We Cried Out to God and It Got Harder!

Life gets hard at times!  And I’ll be the first to tell you, it can suck!  Even when you feel you are doing everything right.  Even when you feel that you are living for Jesus!  Even when you are tithing and serving and praying and reading your Bible.  Life and the circumstances in our life, can get hard.

I remember a time when I just wasn’t very content at work.  My relationships with co-workers weren’t what they used to be and I didn’t feel like I was valued.  I was very unhappy.  I was praying, reading my Bible, doing all the things that I was supposed to do as a Christian.  But, there wasn’t instant relief!  God didn’t swoop down and answer my prayer right away.  It took time, longer than I would have liked.  There were times when I questioned and even asked if God was listening.  I knew better!  Because, I know He is always listening.  He is always there.  But sometimes, it’s not about YOU!

If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time, you know what I mean.  You’re in a place, you need God’s hand to work in your favor or you need Him to answer a prayer or you need to just FEEL the Spirit, somehow, someway…and nothing.  Or worse, your situation, with all your “pressing into the Lord” got harder!  Come on….you’ve been there!  We’ve all been there!  And it sucks when you’re going through it!  But you’re not alone.

Imagine what it was like for the Israelites in Egypt.  They lived as slaves for hundreds of years.  They cried out to God and then finally….God moved!

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of My people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the territory of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. The Israelites’ cry for help has come to Me, and I have also seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Therefore, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you may lead My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:7-10 (HCSB)

Oh man!  An answer to prayer!  The people cried out and God was coming through for them.  He was sending Moses, raised in Pharaoh’s household.  Who better to know the inner workings of how things got done in Egypt?

So Moses and Aaron show up on Pharaoh’s door with a decree from the Lord to “Let my people go.”  This is easy.  This is God’s Word.  He said it, so let’s pack up our bags and head out to this special land flowing with milk and honey….  Yeah, not so fast.  Things actually took a turn for the worse!

19 The Israelite foremen saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You cannot reduce your daily quota of bricks.” 20 When they left Pharaoh, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who stood waiting to meet them.

21 “May the Lord take note of you and judge,” they said to them, “because you have made us reek in front of Pharaoh and his officials—putting a sword in their hand to kill us!” Exodus 5:19-21 (HCSB)

Wait!  What?  Not only did Pharaoh not “Let my people go,” the people turned on Moses and Aaron!  “This isn’t right!  This isn’t the way it is supposed to happen.  With God on our side, things should get better, not worse!”  Again, we’ve all been there.

This must have also been Moses’ thoughts.  He couldn’t believe this bad turn of events.  So he goes back to the Lord… to inquire.  Maybe he missed something.  Maybe he messed up the “formula” or something.

22 So Moses went back to the Lord and asked, “Lord, why have You caused trouble for this people? And why did You ever send me? 23 Ever since I went in to Pharaoh to speak in Your name he has caused trouble for this people, and You haven’t delivered Your people at all.”

6 But the Lord replied to Moses, “Now you are going to see what I will do to Pharaoh: he will let them go because of My strong hand; he will drive them out of his land because of My strong hand.”

Then God spoke to Moses, telling him, “I am Yahweh. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but I did not reveal My name Yahweh to them. I also established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land they lived in as foreigners. Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are forcing to work as slaves, and I have remembered My covenant.

“Therefore tell the Israelites: I am Yahweh, and I will deliver you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and free you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great acts of judgment. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Yahweh your God, who delivered you from the forced labor of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am Yahweh.” Exodus 5:22 6:8 (HCSB)

Did you get that?  Moses even began to question his call and purpose.  Things would have been so much better back in Midian…a life of ease tending the flock…”at lest the sheep like me,” he must of thought!

But Moses learned something very powerful here.  It’s not about him!  It’s not about the people of Israel!  It’s about Yahweh!

