I am sure that most of us have asked ourselves this question! Now, there are many possible answers like, I have made a poor choice or someone in my life has made a poor choice. There are also those times that it is the result of good choices like starting a new business or going back to college to finish a degree. There are also those times that God is working in our lives. I have been thinking about a verse that reminds us of God working in the lives of His followers. The verse is one that Jesus quoted from the Old Testament when He was being tempted. It is a verse that will guide us through temptation just like it guided Him. Jesus quoted this verse in response to the Devil’s temptation for him to turn some rocks into bread in Matthew 4:1-11. We learn that this testing came after Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and nights when “he was hungry.” I am reminded that Satan's window of attack always seems to hit when we are vulnerable. I have wondered if the rocks on hand were shaped like loaves of bread. I can only imagine the temptation of fresh baked bread after 40 days of fasting, especially covered with melting butter. It is in response to this that Jesus quoted our verse, Deuteronomy 8:3 “And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” It is here that God’s people are reminded of the divine purpose behind their difficulty. The key word in this verse is “humbled.” The Lord is working to strip us of our pride and bring us to the place of trusting Him. The Lord placed His people into a difficult situation that was beyond their capabilities. Here it was leading them into a desert where they would be completely dependent on Him. Here are three observations about God’s working in our situations. First, what the Lord low allows in our lives is to make us stronger. God is always about the business of preparing us for the promised lands and the struggles that we will face in getting there. Second, the Lord met their need in a way that they never expected. It is harder to live by faith when your god is defined by you. It is when we think that there are no other solutions that God reveals a way that we never expected. And third, His purpose is to His people to the place of making their relationship with Him THE priority in their lives. We are reminded that it is more important than the basic human needs like food. So, why is this happening to me? Because God loves you! He is working to make you stronger. He is also preparing you for the challenges ahead but ultimately for Glory!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson