Genesis 44:18 (NLT) Then Judah stepped forward and said, “Please, my Lord, let your servant say just one word to you. Please, do not be angry with me, even though you are as powerful as Pharaoh himself.
At times the difference between good or bad, success and failure, life and death depends on whether we step forward or not, whether we speak up or not. Judah was about to lose another brother; as a result, he may have also lost his father. He wasn’t going to let that happen without trying to do something. He risked incurring the anger of the 2nd most powerful man on earth that time; he did it anyway. He stepped forward; he spoke up; he explained; he pleaded, and it dramatically changed what could have been a devastating continuation or conclusion of their story. His effort benefited him, and a lot more people—perhaps, an entire race of people.
There are so many great opportunities people allow to slip right through their fingers just because of not taking the step of faith, not opening their mouths. There’s a lot of wisdom in constraint; there’s wisdom in silence; it’s not necessary to always step forward and talk. There are dead heroes who could have been living heroes had they taken more precaution. But there is time and place for doing something.
There are worthy causes and reasons risking our lives for. It will take people of courage and conviction—people who recognize the value of what they are fighting for. It will take people of discernment, wisdom, and humility; they know who to approach; they know the people to talk to; they know the people who can help, and they know the people who can make a difference in their situation. These are people who act in faith—they believe that they need to do something, that they can do something, and that something can happen.
God knows how to bestow favor upon them. His Word clearly declares: He is pleased with faith and those who act on their faith.
Matthew 2:22 (KJV) 22But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
There are fearful things going on around us—things, events, situations affecting us. It’s natural to feel afraid; emotions are God-given—that’s a part of our make-up—His design. To think evil of our emotions is to fault God for His creation. One of the great things about being His child is receiving His clear guidance—especially in life-threatening situations. Another good thing about being His child is we’re serious about His leading. He leads; we follow; it all works well.
The presence of problems is undeniable. They’re a part of life—even to the saintliest of saints. Some aren’t that bad; some are life-altering; some are life-threatening. Some of them are consequences of our own actions; some of them come from indirect or direct actions of others. Some of us have powerful enemies. We don’t wrong them; they just don’t like who we are and what we stand for.
God in His wisdom knows we can’t survive without Him. And we’re grateful for the non-stop availability of our Great Shepherd, great God, and Heavenly Father. He graciously and longingly invites us into His presence where we find grace, mercy, help in times of our need. He speaks to people, works in and through people to bring us our much needed protection. We have a purpose; we have a destiny; the enemy knows that too. He will use others to destroy us, but our God protects and preserves us. It’s His delight seeing us through all hindrances, trials and challenges. He grows us, deepens us, and strengthens us through them. It’s His delight seeing us live in victory and miracle. We’re blessed.
Job 38:33 (KJV) 33Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
Not even the most intellectual individual or group can fully know the governing ordinances or laws of the universe. How much more when it comes to understanding how this unfathomable universe can somehow affect the earth in such an effective and beautiful way.
We humbly recognize and accept our limitations and we gratefully acknowledge the greatness of our God. We may not fully understand His ways, but creation alone—especially the incomprehensible vastness of the universe convinces us of the majesty of our creator. We have questions. The answers are always available. We won’t grasp all of them. The volume of truth available is way more than our ability to contain it.
Dear God, there are things in life we won’t completely understand. Help us Lord to come to grips with this reality in faith-filled abandonment. We won’t completely grasp the ins and outs of every situation, but we can completely trust You. You’re definitely way much bigger than any situation, problem, question, or need we have or will encounter. You’re our God Who’s more than enough. Because of the limitations of our comprehension, we may not have all the answers, but at least we understand why we can honestly declare with David: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” With the little we know about You and Your creation, we see the wisdom of surrendering ourselves to You, and also the reason why we Your people can honestly, humbly, and gratefully declare: “Not to us, oh Lord, but to Your Name be glory.”
Jeremiah 42:7 (KJV) 7 And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah.
God is under no obligation to respond to us right away.
God is sovereign even in relation to our prayers, petitions and questions. This doesn’t mean though that there are times when He’s unaware of our situations; He’s fully aware about everything we and everyone else is going through. He’s aware of everything going on—at all times.
But He’s perfect in His timing as well—always. He knows how, when, and where to grant us what we’re asking for, whether they be ideas, or things. Let’s not take His seeming and momentary silence personally. His silence doesn’t necessarily mean it’s because there’s something wrong in us. It’s not apathy in His part or sin on our part.
We trust Him. His people live in faith. Faith includes patience, perseverance, and persistence.
Exodus 14:4 (KJV) 4And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so.
A continuing and increasing indifference, hostility, or attacks against us can be God’s way of showing His glory in a more emphatic or obvious way. The unjust treatments we experience always turn out for the good. That’s a promise that puts all our experiences in the proper light. All things work together for the good of those who love Him—we who are the called according to His purpose; they all work together for His glory, and for its greater display.
This may sound easier said than believed or acted on, but it does us very well when we do. There may come situations when it seems like we’re pushed farther in a tight corner, or between a rock and a hard place, or between a sea and an invading army. Our predicament may look confusing; we may feel like we don’t have a way of escape. But we understand that it’s in those moments when we see the miraculous powerful hands of the Lord scoop us into safety.
Not all situations are the same; some are harder than the other. In the natural, there may be no possible way for us to win the battle or to even escape alive—to survive. Others who find themselves in the same situation as ours murmur, complain, or compromise. But God fights on the side of those who are on His side. And it’s in our deliverance from our most horrible predicaments that others recognize God’s wondrous intervention. In our worst experiences, we find joy and comfort in knowing that a greater revelation of our God’s greatness and goodness is about to unfold, and we get to know Him even more.
Matthew 14:31 (KJV) 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
It’s our sincere prayer and deep desire for us to be men and women of faith—not just any faith, but a big, strong faith. That’s the kind of faith we as God’s growing children ought to have. A mustard seed-sized kind of faith is enough, just not any smaller. A mustard seed-sized faith in our Lord is enough to move mountains. We live by faith, not by sight, not in doubt. It doesn’t matter how bad situations are, we know that we know: our God handles them with no problem.
That’s it, for God no situation is a problem situation; situations are only problems to us—the limited us. But our trust is in the Lord. He created the entire universe. That’s why it’s easy for us to believe He can part the mighty seas; He can bring the dead back from the grave; He can heal the sick; He can walk on water; He can deliver us from any and every bondage; He can save us from and through any situation.
Doubt is a natural result of no faith or little faith. It indirectly magnifies the problem and assaults God’s ability. It is doubt in God Himself. But why doubt the Almighty, All-wise and All-present? God can make us walk on water; He can make us fly above the most trying and most adverse of situations. He can make us overcome and rise above whatever problem or difficulty we’re facing even now. We don’t doubt Him. There’s no need to look at the bigness of our problems because we’re focused on the bigness of our God. Is there really anything, any situation, any enemy, any hardship, any trouble that God is unable to safely carry us through? We all know the answer. That’s why despite all the scorching heat of trials coming from unbelieving people and fallen world, despite the winds and waves brought by powerful storms of life, we live in untouchable and immovable inner peace.