Sometimes in our lives, we face one problem after another, like waves of the sea, leaving us to stumble in our faith. It may be a loved one battling a dreaded sickness or disharmony in our families or some being struck with sudden financial crisis or something not right within us, but frequent recurrences may bring us to a standstill. While we assume that our prolonged sicknesses or problems may occur due to demonic activities, we cannot rule out the role of our Creator in all of these.
From the west, people will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he (enemy) will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along.Isaiah 59:19
God does not Stop the Evil
God in His sovereignty allows every circumstance of our lives, whether good or bad, to lead us towards perfection. Instead of putting our trust on Him, we often blame God and question Him as to why He did not stop our problems. People question God during calamities such as famine, drought or pandemic, that why can’t He stop these occurrences?
If a terrorist invades and creates havoc in some place, then we say, God should have prevented that terrorist from invading. When we come across some terminal illness, we ask God that why He has allowed this to happen in our lives. Thus, we inadvertently ask God to remove all our problems and treat us like robots by confiscating our freedom to choose between good and evil.
Blacksmiths, by God given wisdom, create weapons for both productive and destructive purposes. When those weapons are used to destroy God’s people, God does not take away the weapon, rather He makes His people strong enough to resist those weapons, through His righteousness (Isaiah 54:16-17).
A Gruesome Plank Emerged
When a plank was engaged by the Greeks to brutally kill the culprits, who knew that the cruel weapon will consume the life of our Saviour as a punishment for our transgressions. This plank not only kills someone but also adds up shame and curse to its cruelty. Who could have imagined that our transgressions would end with such a cruel punishment? But God knew that one day His beloved Son Jesus will have to undergo this cruel death in order to save us from our eternal death. Yet, God allowed the gruesome plank in the life of his own Son.
Choice to Choose
In the garden, Jesus exercised His power to choose between good and evil, not according to His will but according to the will of His Father. Jesus could have asked His father to stop everything even at the eleventh hour, instead He cried unto His Father, hanging on the cross, after fulfilling His Father’s will. The cup was not taken away from Him and He drank from it, in order to blot out our sins.
Shaping our Faith
Repeated sicknesses and problems do occur in our lives to draw us nearer to God, so that He will fulfil His purpose in our lives. It may be a grace period given for us to take corrective actions by learning through our past mistakes.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.Psalm 119:71
Only when we realize our mistakes, can we truly understand the enormous mercy God has already been pouring out on us. Else we will go astray as soon as our prayers are answered. In that case, we might invite more peril than the earlier one and be entangled in it, not knowing the way out of it.
A War Strategy
In the Old Testament, God did not deliver His people from their enemies instantly, but gradually. The reason being, they were few in number and killing their enemies would create a vacuum for the wild animals to enter and devour them. God allowed some of Israel’s enemies to remain there and gave His people victory over them little by little, till the time they multiplied and filled the land.
But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.Exodus 23:29-30
Guarding Against the Schemes of Devil
Sometimes God does not deliver us from our sicknesses and problems instantly but He lifts us up gradually. If we look back, we could understand that how the gravity of those sicknesses and problems were reduced even though they still exist.
Problems may remain until we increase in the knowledge of the word sufficiently, to fill our hearts without leaving any minute space for satan to stay. Till then, God will allow the problems that satan had brought, to remain with us to prevent him from adding worse things to it.
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”Matthew 12:43-45
God always wants to teach us something higher than our perception and gives us many opportunities to learn in our day to day lives. These learning tools contradict the promises given by God and unfortunately, we do not cooperate with God to accomplish His purpose in our lives and rebel against Him.
Once our hearts are filled with His Living Word, Jesus Himself will be reigning in our hearts and we will be exercising our freedom to choose between good and evil according to the will of Jesus and His Father.
This is How Word Fills Our Hearts
Joseph had a vision and till the time it was fulfilled, everything that happened in his life was in contradiction to his vision. Not instantly, but little by little, God worked in all those things to make fulfil the vision.
They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass till the word of the Lord proved him true.Psalm 105:18-19
God enabled Abraham to visualize the resurrection power of God and was able to comply with the demand of God to sacrifice Isaac, even though it absolutely contradicted the promise given by God earlier.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.Hebrews 11:17-19
When Jesus lived on this earth, every situation contradicted the expectations of the people of Israel. People believed in Moses more than the Son of Man and rejected Jesus. Yet Jesus was able to bear everything happily because He knew the climax of His story.
If we fix our eyes on Jesus and visualize the climax which is in the offing, the present day’s problems will become trivial and we will be overwhelmed with joy to reach the climax.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.Hebrews 12:1-3
Let us enhance our faith by enduring sufferings and enjoy everything that happens in our lives because we know that God is working for good all the time.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28