Have you ever been waiting for God to move, waiting for an answer to prayer, standing on a promise, only to have things get worse instead of better? Have you ever gone through something and thought, “Lord, You said Your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me, but I sure don’t see that here. This hurt me. What were you thinking? Where were You?” Yeah, me too. So, what do you do when it gets worse?
Have you ever been waiting for God to move, waiting for an answer to prayer, standing on a promise, only to have things get worse instead of better?
Have you ever gone through something and thought, “Lord, You said Your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me, but I sure don’t see that here. This hurt me. What were you thinking? Where were You?”
Yeah, me too. So, what do you do when it gets worse?
I love the story in Exodus where God sends Moses in to Egypt to set His people free. You have the burning bush. Take off your shoes. Holy Ground. A staff turns into a snake and back again. So cool
In Exodus 4:31, we see Moses going to the leaders of Israel and showing them the signs and telling them God has sent him to rescue them.
…and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
I love their response. They believed. They worshipped. Finally. Freedom.
Then in chapter 5, Moses goes in to Pharaoh with confidence. “God says, ‘Let My people go!’”
But Pharaoh doesn’t respond like they had hoped. And instead of just setting them free, he makes it harder on them. He didn’t “let My people go.” He made it harder on them. (You can read the whole story here.)
It. Got. Worse.
What did they do when it got worse? Did they hold on to the promise? Did they hold on to the joy and relief of promised freedom?
No. They went immediately to Moses and Aaron and gave them a piece of their minds. They were mad and upset.
So Moses turns to God and says, “Ummm…hey Lord! Why are you doing this? This doesn’t look like freedom to me. What are you thinking? You made it worse for them instead of rescuing them. I think You’re confused!”
But God doesn’t answer his question, “Why?” Nope. He is UNMOVED! He stays steady on course. “I will deliver. Now you’ll see my power. Go tell the Israelites I will deliver them.”
Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor. (Exodus 6:9)
They didn’t quite respond the same way they did the first time they heard it. There was no relief. No joy. No bowing down to worship. No believing.
They did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.
They would not believe because it got worse.
They got the same promise both times. The same Word. But there were two totally different reactions:
- First they believed.
- Second they doubted.
What was the difference?
Experience is what changed their demeanor from faith and worship to doubt and discouragement.
They received the promise. They worshipped. They believed. They had an expectation of what that would look like. It got worse. They got discouraged. They let go of hope.
We choose how we react to the promise.
We generally start with joy and faith and worship. “God You are good. I’m so thankful for Your Word. I can’t wait to see You move!”
And then there’s time. And experience. And it might not happen when we think it should. Or how we expect it should. And things get worse instead of better.
“Where are You?”
“Lord, I thought You’d change it by now!”
Discouragement comes. Doubt comes. We let go of hope. We let go of the promise. We let go of trust.
I’m so thankful for these examples in the Word for us to look at and glean from and take hope in.
And this isn’t the only one. There’s Joseph and David and Gideon and Paul and Peter.
God isn’t afraid when it gets worse. He doesn’t change His mind. He stays steady. He actually uses it as a platform to display His power on a bigger scale.
It’s our choice how we react when it gets worse. The best thing to do is to hold on to trust. But how do we hold on to trust when it looks bad? When it gets worse?
If our foundation for what we believe is our experience, trust will fly out the window every time. Instead of joy and belief and worship, we won’t listen. We’ll get discouraged. We’ll let go of faith.
But if our foundation for what we believe is His Word. If we have the mentality, “I don’t care what I see. I don’t care what I experience. I believe God. He said it. That settles it,” then we’ll stand strong every time.
God is faithful. He did deliver His people from Egypt. Joseph went from prison to the palace overnight. David became king. Gideon was a mighty man of valor and God used him to rescue Israel. Paul and Peter were miraculously delivered from prison to preach another day by the mighty power of God.
He did heal my daughter. He did heal my foot. He restored relationships in my life. He’s provided my needs in miraculous ways again and again and again.
It didn’t happen overnight….and not always on my timetable….but He was faithful.
And whatever He has promised you is going to come to pass. Even if it looks like the opposite of what He promised. Even if it takes longer than expected. Even if it looks broken beyond repair. Even if it gets worse.
He. Is. Faithful. Always.
Hold on to hope. He will come through for you.