A life of overcoming barriers.
From beginning to end, Moses’ life was filled with barriers. Getting through each stage of his life required him to overcome a barrier.
Moses’ life teaches us 4 lessons we can apply to our lives.
Moses parents were up against it. Pharaoh issued a decree that any newborn Israelite boy was to be killed. They ignored the decree and were forced to make some hard choices. Keeping Moses hidden for 3 months, they decided to float him down the Nile. His parents reached a point where they had no choice but to pray and trust the Lord.
Lamentations 2:19 encourages, “Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer pleading for your children….”
Moses’ parents believed the Lord would care for their son. Being faithful parents can start our kids on the right path. We should follow the example of Moses’ parents.
Pray and trust the Lord. Seek his guidance in guiding our kids.
Moses had to develop the virtue of patience. He patiently endured the struggle of Israel wondering in the desert. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, and he desired to lead them into the promised land. However, their unfaithfulness resulted in desert wondering the rest of Moses’ life. It would have been easy for Moses to give up in this situation, yet he remained faithful.
Hebrews 10:36 says patient endurance is what we need right now. Life may be a struggle right now but pushing through today’s struggle will bring tomorrow’s reward.
Moses patiently endured his circumstances. He knew something better was ahead. Patient endurance will lead to a reward worth the wait.
3. Making right choices may be hard.
Moses went from somebody to nobody because it was the right thing to do.
“It was by faith, Moses, when he grew up refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” Hebrews 11:24-26 records, “He chose to share the oppression of God’s people rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than own the treasures of Egypt. For he was looking ahead to his great reward.”
As we are working to fulfill our purpose, we may be forced to make hard choices. We may have to temporarily suspend some activities, spending, etc. This may be necessary to progress toward our goal.
We learn from Moses to focus on the future in these moments. Today’s struggles will bring tomorrow’s rewards.
In our society, weaknesses are viewed as a negative; however, God views them as an opportunity. His power is displayed in moments when we are weak.
Moses had a difficulty with speech. He stuttered, so he believed there was no way he could represent God. The Lord, on the other hand, knew Moses was the right person for the job. He reassured Moses and worked powerfully through him.
Perhaps we can relate to Moses. We have a weakness which we view as a stumbling block to serving. God, however, views it as an opportunity.
We can be encouraged by knowing God has a plan. In weakness, we cry out for help, and with power, God responds. He did for Moses. God provided Aaron as a spokesperson for Moses. Moses’ weaknesses did not prevent him from fulfilling his purpose, and our weaknesses will not prohibit us from completing our calling.
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Don’t give up. Patiently enduring today’s struggles will pay off with tomorrow’s successes.
Frank wasn’t known for his patience. While he was working, Frank’s wife called him. She was speaking kind of slowly, and her mood was somewhat down.
Irritated by this, Frank barked, “Get on with it. What do you need? And, be positive!”
She was silent for a moment, and then chipperly reported, “I found out today the airbags in our brand-new BMW work very well.”
Patience can be hard. We live in a well-connected world with virtually everything at our fingertips, so when patience is required, you and I may struggle a little. We want what we want when we want it, but sometimes patience is needed. Having patience may seem grueling to us, but the reward will be worth the backbreaking work.
Hebrews 10:36 implores, “Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will, then you will receive all that he has promised.”
Moses serves as an illustration of someone who had patience. He patiently endured the struggle of Israel wondering in the desert. Moses led Israel out of Egypt and wanted to take the people into the promised land, but the unbelief of the people forced Israel to stay in the desert the rest of Moses’ life. It would have been easy for Moses to give up in this situation, yet he remained faithful.
Moses patiently endured his circumstances. He knew something better was ahead. Moses knew what was ahead would be worth the wait. For him, it was Heaven, and for Israel, it was the promised land. Patient endurance will lead to a reward worth the wait.
Two frogs fell into a bucket of cream. The sides were slippery, and the frogs did not have an immediate way out of the bucket.
One frog immediately gave up. He said, “there’s no way out. We’re going to drown.” So, he stopped swimming and sank to the bottom.
The other frog said, “I’m going to keep swimming and see what happens.” He kicked and paddled; he swam and churned. Eventually, butter formed a platform under the frog. He was able to jump out of the bucket.
Right now, life may be in a season of adversity. Achieving goals, realizing dreams, and fulfilling purpose may be a struggle. Don’t give up. Tomorrow’s successes will be worth enduring the hardships of today.
Patient endurance will be worth it when we find success.
You are working hard. Your hard work uncovers more work needing done. It shows you more practice is needed or more connections made. You see the goal and dream, but you are beginning to doubt its obtainability.
Michael Jordan can relate. Jordan may be one of the best NBA players to ever touch the court, and he had to patiently endure missed shots, game losses, and letting the team down on his way to success. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games; 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed,” Michael Jordan once said.
The work you and I are now doing is helping us find success. It will be worth it when our goals are achieved, and dreams realized. Don’t give up. Patiently endure the struggles of today to enjoy the successes of tomorrow.
Patient endurance will be worth it when our purpose is fulfilled.
You’re trying to fulfill your purpose. It seems you have to overcome a barrier each step of the way. Your suggestions are ignored; your ideas fall on deaf ears. And, life seems to always pose an interruption. You’ve determined your purpose, but the present trials are causing you to doubt. Are you really the right person for this purpose?
Moses was ignored. His requests to the people fell on deaf ears. He endured all of this as he faithfully fulfilled his purpose. Moses wondered if he was the right person for the job; he doubted leading Israel was his purpose, but God said it was.
We, too, may wonder and doubt, but God gave us life and our purpose. Like Moses, we will experience struggles. The reward of fulfilling our purpose will be worth patiently enduring the struggles.
Patiently enduring this life will be worth it in the next.
The struggles of this life will be worth it in the next.
- James 1:12 says, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
- “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long, yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever,” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says. “So, we don’t look at the troubles we can see now. Rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
Don’t give up. Today’s struggles will be worth tomorrow’s successes. Ask the Lord to help you patiently endure the struggles of today.
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Moses’ parents experienced the struggles of parenting.
Moses’ parents were up against it. They were living at a time Pharaoh had decided the Israelites should have no more boys. The decree was for all newborn Israelite boys to be killed, but Moses’ parents ignored it. They kept Moses hidden for 3 months, and as his parents, they had to make some hard choices to protect his life.
The Bible says Moses’ parents placed him in a basket and floated it down the Nile. Moses is found and adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. The Lord’s care and Moses’ parents’ choices put him on a path to fulfill his destiny. He became a great leader for Israel. It all started when Moses’ parents had to make some hard choices.
Parenting is consuming.
Parenting is hard; it can be overwhelming. Moses’ mom and dad faced much adversity when he was born. There was the decree, they had a newborn needing care, and they had to keep him hidden. I would not want to be in their situation, but it does illustrate how consuming parenting can be.
As parents, you and I are trusted with a life. This person for whom we are responsible has a purpose, so we don’t want to mess up. Adding to the stress is the fact part of our purpose is to help our child fulfill his or her purpose, so we don’t want to mess up.
Parenting is hard. We worry about everything. Are we too strict? Are we too lenient? Is our child growing and learning fast enough? Is our child growing and learning too fast? When something happens, we worry the opposite should be happening. Parenting is hard.
It can be overwhelming as we worry about everything, but we need to remember as much as we love our kids, God loves them more. As much as we want what is best for our kids, God wants it more, so we should rely on the Lord to guide us in the overwhelming task of parenting.
Lamentations 2:19 encourages, “Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer pleading for your children….”
No matter the situation, when our kids are hurting, we want to come to the rescue. It is easy to bandage a sore and offer a hug, but when the situation becomes more advanced, rescue becomes more difficult. It might even reach a point where we must follow the example of Moses’ parents. Pray and trust the Lord.
