Exodus 1:12 “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.”
I do not believe there would be any of us who would ask for and look forward to the affliction the Israelites suffered. Those things that would cause such pain, hurt, and damage to our body, mind, and spirit would be avoided, if possible.
Yet, in their affliction, they grew.
If we were to know that the affliction we would suffer could promise a better good on the other side, it might be bearable. But it never is. It is God’s will and pleasure to do as He pleases.
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
So, how do we receive the affliction that comes our way?
I will just be honest; my first response is fleshly, selfish, and critical. I must not allow it to make my decisions for me. I put it under the blood of Jesus. Then, I to look further to His purpose for allowing this to come my way.
I understand that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
Most stop at verse 28. The remaining two verses reveal God’s purpose for the affliction. Ultimately, it is to make us more like His Son, Jesus.
Our perspective of the suffering and trials that may come our way can make us better or make us bitter. It is totally our choice.
The affliction placed on Israel’s nation brought them together under one common bond – to seek God to deliver them. God already had a plan in place to save them. He chose Moses to lead them and Aaron to support him.
A young Christian may not know what to think when affliction comes their way. A more mature, seasoned child of God should be able to discern that whatever comes our way has already been approved by God to come – even if it is at the hand of another human being.
Abuse is horrible. It is the choice of one human being to afflict another. Our hearts are quick to side with the victim. Yet, who is there for the abuser? Knowing that hurt people will hurt people, I can begin to see a bigger picture take form.
When Jesus told us to love our enemies, He was talking of such a one. We will all come to a place of being the afflicted. It has been told us that it is common to all men.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
When affliction comes, it has many possibilities as to why God allowed it into our life. Trying to figure out why may be beyond our comprehension and ability to reason. It may also be an opportunity God desires us to trust by faith.
In Exodus, God began to unite the people through the affliction. He then sent Moses to rally them to trust God’s providential hand and deliver them from Egypt.
We can trust whatever we are facing, just like the Israelites, that God is in control. We wonder when it will all end. When will this trial stop hurting or hurting those I love? We can only speculate. God knows and asks that we trust Him to come what may.
Let us make that choice today!