5. Obey God even through hardship

Abram obeyed God and arrived in Canaan. Upon arrival the Lord appeared to him and reaffirmed His promises to him. Then Abram built two altars to worship the Lord. He kept God at the centre of his existence. He was exactly where God wanted him to be. God had called him and he had listened, obeyed. But then something happened.

"At that time there was a severe famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to wait it out." Genesis 12:10

Abram followed God's guidance and went to live in Canaan, a land that God promised to give him. And now all of a sudden there was a famine, so severe that Abram couldn't stay there. He had to go to Egypt just to survive. Now personally that would have been a hard pill for me to swallow. God uprooted him from his homeland, his family, friends and comfort and led him to a hostile land. Abram didn't complain, but he followed God's command without hesitation. The journey couldn't have been easy but he followed God's leading. And when he arrived there he worshipped God, built an altar and did the right thing. As far as we can see, Abram did everything right. And yet there was a severe drought now, forcing him to leave the country he just arrived in. I don't know about you, but that would have been very discouraging for me. Here I gave up everything, followed God and now I am forced to move again due to the drought. I might even have begun to wonder if I did the right thing in following God. I might have begun to doubt whether I heard Him correctly. But Abram did no such thing. He didn't complain to God, he didn't doubt or regret his choice to follow God, no he simply made a plan in the interim until he could go back to Canaan once again.

Sometimes God might put a test in our path to see if we will still follow His leading, even if the going gets tough. Also hardships are there to develop our character. None of the disciples had it easy after Jesus ascended into heaven. They had very tough trials, but they also experienced more miracles than most Christians today. They displayed more courage and joy and through doing that, they drew countless numbers to Christ. They started Christianity that we have today and spread it throughout the world. We are able to believe and be part of God's kingdom because of what they did.

When you are certain of what God wants you to do, continue doing it. It will not always be easy. Ask any of the great pastors of our day, they certainly didn't have a smooth ride, but they persevered and have a story to tell today encouraging others on the same route. Just don't quit and return to where you came from. If Abram quit with this drought and returned to Haran, what a sad ending to his life that would have been. Everyone will just remember him as the one that couldn't continue to believe in God's promises. Keep on keeping on. Don't look back, but look forward to where God is leading you. You won't be sorry. His will is best!

Father please give us the strength to continue on our life's path. Even when hardship come, please give us the courage to push through and to rather keep our eyes on You. Thank you that we can know that You are always with us. In Jesus' Name. Amen

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