equipping each one who donates with resources to share God’s hope with those you love. We invite you to help us keep reaching more women! Donate now, here.
For a chance to win a beautiful necklace as a reminder of God's faithfulness, plus a copy of Make Your Move, head over to Lynn's Instagram account for details.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Another time in God's Word when the situation seemed to get worse instead of better was for Gideon. If you haven't lately, take a read through Judges 6, and let that encourage your soul.
Has there been a time in your own life when it got worse before it got better? Take a moment to thank God for His help in that situation and for His continued faithfulness in your future.
Join the conversation! Share a time when God brought you through something challenging, just to make it better in the end!
© 2019 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.