Have you experienced the situation when things go from bad to worse? You expect good and instead, the situation gets worse. It feels like a punch in the stomach leaving you breathless and shocked. Maybe you struggle with such a situation at this very moment. Maybe you are hoping for healing, only to receive another frightening diagnosis. Or you are praying for a problematic job situation, only to learn that you are fired. Or you invested yourself in a relationship only to receive another blow of betrayal.
When Things Go from Bad to Worse or Bricks Without Straw
Life is full of endless possibilities for things to go from bad to worse. How can we stay hopeful when things get worse? Under the increasing pressure of adversity, we start doubting God’s goodness and faithfulness. Fear, discouragement, and hopelessness start to creep in. How can we continue to trust God and His promises?
The Jews living in Egypt under Pharaoh also experienced such a situation when things went from bad to worse. They were suffering for many years under Egyptian oppression as slaves. Then God heard their cries and called Moses to partner with God and tell the Pharaoh to let the Jews go. Hope was birthed. People expected deliverance and change in their situation.
However, the mission to get the Jews free didn’t develop according to the expectations. Enraged, Pharaoh said “no”. And on top of this, he ordered that the people make the same amount of bricks without providing the straw for them. He doubled the workload. Instead of better, it became worse. The people complained to Moses, and Moses took it to God.
God’s Response When Things Go from Bad to Worse
In chapter six of the book of Exodus God speaks to Moses and gives him several truths to lean on and stay hopeful. We can apply the same truths to our situations to strengthen our faith and remain hopeful and steady.
- “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh.” (Exodus 6:1) In other words, God is just beginning. He is just beginning to work out His deliverance and His purposes. We will see and experience His redemptive and transformative work.
- “I am the Lord – I am who I am.” (Exodus 6:2) God is the great I AM, the Everlasting God. The one Who sees the things from the beginning to the end and Who lives eternally. Trusting Him and adopting an eternity perspective will help us stay firm.
- „I will redeem you.” (Exodus 6:6-8). Because the Lord is who He is, His promises and intentions remain stable and reliable. We can remain assured in His promise to help us, set us free and redeem us from any form of oppression and slavery.
More of God’s Wonders and Grace
The narrative in Exodus gives us one more hopeful perspective when things go from bad to worse. God tells Moses that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart, but He will also multiply His signs and wonders in Egypt. (Exodus 7:3). Often, the outcome of the temporary hardening of a situation or a person’s heart is a multiplication of God’s miracles and mighty deeds. The hardening is also the perfect condition for us to test our hearts, strengthen our faith, learn to endure and persevere, learn to trust no matter what.
Friend, who is your Pharaoh? Who is your tormentor, who is your oppressor? Is that fear, an unfair boss, illness, weakness, jealousy, unforgiveness, bitterness?
Take heart and choose once again to place your hope in the great I AM. Remember that you plus Jesus can do everything, can endure anything, can overcome everything.
Lord, I ask You to be on my mouth and to put feet on my faith. Help me to stay hopeful and wait for You when I am supposed to make bricks without straw and my situation seems to go from bad to worse. Change my perspective so I can trust You and see my difficult circumstances as the perfect scene for You to multiply Your miracles and Your grace. Amen.
You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. Exodus 5:7 NIV