Patience in Adversity
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

“Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children.  Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin.  Everything is against me.”  (Gen. 42:36) 

                Have you ever felt like Jacob?  He cried, “Everything is against me.”  Sometimes we feel like the deck of the cards of life is clearly stacked against us.  Not only have things gone bad, but news comes that the worst has not yet arrived.  Health, finances, relationships all seem to be beating us up – at the same time.  Let’s think about that this morning in light of Jacob’s response to what he believed was bad news.

                Jacob had lost his favorite son Joseph, whom he thought was dead.  He lost his wife Rachel who was so close to his heart.  Simeon was in captivity in a foreign land.  And Jacob cried, “Everything is against me.”  Maybe our life’s problems are not so great, or maybe they are even greater than that of Jacob’s, but whatever, we are at the end of our ropes and it seems there are no knots to stop us from falling.  If you feel like that it time to look closely at God.

                You see, Jacob was the father of the boys who would become the twelve trips of Israel.  Jacob himself was heir to the Promise God gave to his grandfather, Abraham.  God had rescued him again and again.  God rescued him when he was bad and He rescued him when he was good.  God walked with Jacob and kept him safe in so many circumstances.  And Joseph, whom Jacob thought was dead, was in reality the ruler of Egypt and had saved the Middle East from a devastating famine.  Simeon was not a prisoner to a tyrannical ruler, but under the care of his powerful brother.  When you look at Jacob from this side of history, for him to say, “Everything is against me!” was completely irrational.  But Jacob was human, and he could not see life from our perspective.  He had to live it one day at a time, just like we do.  And just like us, no matter how many times God had rescued him; he lived in the present moment where faith and resolve had melted away.

                That is us.  We live in the promise of God.  He has rescued us again and again. He has answered a multitude of our prayers.  He has blessed us so many times we cannot count them.  Yet, when we find ourselves with bad news; when we feel the pinch of life – we cry with Joseph, “Everything is against me.”  But God is trustworthy.  He is always at work in our lives and He is always at our sides.  And we have a promise that Jacob did not have.  Paul wrote, “All things work together for good, for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.” (Rom. 8:28)  If we truly believe that God is faithful to fulfill His promises to us, we can trust even the appearance of calamity in the present hour.  God is at work to fulfill His promise for the good, if you love Him.

                Little did Jacob know that God was hard at work to reunite him with his beloved son Joseph.  Little did he know that Simeon was being blessed in Egypt.  Little did he know that his journey to Egypt was fulfilling a promise made to his grandfather Abraham.   God was hard at work fulfilling all things for the good of Jacob and all humanity – simultaneously.  And you can trust God is at work in your life, for your good, and for all humanity at the same time.  For that reason, you can be patient in the midst of hardship, calm in the midst of a storm.  You can trust your God and the promises He has given.  And I promise you, if you will trust God in the midst of your trials and not try to manipulate the outcome He has in store, you will look back a year from now and rejoice at the way He has so wonderfully fulfilled His promises to you – to never forsake you, nor leave you, and to work out all things according to His great purposes and to your divine good.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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