The hard choice of floating Moses down the Nile was made in faith. Hebrews 11 says it was by faith Moses’ parents made their decisions. They knew the Lord gave them a child, and the Lord would care for him.
In Fearless, Max Lucado reminds us that before our kids were ours, they belonged to God. And, even as they are our children, they still belong to God. All people are God’s people, even the little people residing in our home. God shares in our desire to do something when our kids are hurting.
Moses parents trusted the Lord with their child. They had reached a point where they were powerless. There was nothing more for them to do than trust the Lord. They were not the only parents who have reached this point.
- In Matthew 15, a Canaanite mother came to Jesus pleading for help. Her daughter was plagued by an evil spirit. The disciples tried to ignore her, but Jesus didn’t. He heard her pleas, and he provided relief for her daughter.
- Mark 9 records a boy had been struggling since he was young. The child was possessed by an evil spirit causing much havoc. The boy’s father came first to the disciples, then to Jesus pleading for help. The disciples couldn’t do anything, but Jesus could. Jesus heard the father’s plea for assistance, and he provided an answer.
- Jairus, in Mark 5, came to Jesus passionately pleading for Jesus to heal his sick daughter. There were individuals who said it was too late. Nothing could be done to heal the girl, but Jesus still did something. Jesus heard the father’s plea and healed her.
When we have reached the end of our rope and there is nothing more we can do for our child, we can pray and trust the Lord. In the doctor’s office, in the hospital room, in the recovery center, in the moments when we see disaster looming, we can pray and trust the Lord. He is fond of our kids, and he wants what is best for them.
I must pause for a moment and say I’ve not experienced every emotion a parent may feel. You, as a parent, may be navigating through overwhelming circumstances I have not experienced, so I am not claiming to have all the answers. I’m only desiring to point you toward a resource. As you are amid overwhelming situations, I hope you are doing okay, and offer the Lord as a guiding resource.
Seek the Lord’s guidance.
Lucado goes on in fearless to tell us God has a heart for hurting parents. After all, he’s a parent too. He understands the overwhelming emotion of being a parent. His child was beaten, mocked, and even died. He was separated from his child. He gets the pain and agony that comes from being a hurting parent.
So, as a parent, take advantage of the resource of prayer.
- As your child leaves the house, send him or her away with a prayer.
- As you put your child to bed, cover him or her with prayer.
- As your child struggles with life, pray with and for him or her.
- Pray he or she develops a hopeful confidence in this life and an eternal home in the next.
And remember, even when your child is not safe in your arms, he or she is safe in the Lord’s arms.
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The people were grumbling; they believed the lie the goal was too big. They did not understand how the Lord was going to help them. The obstacles standing in the way blocked their vision. Quickly forgetting how the Lord helped them previously, Israel did not believe they could move forward. They were stuck in the lie they were telling themselves, so they rebelled.
They grumbled against God and Moses. Their grumbling resulted in another 40 years wondering in the desert. Their grumbling also resulted in Moses pinning the words of Psalm 90.
This psalm reminds us today counts.
In verse 12, Moses requests, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life so that we may grow in wisdom.”
What you and I do today counts. The steps we take, decisions we make, and the direction we go counts. Time is fleeting, so we need to make the most of every moment.
What are we going to do today? Good stewards of time do not waste it. They execute in the moments they possess to fulfill their purpose. Each day counts in fulfilling our purpose, and when finished, Psalm 90 reminds us a difference for the Lord should be made.
“Let us, your servants, see you work again. Let our children see your glory. And may the Lord God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful,” Moses requests in verses 16-17.
You and I should invest our time in things that will have a lasting impact. Be a friend or a mentor. Work on a project which will outlast us. Completing our calling will leave a legacy, so we must not fall into the trap of believing we cannot do it.
A generation of Israel fell into this trap and missed possessing the promised land. If they would have believed they could possess the land with the Lord’s help, they would have taken the land just as the Lord promised.
If you and I believe we can leave a legacy, we will with the Lord’s help. Every day counts, so be intentional. What are we going to do today?
