Why Are Things So Hard?
(Part 1)





(Judges 2:1-5 Pas. Baines, Jr. 2/2018)

Introduction: Have you ever wondered why things are so hard in your life or the lives of others? In our text, the Israelites were having a hard time because of their sins. This discussion centers on how “We should be mindful of God’s goodness and our sins.”

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Key Points:

1. Egypt. Notice in vs. 1 the mention of God bringing His people out of Egypt. It would be difficult to find anything more central or significant to the Jewish experience than God’s bringing them out of Egypt (see Ex. 11-12 for background).

As Black believers, we are tempted to think of God’s bringing us out of American slavery as our central and significant event. However, the most central and significant bond is found in our faith in Christ (see II Cor. 5:21). Hell is worse than slavery.

Let’s live like we are thankful for being delivered from Hell. This kind of living should be known for thankfulness. It should also be known for our inviting and bringing others to worship and growth groups, so they can experience God’s goodness as well.

2. More blessings. Notice in vs. 1 that the Lord did bring His people out of Egypt, but He also brought them into Canaan. In like manner, not only did God save us from going to Hell, but He has been good to us, since we have been saved (e.g., health, finances, access to joy and peace, good people, etc.).

And the best is yet to come, if we obey God (see Eph. 3:20; Jer. 29:11).  Let’s live like we know that God has blessed us with salvation and more blessings. This kind of living should be known for thankfulness and obedience.

3. Preparation. Notice in Luke 16:10 that how we treat small matters is an indicator of how we will treat larger matters. Sometimes things are hard now as a way of preparing us for larger responsibilities. Sometimes things are hard to help us appreciate getting to the next level.

Think about how your job performance is important to you being able to lead others. A successful courtship is important to a successful marriage. Let’s be open to God using hard times to prepare us for the next level.

 

4. God’s mysterious plan. Notice in Isaiah 55:8-9 and Proverbs 3:5-6 that God works in mysterious way and we are called to simply trust and obey Him. When God’s love and power allows for hard times in our lives that are not preparation or punishment, we have what the Pastor calls “mystery.”

Why does God allow some of the ungodly and lazy people on your job to make more money than you make, even though you are into all of this studying, serving, and giving stuff? Why do some people hardly ever come to church and yet have happy marriages, but you suffer from either a bad marriage or no satisfying partnership? 

Sometimes, the best and most respectful answer may be – mystery. Let’s be open to our hard times being a part of God’s mysterious plans. The good thing about God’s plans is that they work out for our good (see Rom. 8:28).

5. Sin. Notice in Judges 2:2-3 and Galatians 6:7-8 that sin leads to punishment and hard times. One of the Israelites sin and a sin that too many of us are guilty of is keeping company with the wrong crowd. See Psalm 1:1; II Corinthians 6:14-18; and John 12:42-43. It is hard to be a happy, healthy, and wealthy disciple, when the people you spend time with are negative, reckless with their health, wasteful with their money, and demonstrate no commitment to obeying God.

Let’s work on repenting from the sin of keeping company with the wrong crowd. I John 1:9 teaches that we can still confess our sins to God, receive His forgiveness, and press forward with living by His will. 

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