Pastor Greg GilliamGrace Christian AssemblyIndependence, Missouri
“Who (God) delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;” II Cor. 1:10.
We have all had times in our lives when God brought a quick deliverance. Amen? However, sometimes the deliverance doesn’t come quickly. It is with long patience that we wait for it and then it comes. Sometimes those praying for the deliverance never see the deliverance come in their lifetime. I think of a dear sister who prayed constantly for her son to come back to the Lord. She went home to be with the Lord. In the months following we saw her son start attending the assembly. Later her son became an elder in our assembly before going home to be with the Lord. Don’t stop praying dear one. God hears your prayer and will answer.
Yet other times we (emphasis placed on the word we) see no deliverance ever come. Many of God’s children find themselves “Awaiting Deliverance.” A circumstance in their life. A child with an illness. A personal physical ailment. Comfort from a grieving heart. Maybe something that I haven’t mentioned here. I am not going to try to tell you how God will move in your circumstance. I am not going to make you a promise or give you some flowery words. I do know that God is sovereign and will do with things as He sees fit. I only know that, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” - I Cor. 10:13.
It is during these times of “Awaiting Deliverance” that we take solace in the scriptures. We search the scriptures allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us from the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is faithful to give us that portion that we need, for that particular time. I liken this to a baby bird awaiting its mother to come back to the nest with something for it to eat. They are anticipating her return. We too are awaiting our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to move in circumstances in our lives for which we find ourselves “Awaiting Deliverance.”
As we think of those “Awaiting Deliverance” let us look at several references in scripture. The Children of Israel faced terrible burdens (Ex. 1:11, 13, 14). Taskmasters were set over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built for Pharaoh treasure cities, and the Egyptians made them to serve with rigour: making their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. Moses is born and when he is grown (several years has passed and the Children of Israel are still faced with these terrible burdens). We read in Ex. 2:11, “...that Moses went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens:” Ex. 2:23-25, “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. God speaks to Moses (Ex. 3:7), “I have surely seen the affliction of my people…and have heard their cry…I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. I have seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that God knows exactly what we are going through and has a plan to deliver us?
God’s plan involved sending Moses. Ex. 3:10, “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people…out of Egypt.” Moses’ question - Who Am I? If you have ever been used of God for a particular responsibility you have asked yourself, “Who Am I?” If not for the grace of God we could not be used. The Apostle Paul states in I Cor. 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Comforting words are given to Moses and to us. Ex. 3:12, “...Certainly I will be with thee.” We can go on when we know that He is with us.
Joshua also was given this assurance in Deut. 31:23, “...Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.” Josh. 1:5, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
We read in Isa. 41:8-13, “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth…I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded…they shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them…for I the Lord thy God will help thee.”
Jesus to his disciples, Matt. 28:20, “...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” We close with these words in Romans 8:31, Apostle Paul writes, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”