Things are not always as they appear.

M.C. Escher's Waterfall (Escher 1898-1972)

M.C. Escher's Waterfall (Escher 1898-1972)

Look carefully at the picture above which illustrates my point so clearly. Just in the last week we have heard three testimonies from people who have received medical reports that initially seemed very bleak.  

Of course, when we receive a bad report from a doctor or our financial adviser etc it's easy to go into panic mode and become increasingly anxious - that's human nature.  However, did you know nothing ever takes our Father in heaven by surprise?  With further prayer and choosing to trust God for His plan what appeared totally bleak was turned around to a better outcome. In one case major surgery was avoided and peace was restored.

There are several examples in scripture of just the same thing. In Genesis 26 we read about Isaac and Abimelech.  The chapter opens with these words - Now there was a famine in the land.  The Lord appears to Isaac and basically says "I know things look much better down in Egypt but stay here (where there's famine) and I will bless you!"  Naturally speaking this wouldn't have been Isaac's choice for him and his family.  However he was obedient and we read in v12 "Isaac planted crops in the land and THE SAME YEAR reaped a hundredfold (emphasis mine). I love the way the NKJ version states the next verse. v13 The man began to prosper, continued prospering until he became very prosperous. So in the midst of a famine God's man who stayed focussed on God's (spoken) word, prospered until he became very prosperous!  So much so he had so many flocks and herds the enemy (the Philistines) envied him. 

Hezekiah was one of Judah’s most Godly kings. He re-opened the temple and eradicated all places of idol worship in the land. He became ill even to the point of death the Bible says (2 Kings 20). The prophet Isaiah told him to get his affairs in order as he was going to die. In the natural his time on this earth was coming to a rapid end. Hezekiah prayed earnestly reminding God of his faithful walk and wholehearted devotion. The Bible says he wept bitterly as he prayed. (v 2). Before Isaiah had left the palace, the Lord spoke to him telling him to go back to Hezekiah to inform the king He was adding 15 years to his life. Not only was the Lord going to heal him but also deliver him and his kingdom from the enemy Assyrians. (v6)

Hezekiah asked Isaiah for a sign he would indeed be healed and specifically that the shadow would go back 10 degrees. This is a remarkable request. In order for the shadow to go back 10 degrees, my university physics tells me the Lord had to ‘reverse the universe’ to give this sign. That’s exactly what He did! To what remarkable lengths will the Lord go to demonstrate His love and power!

It appeared it was over for Hezekiah - but the Lord had another plan. Things are not always as they appear.

There was really no hope for a man who had been lame for 38 years and spent his life sitting by the pool of Bethesda waiting to get into the stirring waters in order for him to be healed. (John 5:1-8) He had no future, no hope of earning an income, having a family or enjoying life at all. He was totally dependent on others for his very existence. Jesus comes on the scene and simply posed this question, “do you want to be well?” The man’s answer was virtually redundant as the Saviour simply commanded him to “Rise take up your bed and walk.” The Bible declares “And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked…”

We could give many other examples from the scriptures where the impossible was made possible by the power of God even in the midst of dire and hopeless circumstances. In each and every case I can think of, God’s perfect plan came to fruition when His people chose to trust Him & obey His instructions despite their circumstances and continued to take Him at His Word trusting Him to work all things together for their good.

His Word remains true today - He is the same yesterday, today and forever and He promises never to leave or forsake us. Let me encourage you to continue to look to the author and finisher of our faith for HIS answers and HIS leading in every area of your life despite how things look to your natural eyes for things are not always as they appear!