Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25
An operating room, in the midst of a serious surgery, can be a disconcerting site, yet is for a good purpose. There is a greater good and a higher purpose; correcting the problem that will lead to a better fruitful life. The discomfort is planned and carried out on purpose, but it is only temporary.
Just so, God planned 400 years of discomfort for we, His people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order to prepare us for our role as a light to the Gentiles. God planned this seclusion in Egypt and revealed it to Abraham years before it happened. “Then He said to Abram, “Know for certain that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years. But I am going to judge the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will go out with many possessions. But you, you will come to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth generation they will return here—for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Genesis 15:13 – 16
God was not punishing us, but rather protecting us when we were the family of Jacob in Canaan and in danger of being corrupted by pagan practices. In the midst of our 400 years in Egypt, as slaves, we probably resented our situation – and many lived and died in Egypt without knowing the greater purpose.
God is always working out His will for persons and nations. Don’t let the troubles of the moment hide the glory of that purpose for you.