Pharaoh will not listen to you, but I will put My hand on Egypt and bring the divisions of My people the Israelites out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I stretch out My hand against Egypt, and bring out the Israelites from among them.” Exodus 7:4-5 (HCSB)

Did you get that?  “The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh.”  Not you Moses, not Aaron.  This didn’t happen because Pharaoh became a nice guy or had a change of heart.  This was going to happen because of God!  And God wanted everyone to know that God is God!

Later, God would write, “I am a jealous God.”  He wants the glory!

Sometimes the things that happen in my life, your life, the life of the children of Israel is so that God receives the glory!

Jesus shares this same thought in John 9, “As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples questioned Him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When things weren’t going well for me, it wasn’t about me.  When things have been bad for you and you questioned where was God in all of it, it wasn’t about you.  It was about God.  It was about God working in you so that He could receive glory!

Will you let God receive glory from your life?  Even if it doesn’t seem all good to you?

Application

1. God will never give you more than you can bear!  Yes, it will be hard and it will be uncomfortable, but never more than you can take.  You have that promise – 1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it. (HCSB)

2.  Don’t give up, it’s only for season!  When we are in the midst of the storm, it might seem like forever.  However, you need to remember that your situation is only for a season.  Maybe a loooonnng season, but it’s not forever!  Surround yourself with God’s presence, continue to walk in the Holy Spirit.  Read, pray, attend church.  Don’t take yourself away from the presence of God!

3. Share your testimony.  Share what God is doing in you.  In John 9, Jesus said that “we must do the work” and “I am the light of the world.”  People who are going through a rough patch are strengthened and filled with faith when you share what God has done and God is doing in your life.  On the other side of your rough patch, share it!

4. Remember that you have already received the victory!  Everything in this life is meaningless compared to knowing Jesus!  Even if you were to lose your life here on Earth, you go to Heaven!  So basically, you are already living in eternity!  You’ll pass from life to life!

Prepper Application

Because we walk in an awareness of the craziness that is our world, we might “see” hardship and suffering coming more easily than our non-prepared brothers and sisters.  Since we know that this time is coming, we can be even more prepared spiritually to “shine our light” for Him.

The coming (fill-in-the-blank), could be the greatest time in our history to spread the Gospel message.  Are you prepared?  Are you ready?

Peace,
Todd

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16 thoughts on “We Cried Out to God and It Got Harder!

  1. janeofvirginia

    Many times I have prayed to God and then my lot in life appeared to get harder. However, we will never really know whether it did worsen, or whether the prayer was in fact answered with more support than I would have had otherwise. It is through the darkest days and most difficult times that I realized that my faith is not in fact, strongest in the best times. It is however, pretty strong in the very darkest of days.

  2. anon

    The cemeteries are full of people that had more than they could handle. Ever heard the verse, “Unless I return early no flesh would be saved”. I believe in Jesus, heart, soul, mind, and body, but I never allow myself to believe that he will hand carry me through teotwawki. We have enough pie in the sky pretrib rapture mentality already. The bible states clearly that before His return that people will say the Lord has abandoned the earth. Gear yourself for the longhaul. thanks

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author

      Anon,

      I understand what you’re saying. But I think you missed the point of what I was saying.

      Peace,
      Todd

  3. Cathy

    thank You so much for this article. I’m going thru a rough patch and I almost doubted myself a little and my faith, this has given me that extra boost I needed to carry on!!! I will be forever grateful. With renewed faith in Christ my Savior, Thank You!!!

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author

      Cathy,

      It’s tough… Hang in there. Like I’ve said above, surround yourself with things that will encourage you and feed your spirit.

      Peace,
      Todd

  4. Lisa

    Great encouragement, Todd. When our family moved cross country in 2013, it was the hardest time I’ve ever had in my life, but God was gracious and now we are in a much better place with far less stress. It was worth it but I wouldn’t want to do it again!

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author

      Lisa,

      Never say never! 😉

      Coming out on the other side of a struggle and knowing that He was with you is a great testimony to share with others who are going through a struggle right now.

      Peace,
      Todd

  5. GearJammer

    Todd….sometimes I think you’ve been readin my mail! Thank you for this and thank God for the timing of this article. I have been on this road for awhile now, thinking that God really hasn’t heard my prayers, or that what I am praying for, isn’t God’s Will. Patience certainly isn’t a trait that most humans have, but I openly admit, I have even less. That is also something I pray daily about….for God to quiet my soul, slow me down, close my mouth and just listen.
    Thank you Todd

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author

      We all wish our timing was God’s timing. I know I’ve been there before! 😉 Make sure you spend the “waiting time” filling yourself in His presence. Read the Bible, get a good Christian book, get a new worship CD…it helps.

      I wish you the best and that you will hear His voice and know His leading.

      Peace,
      Todd

  6. Melody

    Just found your church and I really appreciate your words. For those walking thru tough times, and not understanding why God won’t answer your prayers in the way you think He should – – just remember that what God has planned for you is so much better than what you are thinking of. You may not see it right away, but when you do, it will have God’s fingerprints all over it!

    Blessings to you all.

  7. Steven

    Todd- Good article bro. Lots of encouragement. I do have to question your use of 1 Corinthians 10:13 though. The passage has nothing to do with God not giving us more than we can handle as far as hardship and suffering are concerned. It simply talks about temptation to sin as the verse says. We also see this clearly in the context of the previous 5 verses as well where it says: Do not be idolaters, don’t act immorally, don’t try the Lord, don’t grumble. The fact is, God does give us more than we can handle at times as a way for us to understand our reliance and dependence upon Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and many other passages show this. Love reading your writings but please don’t fall into the trap of miss interpretation/application/contextualization of scripture as so many others in the church do. it can be detrimental to peoples faith in the long run.

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author

      Steven,

      Thank you for your comment. I understand what you are saying about 1 Corinthians 10. However, I disagree with you.

      The children of Israel did sin. They were idolaters, acted immorally and tried the Lord, but because they were stubborn and faithless and looked at their circumstances instead of trusting in the Lord to deliver them.

      Even early on they complained about not having bread and meat and even wanted to go back to Egypt. They worshiped the calf simply because they were impatient and couldn’t wait for Moses to come down off the mountain.

      And Yes, God does work in us so we can be dependent on Him. However, what He does in our lives doesn’t do us in, it doesn’t crush us completely….kill us! What kind of God would want to do that? There is a reason behind it all. I thought I made that clear.

      I do agree with 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. This issue with Paul is exactly what I’m talking about. Paul had an issue that he asked the Lord to remove, but he finally understood that God was using it to make him strong. It was about God and Christ working in him. But even this, wasn’t more than Paul could bear or more than he could endure.

      Sometimes the very reason we need to learn dependence on God is because we are not being dependent or we are not trusting. But again, God leaves us a way out. He leaves us they way of trusting and relying totally on Him.

      Peace,
      Todd

  8. Steven

    Todd thanks for your reply. It is much appreciated.

    You mentioned in your reply that what God “does in our lives doesn’t do us in, it doesn’t crush us completely…kill us!” And regarding Paul you said it “wasn’t more than Paul could bear or more than he could endure.”

    I would have to say it can and does at times. Just look at Paul as you mentioned. He was murdered fulfilling his commission from God. All the apostles (except perhaps John) were murdered fulfilling their commission from God. They were all, in the literal sense, given more than they could handle. And they paid with their lives. Hebrews 11:37-40 shows this as well. Our fellow believers in the middle east and far east today demonstrate this daily.

    I fully understand the need to help fellow believers keep a positive outlook on things. Especially as our society goes down the toilet. But we should not give false hope. We should teach the true hope we have in our Lord. As you know full well brother, our promises far surpass anything this world has to offer and are beyond our full
    comprehension.

    If we don’t agree that is fine.I have said my peace 🙂 and wish you well…

    Shalom

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author

      Steven,

      We are talking about two different things. I guess I don’t look at death as coming from God. He made a way for us to be reconciled to Himself through Jesus Christ, which leads to life here and now. Thus, why I said we already have the victory.

      Thanks for your comments. I hope you stick around.

      Peace,
      Todd

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