Here are 3 action steps for staying on track to achieve goals.
The goal was entering a better place. Israel was promised they would be able to enter the land of Canaan. This was a milestone the people of Israel desired to reach, and the promise was made by the Lord, who had proven himself to be faithful, so you would think all is well. However, a lack of faithful courage turned obstacles to blockades.
Moses sent 12 spies into the land to conduct a survey and bring back a report. They found abundant resources; everything they were going to need was in the land. They also found fortified cities and giants living there. It was clear to all 12 achieving the goal would mean overcoming obstacles. It was the way the obstacles were viewed which made all the difference.
Most of the spies believed there was absolutely no way Israel could enter Canaan. They agreed it would be great to possess the land, but the fortified cities and inhabitants were too much. The people living in the land were bigger and stronger, and the spies viewed themselves as “grasshoppers” compared to the giants living in Canaan. Their lack of faith paralyzed them.
The minority believed Israel could take possession of the land, and they were ready to begin the journey at once.
“But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses, “Let’s go at once to take the land.” He said in Numbers 13:30, “We can certainly conquer it.”
The fortified cities and inhabitants were only obstacles, and the Lord would help Israel overcome them. In faith, the minority believed Israel could achieve the goal, and they were itching to start.
Achieving goals may not come easy. It takes much work, and there may be any number of obstacles standing between you and me and our goals. We must view obstacles as obstacles and not turn them into blockades.
Here are 3 action steps to ensure obstacles do not become blockades.
1. Have Faith.
The difference between the majority and minority spy reports was faith. They were on the same trip and surveyed the same land, but their perspectives were different. One did not have faith, while the other possessed a strong faith. Faith is a vital part of success.
Faith is what drives us to move forward. It is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Faith is what drives forward movement.
Faith caused Caleb to be certain Israel could take the land. He had seen the Lord’s previous work: Israel coming out of Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and the provisions of food and water in the desert. He was sure the Lord could work again, so he was ready to trust the Lord and achieve the goal.
Faith compels you and me to move forward in achieving our goals.
Have faith your goal can be achieved. Have faith you can overcome obstacles. Have faith the Lord will help you accomplish your purpose. Have faith you can fulfill your calling. Have faith.
2. Work Hard.
Israel did not automatically possess the land. They had to work hard. Achieving goals requires much hard work. Someone has said, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary,” so you and I must be ready to work hard.
3. Set Realistic Milestones.
Israel did not gain the whole region at once. They took possession of the land piece by piece. It took time.
The same is true for our goals. We are not going to achieve them immediately, so we need to establish realistic milestones. Setting these benchmarks helps us see we are making progress in our journey and keeps us from being overwhelmed by the big goal.
Most of the spies did not enter Canaan. Their lack of faith kept them from seeing what could be accomplished.
On the other hand, the minority entered Canaan. Their faith, hard work, and realistic milestones helped them achieve the goal.
Start achieving your goal today by taking the above action steps.
God said no. Three requests were made for God to remove a thorn from Paul’s flesh, but each was met with a no. “My grace is all you need,” the Lord told Paul. “My power works best in weakness.”
Are you struggling today?
Life is filled with struggles. Everyone struggles with something, and I don’t know of anyone who enjoys struggling. Our struggles are hard. They cause stress, overwhelming feelings, and anxiety. It seems struggle has a way to latch onto our weaknesses and pull with all its might. Struggle is real, and the Bible has some encouragement for us.
You and I may be struggling with several difficulties today. It could be a physical disability daily. You may be struggling financially. You are out of work, and you are having trouble finding a job. Our struggle may be watching a loved one make mistake after mistake. As we struggle, the Lord assures us, “My grace is all you need. My power is made perfect in weakness.”
God’s grace is enough in our struggles.
Paul was no stranger to struggles. He had been imprisoned, shipwrecked, beaten, and had to spend a day and night in the open sea. He shares his struggles with us, and in 2 Corinthians 12:7, he tells us he has a thorn in his flesh, but he does not reveal the source of the thorn.
There is much discussion surrounding the source of Paul’s thorn. Some scholars believe it was a visual impairment caused either by malaria or his conversion experience in Acts 9. Other scholars believe it was Paul’s past. The fact he could not forget his mistakes from the years gone by.
A better explanation is the source of Paul’s thorn was intentionally not disclosed. He knew everyone struggles with something, so Paul chose not to give us the detailed source of his thorn. One person may struggle with a physical disability, while another person struggles with a cognitive challenge. A third person may have difficulty forgetting his or her past. No matter the source of our struggle, the Bible’s encouragement to us is the same.
2 Corinthians 12 says Paul asked the Lord to take the thorn away, but God answered, “My grace is sufficient in your weaknesses.”
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me…for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
“My grace is all you need,” the Lord says. Through his grace he strengthens us when we are weak. Through his grace he helps us with that physical disability or cognitive challenge present in life. Through his grace he wipes away yesterday’s mistakes and helps us not focus on them. His grace is all we need.
When you and I struggle, the Lord helps us through his grace. Because of the Lord’s grace, our struggles cannot prevent us from doing some amazing work.
Because of grace, our struggles can’t prevent us from doing some amazing work.
God’s grace enabled Paul to overcome barriers and do some amazing work. He authored several New Testament books, started many churches, and introduced countless people to the Lord’s grace.
God’s grace will enable you and I to overcome barriers and accomplish the purpose for which we have been called.
What is God calling you to do? Allow his grace to help you overcome struggles to accomplish your purpose.
Feeling overwhelmed? These 3 keys can help.
The situation seemed grim. There was no where to turn. The Israelites found themselves sandwiched between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army. How could they possibly get out of this situation? They were overwhelmed, and the Bible uses this event to help us navigate overwhelming circumstances.
Overwhelmed? You are not alone. A study revealed 74% of respondents were overwhelmed to the point of not being able to cope. To go with these 3 suggestions to get through overwhelming circumstances, here are 3 keys to remember.
Moses offered these keys to Israel as they were leaving Egypt. God directed Moses to lead the people on a less traveled path out of Egypt, so they find themselves at the shore of the Red Sea with the Egyptians hot on their trail. The Israelites surveyed the situation and panicked.
“But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm,” states Exodus 14:13-14.
In his statement, Moses gives us 3 keys to remember in overwhelming circumstances.
1. Stay Calm
“Just stay calm,” Moses advises. Stay calm is a message we receive a lot. In emergency training, we are instructed to stay calm. Flight attendants tell us if something happens in flight to remain calm.
I don’t know about you, but I find this hard to do. Our natural reaction in overpowering events is to panic and run. We immediately jump to the worst-case scenario. We’re not going to make it. We’re not going to survive; there is no way this plane is capable of landing in this condition. But, remain calm is the advice we are given.
Captain Sully did. It should have been a peaceful Thursday afternoon flight from New York to Seattle, but less then 5 miles from the airport, the Airbus A320-214 struck a flock of Canadian geese causing dual engine failure. Captain Sully and his copilot, Jeffrey Skiles, remained calm and attempted to return to LaGuardia Airport. It became clear the plane could not make it back to the airport, so the decision was made to land in the Hudson River. The ditching was successful. The 155 souls aboard the flight were able to be rescued by nearby boats. Lives were spared and disaster was averted because of the calmness of Sullenberger and Skiles.
The pilots were in an overwhelming situation, but calmness helped them remember which switches to flip and levers to pull to successfully put the aircraft on the river. Staying calm in life’s storms allows you and me to think clearly; it allows us to respond to the situation rather than react to it. Rather than panic, we should stay calm and allow the Lord to take our hand.
2. Stand Where You Are
“Stand where you are,” Moses tells the Israelites. “Don’t try to run. Just stand where you are and let the Lord work.” This may be one of the hardest points to remember in an overwhelming situation. Our natural reaction is to panic and run; run away as fast as we can from whatever is overpowering us. You and I try to convince ourselves if we run away from the problem, it will leave us alone. Sometimes, this is a great battle strategy. We run from the problem and it disappears.
However, there are other times when running does not work. The situation puts us in the shoes of the Israelites. The Red Sea is in front, and the Egyptian army is behind. We have nowhere to go; no escape route to follow. This is the moment when we need to stand where we are and let the Lord work, and he will.
David stood where he was, and the Lord worked. David found himself standing on the battlefield with the Israelite army. They were overwhelmed by Goliath. Goliath was around 9-foot-tall, and he was a master soldier who had never been beaten. Israel’s fighting men believed Goliath would overpower them, so when he appeared on the battlefield, they would run in retreat. But David offered to stand and fight.
King Saul tried to talk David out of fighting. David could not be convinced. You see, David had been in some tough spots before and the Lord helped him, so David had faith the Lord would help him on this occasion.
“The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine,” David exclaimed in 1 Samuel 17:37.
David prepared to fight and went out to meet Goliath. The giant taunted David, “There is absolutely no way you will beat me!” It does not look good for David in this moment. Goliath is 9-foot-tall, wearing armor, and has someone carrying a shield in front of him. David, on the other hand, has no armor, no one is carrying a shield, and his only weapon is a sling shot and some rocks. Though it doesn’t look good for David, he knows the Lord will work.
David responded to Goliath’s taunting by telling him the battle was the Lord’s. David stood where he was, and the Lord worked. The Lord overpowered an overwhelming situation for David.
You may have no where to go or no escape route to follow right now. Remember, stand where you are and let the Lord work.
3. The Lord Will Guide You
The Lord guided Israel on the exodus from Egypt. He fought for them and when they were standing between the Egyptians and the Red Sea, the Lord guided them in a way no one could have imagined. The Lord divided the water so the people could walk through on dry ground. Amid overwhelming circumstances, Israel was guided by the Lord.
He will guide us in these times as well.
- Psalm 48:14 says, “For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.”
- Isaiah 30:21 says, “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.”
- “I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things. I will not forsake them,” the Lord says in Isaiah 42:16.
I think it is safe to say sometime in life you and I will be overwhelmed. When it happens, stay calm, stand where you are, and let the Lord guide you.
Ask the Lord to help you remember these keys when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Do you have another key for handling overwhelming circumstances? Please share in the comments.
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Clutching his dad’s hand, the wide-eyed boy was walking through the toy isle. He noticed every toy on the shelf and asked for most of them. “This is only $10. Can I have it?” “Wow! Can you put this on my Christmas list?” Trying to convince his dad to buy another toy, the boy said, “We could play with this together, Daddy.” The boy tried all the tricks to get a new toy, but the dad’s response was the same.
“Maybe another day,” the dad calmly replied, “not today.”
This scene plays out in toy isles everywhere. Kids want many things, and they are not afraid to ask for what they want, and parents hear their requests. Likewise, our Heavenly Father allows us to ask for what we want in prayer.
We can ask for what we want.
Prayer is a conversation between us and our dad, and like all kids, we have a lot of wants and needs. We do have permission to ask for what we want.
- John 14:13-14 says, “You can ask for anything in my name and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.”
- “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted,” Jesus says in John 15:7.
It is okay to make requests of God. We don’t have to worry he will become upset with us if we ask for something. God hears and answers us, and his answer always comes at the right time. God answers us in his timing.
God answers us in his timing.
If you’re like me, you pray for something and want it immediately. We didn’t ask to wait. We asked for the answer, but God delays. He does not provide the answer the same day or even the next day. We keep praying and God keeps delaying.
“Is he ever going to answer? Is he ever going to respond,” you and I wonder? We believe it is time to receive the answer to our prayer long before God knows it is time. Jacob’s family can relate.
Jacob’s family can relate.
The Bible records a severe famine causing everyone to run out of food except those listening to Joseph, Jacob’s son. God put Joseph in place before the famine to prepare Egypt and save Jacob’s family. Because of Joseph, Jacob’s family was able to escape the famine in Egypt where they enjoyed a peaceful time until Pharaoh’s death.
A new Pharaoh came to power who did not know Joseph and was threatened by the size of Jacob’s family. Israel finds themselves enslaved to the Egyptians. They are forced into hard labor, so they cry out to God. They cry out to the Lord day after day, but day after day, they are still working for the Egyptians.
Meanwhile, God was preparing Moses to lead Jacob’s family out of Egypt. In his timing, God answered their prayer.
Exodus 2:25 says, “He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.”
When It’s Time
God did not answer Israel’s prayer for years, but he did answer. God may not answer our prayers today or even tomorrow, but he will answer. Perhaps the Lord is preparing the answer just like he was for Jacob’s family.
Meanwhile, we keep praying with the hopeful knowledge our dad answers when its time.
Make a list of requests you are waiting on God to answer. Entitle the list When Its Time and pray often for these requests. God will provide the right answer in the right time.
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“Lord, teach us to pray,” was the request of the disciples. They understood the importance of prayer, and how powerful of a tool prayer is for the Christian. So, they wanted Jesus to help them develop a better prayer life.
I too would like to have a better prayer life. Prayer is important and powerful but can be overwhelming especially if our faith is new to us. I’m glad the disciples asked Jesus for this lesson, so you and I have his answer to help teach us.
Here are some tips Jesus gives us in his prayer lesson, assurance God hears us, and 3 reasons why we should pray.
Why should we pray?
We should pray because…
It gives us a chance to talk with our dad.
Prayer is just a conversation with the Lord. It gives us a chance to talk with him about everything. The Bible says God is our Dad and he desires to hear from us. We love talking with our children, so why wouldn’t the Lord love to hear from us?
It gives us a chance to request what we need and want.
Matthew 7:7 says, keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.”
It is a powerful tool for us.
James 5:16 says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Does God really answer our prayers?
Yes, we are assured the Lord answers us.
Matthew 7:8 says, “For everyone who asks, receives, everyone who seeks, finds, and to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
The Lord hears our prayers, and he does answer us. Sometimes, the answer is no, but God does always answer us.
An Answer Model to Follow
Here is a model which helps us understand how our prayers are always answered.
- If our request is not best for us or its not time, God says, “No.”
- If the request is right for us, but the timing is wrong, God says, “Wait.”
- If we are not ready for the request, God says, “Grow.”
- When the timing is right, the request is right, and we are ready, God says, “Go.”
Like a caring parent, God will always give us what is best.
Matthew 7:11 says, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
A Lesson in Prayer
A young boy asked his parents for a baby brother, and seeing a perfect opportunity to teach their son a valuable lesson on prayer, the parents said, “Alex, if you pray each morning and evening for one month, you will get a baby brother.”
Alex was all in for a couple weeks. He didn’t miss a prayer time. Each morning and evening he prayed for a baby brother. About the third week, Alex was tired of praying and stopped, but he didn’t say anything to his parents.
The month ended, and Alex’s mom left for a few days. When she came home, she called Alex into her bedroom. Alex entered the room to see his mom sitting on the bed holding her newborn sons. The couple had twins.
“Look at your baby brothers,” mom said. “Aren’t you glad you prayed for one month?”
Alex thought for a moment and responded, “Aren’t you glad I stopped after only two weeks?”
5 Tips to Remember When Praying
Here are 5 tips to remember when praying.
- Our prayers do not need to be fancy.
- We can make requests of the Lord. He will answer in his timing.
- We should always request God’s help.
- We need to pray for ourselves and others.
- We should be honest and unashamed in our prayers.
Think of prayer as if you were talking to your mom or dad or friend. Have a conversation with God just like you would one of them. Share your experience in the comments below.
How has the Lord answered your prayers? Encourage us by sharing in the comments below.
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