Song: I heard a song, I do not know who wrote it, saying:

Are you down-hearted? No, No, No 2x  Troubles may come but trouble will go; Are you down-hearted? No, No, No.

Yes, many times one becomes down-hearted and begin to feel tired of life’s hard situations that seem to be more than we think we can handle.  You ask God, “When will this hardship be over?” Do I have to go on this way? Why is it taken so long for me to get help? More frustration is setting in because you don’t seem to be getting any response from God. Let me assure you today, Jesus knows about your situation and He is walking with you in the midst of it. He will help you through as you look on to Him. You are coming out soon in Jesus name.

As I read the book of Exodus 13:17-22 I received the understanding that God takes us through longer ways at times for our own good. For this reason, we must endeavor not to give up. Do you feel the way out is too long? Do you feel you are not getting the fair deal that you deserve? Maybe things are just too tough for you here in the USA and you wonder why God allowed you to come here in the first place. Have you been hoping that your marriage would have started to experience joy by now but it is still on a shaky ground? No job, no money, no child, struggling with how to please God?  I am writing this column to encourage you as I remind you of Ps. 46 which says God is your help in times of trouble.  Even if the tides are rough, God is in the midst of it; God will make you glad. If difficulties rage, God will utter His voice to melt mountains for you. Just trust in Jesus, his only begotten Son.

It’s amazing how God chooses at times to allow his children to go through what we consider a longer way. But I assure you that in the midst of it God is present. God knows better. Although the way is not the shortest, it is the best way God want to take you through. God is not partial: He did not only allow the Israelites to go through the wilderness, He allowed Jesus too to experience wilderness ordeal. Because Jesus survived his own ordeal, you will too. Look at the Israelites’ deliverance story; they could have been led to journey through the land of the Philistines [which could have taken just a few days], but God chose to lead them through the way of the red sea and the wilderness [it took forty years]. Ex. 13:18

The scriptures explained the reasons why God took them through a longer route: It was for their own good:

  1. Lest they return to bondage when they get scared of war or difficulty (Ex. 13:17-18). The Philistines were terrible warriors and if the Israelites passed through their land, there would be battles that they could not possibly win because they were not yet trained for war. They’ve been slaves all along. God had foreseen the difficulty but the Israelites grumbled because they could not foresee it. God still needed to train them for war. God knows what’s ahead of you and me, for He knows all things (John 16:30). Let’s not twist His hands to take us through the short cuts. There may be dangers along that short route and since God sees ahead of us, He does everything to prevent us from entering into the danger.
  2. To humble and prove them. To know what’s in their hearts, whether or not they would keep His commandments in the rough wilderness (Deut. 8:2 ). It may be that God is testing your heart at the moment to find out what you are made of, in order words, to see if you will still trust Him and walk in His ways even in the midst of terrible situations. If so, this training will foster maturity in our walk with God.
  3. For their own protection against lonesomeness (isolation) that would open them up for dangerous animals in the wilderness to devour (Ex. 23:29-31). At this time we get to learn how to deal with folks that are not necessarily our best friends.
  4. Though David was running in the wilderness to avoid calamity from Saul, that was his own place of training to be a great leader that God wanted to make him
  5. In the wilderness of life, we learn how to face and resist the devil (as Jesus did)

It seems to me that every child of God has to experience the wilderness at one time or the other, but the best part of this story – which is the point I am trying to get across to you – is that, in the long journey, confusion of life and rough times of life in the wilderness, God led them. He went before them. His shekinah glory (the presence of God) in form of the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night were ever present  – Ex. 13:21-22

In the midst of hardship, God won’t neglect you. His word is His presence, continue to meditate on it and the words will guide you through as the pillars guided the Israelites. God will stand by you and give you continuous assistance in times of need. This is the time you need to exercise faith. The bible says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Eph 6:13 NIV).

Although the wilderness had no road, tracks, nor maps, God still showed the way. He fed them and gave them water.  It is my prayer that you will be able to wait on God in times of difficulty and let Him show you the way till you get to the other side – where joy is waiting for you. You are not alone! God is on your side. He will see you through. You are in our prayers. Joy is coming concerning all your situations in Jesus name.

God says, “Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted in your life. Though crying seem long, joy is coming soon.

To further help you understand what I am saying, I’d like to recommend these three books:

“I’m Tired of Crying, It’s Time to Laugh Again!”  by Cathy Lechner

“The Valley of Decision” by Thomas & Marilyn Rose

“Finding God When Life’s Not Fair” by Lee Ezell

These books speak about loss, pain, loneliness, tragedies, and all sorts of hardships and how Christ walks thorough each situation with His people and deliver them.