Life reaches points when hurt, pain, and chaos spiral beyond our control. At these times the temptation is to believe the deception hope, relief, and peace are things of the past. God is present, even in trouble. His presence brings security, peace, and comfort. He provides rest, strength, and hope. While we all need people to love, care, and serve us in our life during troubled times, at some they will come up short – even the best of people. Not because they intentionally try to disappoint or simply don’t care but because they are human. They can’t be all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, ever-present -but God can because He is all of these. He understands what suffering, rejection, and loss are like. He grasps temptation, heaviness, and loneliness because He’s been there.
Isaiah 53:3-5 says, “We despised him and rejected him—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care. Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed!” He endured our grief, sorrows, punishment, and sins to bring us healing, peace, and salvation. Jesus offers peace for our souls. He is sovereign over the sudden and Lord of the unexplainable. “He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak. Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31). He cannot be limited, hindered, halted, deterred, or usurped. He can do anything, anytime, anywhere. “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Have your brothers ever sold you into slavery? They may have “sold you out” to save their own skin but they’ve never sold you. During this difficult trial, Joseph was being prepared to become the prime minister of Egypt (Genesis 45:1-8). Have you ever been swallowed by a whale? Perhaps you’ve “bitten off more than you can chew”, but Jonah was devoured by a porpoise of prolific proportion (say that three times fast). But the trial didn’t last long but I’m sure it shaped his life from that point on. God never left these guys for a single moment. Never forget His faithfulness to Moses, Noah, Jonah, Joseph, Daniel, and you! God has and never will leave you. He will not abandon, forsake, quit, disown, drift away, run out on, or leave you high and dry (Hebrews 13:5). He is near to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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