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If you listen to the things around us it is troubling. There are many troubles in the world. Beyond this, we all have our own troubles and burdens. We live in a fallen world, there are physical consequences of the fall that we all experience.
What role does faith have in life being what it is? There are even times when it feels like God isn’t listening to our prayers.
How do you respond to communication like, “I’m not even sure if life is worth fighting for…”?
We want to focus this morning on some stories in the Bible where people faced difficulties and see what God did for them. The Bible is literally full of stories like this! People in trouble and God did things for them!
When you’re struggling, read the stories in the Bible. You are not alone, there are lots of people who needed God to show up in their lives.
Moses and the Egyptians and the Israelites and Other Things
Exodus 2 and 3 – Moses cared a lot about the injustices that were being done towards his people. How he responded wasn’t right (killing an Egyptian), and he had to flee for his life.
Eventually, in God’s timing, he did lead the people out of Egypt. He fulfilled God’s purposes for his life despite the difficulties and even the mistakes he made.
Ephesians talks about Moses and talks a lot about his faith. It is obvious though that he didn’t have superhuman faith all the time. He did at times, but he didn’t have his faith perfected.
Isaiah and the Stubborn People of Israel
Israel had been overrun by Assyria. Isaiah was a prophet to Judah.
Isaiah 1 – Isaiah compared Israel to Sodom and Gomorrah. He told the people God’s message, a very tough message. This was a very common message throughout the Old Testament.
Isaiah 12 – I will trust and not be afraid, God is my salvation.
Isaiah goes on to predict judgment on different nations, even those nations that were in power.
Isaiah says that peace, comfort, and quietness can be found in God.
There are so many things out of order, it is super depressing apart from faith and confidence in God being in control.
Isaiah 42:1-7 – Talking about Jesus. He will not shout or raise his voice in public or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to those who have been wronged. He will take them by the hand. This is very personal.
God told Jeremiah no to be afraid of the people because God would protect him! Jeremiah delivered the message that God gave him. There were calls for Jeremiah to be killed.
Jeremiah 20 – Jeremiah thought that everyone was against him. He cursed the day that he was born. He was very, very discouraged. God responded and said, “these people will not conquer you, I am with you and will rescue you!”
Daniel – Captive in Exile in Babylon
Daniel was promoted to a high place in Babylon. Daniels three friends were thrown into the furnace, the king was watching them and said, “I see four men unbound walking around in the fire. The fourth looks like a god.” Jesus was with them.
Daniel and the lion’s den is a very familiar story. Daniel was second in command. Others became jealous of him and came up with an idea for the king that would cause Daniel to be put in the lion’s den. Daniel prayed three times a day just as he always had. The king was trapped and said go ahead and throw him in with the lions. The king even said, “may the God that you serve rescue you.”
Throughout Jesus’ life, the Jews were seeking to kill Him, not because of any of the good things that he had done, instead because they believed he, a human, was claiming to be God.
There have been many, many people in very difficult places. Not to downplay your troubles at all.
A firm faith in Jesus is what we need to go on.
Life is hard and the devil is at work… but Jesus is alive! He isn’t dead, He isn’t in the grave, He does things for people sometimes that they don’t even realize He is doing.
God is still alive, and He is still working. the Bible is full of these accounts where people thought they were alone, and God was there.
Give God permission to be present with you. Invite Him to grow and maintain your faith.