We can ask anything in Jesus’ name. As long as our request is in God’s will and plans for us, we can expect wonderful blessings. Who isn’t overjoyed by a new job, home, vehicle, marriage, or the little one that will be born in nine months. Yes, we proclaim that God is good because His plans [and our desires] for us have finally come to fruition. But how do we react when God subtracts–takes away our comfortable lifestyle, the unequally yoked relationship, the marriage that dishonors God, or the job that has provided career growth and financial stability, but prevents us from spending time with God?
As believers, we have the tendency to blame spiritual wickedness for our losses. Still, we must remember that Satan cannot take action or cause any changes in our lives that are not approved by God. The losses are required because God is redirecting our focus and changing our character. Adversities force us to humble ourselves. Eventually, we admit that God is asking more from us than we are presently giving to Him. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. God requires faithful, obedient servants who place their complete trust in Him. Refer to the Book of Job.
People Who Witnessed the Mighty Power of God
God delivered the Israelites from enslavement to bless them with new beginnings. His divine plan was the gift of Canaan, the Promised Land. The Egyptians not only resented the God that Israel served, they were also afraid that eventually the slaves would rebel and overtake them. So, they appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. Exodus 1:11. Even after the Egyptians suffered from the plagues, it was only after Pharaoh’s son died did he agree to free the Israelites.
The Israelites witnessed miracle after miracle, God kept them safe from the plagues, and the population of the Israelite Nation increased despite the severe conditions. The Red Sea miracle caused elation and they sang a Song of Deliverance in Exodus chapter 15. Three days after their song of gratitude, they faced a hardship of not finding water to drink. No one thought to pray and ask God to supply them with water. The emancipated sojourners complained about the struggle through the wilderness they had to endure to reach the Promised Land.
The Human Reaction to the Changes Leading to Deliverance
The journey from Egypt to Canaan should have taken 11 days. But Exodus 16:2-3 reads, There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” For their complaints against God, they wandered in the desolate wilderness for 40 years. In fact, the freed Israelites, none except for Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who brought back a good report and believed that God would help them succeed were allowed to enter the Promised Land. It was the next generation who entered Canaan.
Spiritually, we are the Nation of Israel. We have the tendency to look back and create a totally different situation than the one that actually existed. The subtraction of relationships, jobs, or other life events are orchestrated by God. Our Omniscient Father knows the future. If God allowed loss in your life, trust Him. God never makes mistakes. When Job complained, God asked, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know!” Job 38:4-5
Many of us are so caught up in our earthly lifestyles, we quickly forget: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3.
A word of caution, God, has no problem leaving us in the wilderness. We can complain, cry, or blame others, but God says, For I am the Lord, I change not. Malachi 3:6. The changes in our lives are permitted by God. Obedience, patience, and humility are the character traits that God requires of us. We do not have to repeat history. Let the wilderness mindset go! The hardship, test, or trial that seems to last forever can result from our disobedience. We must not reminiscence on former things. The Apostle Paul reminds us, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead… Philippians 3:13. Move forward by praying for revelation and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11. Pray, repent, and ask God to reveal His plans for your life. Our future, if we choose, is eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth. God desires that we live the best, peaceful, and productive lives until His Son, Jesus Christ, comes again. Stay in His perfect will. In the turbulence of adversity, we must possess a spirit of gratitude. Acknowledge the Love and Omnipotence of God. His promises are always, “Yes, and Amen.” Humility and obedience cause us to accept our human limitations. Remember, we can never give ourselves a more prosperous life than our Heavenly Father.
Prayer: God, we confess and repent of our sins of self-reliance and disobedience. Please reveal your will and plans for our lives. Thank you for loving and caring for us as only a Heavenly Father can. We pray for the desire to obey and completely trust you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry