Testing? Becomes a testimony!
One nights wrestling and holding ground leads to a nation of God – Jacob renamed Israel. A NATION. Right quick: Genesis 32:22-32. Fast forward –
There was a total of 70 people who were descendants of Jacob. Jacob’s son Joseph was already in Egypt. By some time later, Joseph and his brothers had died, along with all the people who had lived at that same time. But the people of Israel had many children, and their number grew greatly. They became very strong, and the country of Egypt was filled with them. Then a new king began to rule Egypt. He did not know who Joseph was. This king said to his people, “Look! The people of Israel are too many! And they are too strong for us to handle! We must make plans against them. If we don’t, the number of their people will grow even more. Then if there is a war, they might join our enemies. Then they could fight us and escape from the country!” So the Egyptians made life hard for the people of Israel. They put slave masters over the Israelites. The slave masters forced the Israelites to build the cities Pithom and Rameses for the king. These cities were supply centers in which the Egyptians stored things. The Egyptians forced the Israelites to work even harder. But this made the Israelites grow in number and spread more. So the Egyptians became more afraid of them. They forced the Israelites to work even harder. The Egyptians made life hard for the Israelites. They forced the Israelites to work very hard making bricks and mortar. They also forced them to do all kinds of hard work in the fields. The Egyptians were not merciful to them in all their hard work. Exodus 1:5-14
Mind you, their cries were heard by God – The Creator of ALL. Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in population and, as a result, the Egyptian Pharaoh worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt’s enemies.
Note – God has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, God has put eternity into Man’s heart, yet so that Man cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Once again, whilst the Isrealites cried unto God, things were set in place, Amen.
The Pharaoh had decreed that all their baby boys were to be thrown into the Nile, because he feared that they might become too powerful. When Moses, her youngest child, was born, Jochebed hid him for three months until she could hide him no longer. She got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.
Moses was placed in the Nile is a basket reinforced with pitch upstream from where the royals came to bathe. Moses was adopted into royalty. A slave child!
Scared for his life—and rightly so—Moses fled to Midian and began a new occupation as a shepherd. While God used this time to mature Moses and prepare him for his next assignment, you and I shouldn’t run from our mistakes. Instead, leaders own their failures, face the consequences, and learn not to make them again.
We could go through the Word and touch on trials and the results recorded for posterity
Perhaps no Bible character has suffered more than Job. Job had everything — a good family, a good name and plenty of wealth. But then Satan went to God and asked for permission to alter Job’s good fortune.
Then tragedy strikes and Job loses everything: his children, his wealth, his livestock, his crops, his health and even the relationship of his wife and friends.
And what did Job do? Not curse God, as Satan had thought he would. Instead, he praised His name.
“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I come from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:20-21)
The rest of the Book of Job tells us that through it all, Job struggles with his suffering, saying to God, “Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?” (Job 10:1-4)
The moral of Job’s story is: It’s okay to question God or the reasons for why something is happening, but there’s no need for us to stay there. Job eventually repents and is humbled before God.
David is a Bible character who is no stranger to hard times. He was anointed king of Israel and chosen by God, and yet he was also tormented by the jealous King Saul, who chased David for many years trying to kill him.
The Bible tells us that David grew increasingly frustrated from his constant running and hiding, living in caves and surviving on whatever food his men could find or what those loyal to him would give.
And time and time again, he had the chance to kill Saul, but he didn’t because his heart was good.
Of course, we all know how the story of Saul ends. He falls on his sword to avoid capture in battle.
Many of the psalms highlight David’s cries to God and his struggles, such as Psalm 142:1-2, which says, “I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.”
Even though king David struggled mightily with his faith, he never remained in this state for long, as he still concludes every psalm praising God and giving Him glory.
In Mark 14:26-31, Peter talks about how he would never deny Jesus. (“Even if all fall away, I will not” and “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”)
And yet, we all know the story of what happens — it occurs just as Jesus said it would. Peter denies him three times at his trial, and after he had denied Jesus the third time, “he broke down and wept” (Mark 14:72).
After this, the Bible tells us that Peter thinks he is unworthy and returns to his old life as a fisherman. All of the disciples go with him.
The good news in all of this is that Peter was restored by Jesus, who is merciful, as John 21:15-25 reads.
The big takeaway from all the lessons these Bible characters learned is that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 15:26). And you, too, can find strength, comfort and guidance in The Lord during these challenging times.