Grasping our Spiritual Challenges
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them. Then the Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help. Exodus 14:10
Like the Israelites, we all have faced challenges and turmoil that have caused us to judge our spiritual condition – a death in the family, severe illness, loss of employment. Each of these and more have triggered within us a level of spiritual panic. “Why would a good god do this to us?”; “How could He possibly allow this to happen?” and “Why are you allowing this to come upon us?” are but three of the many responses we often hear, when others in our lives have faced calamity and suffering.
Quite honestly, there are some questions about Yahveh’s actions we cannot answer; however, the are some things about Him we do know. For example, we know He does not bring suffering to anyone. How do we know this? In Job 34:12, we read Indeed, it is true that God does not act wickedly
and the Almighty does not pervert justice. Even though Job was a righteous man, filled with faith for Yahveh, he was allowed to face struggles and hardships that would have turned any other man from his faith. But why did Job carry on in his belief of Yahveh’s goodness and faithfulness?
Most of us have read the Book of Job, some many times. It is a classic story of man’s struggle with evil, brought onto us by the adversary, satan. Throughout all the adversary he faced, Job did not accept the bitterness that might have consumed his thinking, indeed his very life. Instead, he continued in his understanding we cannot know the mind of Yahveh and what he demands of us, as we read in Job 36:26a – Look, God is great, beyond what we can know. Is there nothing in Scripture that can help us understand?
In the Gospel of John, 16:33, we read the words of Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus – I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom/peace and tranquility. In the world, you have trouble. But be brave! I have conquered the world. Adonai Yeshua understood and understands Yahveh’s intentions with ‘free will’. He knew and knows most of the problems we face are caused by ourselves or by others acting in their interest, rather than in others’. Why would Yahveh not intervene to prevent His children from facing these calamities? Why did He allow the Egyptian army to draw so close to the fleeing Israelites, so they were filled with panic and dread?
Often, we hear that Yahveh allows threats to come our way, in order to draw us closer together and to bring us closer to Him. When we do this, we strengthen our faith and our become closer to those who believe with us; we draw strength from those who face calamities with us. And we draw strength from Yahveh, who has promised us He would never leave us stranded. He tells us, in Joshua 1:5 – I will neither fail you nor abandon you. Then, in Hebrews 13:5,6, we find: for God himself has said, “I will never fail you or abandon you.” Therefore, we say with confidence, “Adonai is my helper; I will not be afraid — what can a human being do to me?”
Beloved, it is most important for us, when we face obstacles and hardship to take the time to sincerely question ourselves. We must ask ourselves the difficult questions: “Do I still believe in God?”; “Do I believe He will protect me from calamity?”; “Is this happening to help me become more solidly based in Him?” For believers, these questions are often very difficult to ask of ourselves; we have been raised in Him to believe He will always protect us and we will never face troubles. However, as Rav Sha’ul, the Apostle Paul, has shared with us, in 1 Corinthians 13:12, For now we see obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now I know partly; then I will know fully, just as God has fully known me, we cannot fully know Yahveh’s purposes for what comes upon us. What we do know is — even when we face death, if we cling to Him and hold our belief in Him strongly, we will overcome and be with Him for eternity.
THIS IS HIS PROMISE TO US!!
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.
To read a preview of Michael’s first book, A Journey Through Torah: An Introduction to God’s Life Instructions for His Children, Volume One: Genesis, please click on the link, below:
To read a preview of Michael’s Second book, A Journey Through Torah: An Introduction to God’s Life Instructions for His Children, Volume Two: Exodus, please click on the link, below: