No one can avoid trials in their life. Let’s see how these people handled their own and the lessons learned about obedience in the Bible.
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ABOUT OBEDIENCE IN THE BIBLE
It’s hard to go through a trial and not question your faith. I know I have in the past and it’s at these times that we either give it up altogether or grow in it. Jesus never promised that our lives would be easy–take a look at his own life! He was born in poverty and never had any of the things we define as success: wife, kids, ladder-climbing career, the house with the white picket fence…
His life was not easy, and neither were most people who decided to follow him. In fact, most of the apostles were martyred!
Since the very first human on the earth, man has been going through trials which tested their obedience to the Lord. Even Adam had to decide whether he would trust what God was saying was true. Would he really follow through on what he said? Did he really mean it when he said they couldn’t eat from that one tree? Was it really that big of a deal?
God has been teaching us from the very beginning that when he asks us to do something, he means it. However, he can’t help but show his great love for us. Think about Adam. He could have killed him on the spot! Instead he gave him a family and authority over everything on earth!
Here are few other men in the Bible that chose to disobey what God asked them to do, and learned that obedience is always the best choice.
- Jacob = deceived his father, estranged with his brother, wasn’t good influence on his children who sold his son into slavery
- Moses = didn’t listen to God’s instructions on getting water and thought his way was better, didn’t see the promised land
- Samson = trusted in a woman over his oath to God, lost his strength and was captured and eventually died because of it
- David = had an affair and murdered her husband, lost his baby
- Jonah = ran away from God, swallowed by a whale and had to go anyway
- Peter = denied Christ when he needed him most, had to live with that guilt and confess it later
- Paul = formerly Saul a man who persecuted Jews, would suffer endlessly during his missionary journeys
But that’s not where the stories end. In order to give purpose to our trials, we have to seek meaning in them. What did they learn because of these experiences?
Jacob learned reconciliation.
David learned accountability.
Jonah learned courage.
But even the “good guys” go through trials. Some of our trials, as mentioned above, are self-inflicted. Others are just a product of living in a fallen world. Take these Bible characters for example:
- Abraham = wife is barren
- Noah = every one around him is evil
- Joseph = sold into slavery
- Joshua = has to wander for 40 years
- Ruth = husband is killed
- Job = loses everything you can imagine
- Esther = her people are sentenced to die
- Daniel = thrown into a lion’s den
So how did they react? Some of them asked God why they were being punished when they did nothing wrong. Others said that they trusted he would deliver them. Some said they would trust him even if they were killed.
This is not an easy task. No one is exempt from trials and hardships, however, we are all asked to be obedient.
What can we learn from these people and their trials? How can we use their experiences to teach us to trust that God is still good even when he allows bad things to happen?
The greatest thing to remember is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. He could have chosen the easy way out, but he didn’t! How deep is his love if that is the way he chose to rescue us? Lean into His unconditional love for you when you are going through something hard. Trust that he is still good so that you can choose obedience.
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