(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
When there is a promise on your life, things usually go from BAD, to WORSE, before DELIVERANCE.
When we have received a promise from the Lord and bad things start to happen that look nothing like what was promised, we may be tempted to think that maybe we heard wrong or that maybe God changed his mind or maybe our situation is too much for him to handle. When things go from bad to worse and our situation remains unchanged, we may come close to pulling our hair out (if our faith does not stand) and feel confused as to what in the world is going on.
Yet, things going from BAD to WORSE does not mean that the Lord isn’t working on your behalf. It does not mean that there isn’t a promise over your life. It doesn’t mean that God is not strong enough and that you are not going to be delivered.
In July, 2013, while having my devotions, I believe that God promised me from his Word, that I would be a joyful mother of children and that me and my children would increase and increase. It was planted so deeply into my spirit, that I contacted my mother on the phone and told her what had happened while I was reading. I had randomly opened my Bible on a page and the first words my eyes connected with at the very top extreme left side of the left page were the ending words to a verse “…joyful mother of children, Praise the Lord.”
Those words jumped up and hit me so forcefully in my spirit, I was in a bit of shock. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. In excitement at the suddenness of it, I quickly removed my eyes from the words and randomly placed them somewhere else on the right side of the right page of the Bible. To my further shock, my eyes immediately connected with words that further read: “You and your children shall increase and increase.”
It was not the random words that made me shocked. I have often opened up my Bible and read portions of scripture randomly but this was different. Once again, I felt as if the words had literally jumped up off the page and planted themselves firmly in my spirit. They were firmly lodged there and I could not get them out.
The very next day though, all hell seemed to break loose. I learned shockingly, that a guy that I had been eyeing for some time (close to two years) and had thought was interested in me and may have been God’s will for my life was suddenly getting married… and not to me! My dream of hopefully being his wife one day therefore, shattered and I deeply and painfully mourned the shock of it all.
Yet, God comforted me in that season, gave me strength to go on and healed me completely of that, so much so, that today, I can genuinely wish him and his wife well.
To make matters WORSE though, after I got what I believe was the promise from the Lord, my small business, which was having difficulty staying afloat because the law prohibited people in my profession from advertising, had to be closed and I had to move back to the island where my parents lived, as I had no job and no money.
I searched for jobs for a long period of time but the door remained firmly shut, although I was more than qualified for the positions I applied for. Unfortunately though, there was more supply than there was demand in my field of work and it was clearly God’s will to keep the door firmly closed for that period. No matter what I did, I could not move forward but in my pain (and it was intense), I drew closer to the Lord.
It was during that valley period and my feeling imprisoned by life’s circumstances, that the majority of the material and Articles I have placed on this Page was birthed. Praise God!
While being rejected by the secular world of work, God found work for me to do for his Kingdom and gave me endless topics and content to write about or quotes and other material I would eventually upload, as I spent time studying his Word. I did not know when I began, that he would have me publish the information but as the Articles, quotes and other material began to pile up, I realized that he was giving me something to share with the world. I therefore opened my first ‘SINGLE Daughters of God-Hephzibah Diaries’ Page on Facebook. Today, there are five (5) affiliated Facebook Pages (because more material kept coming) and this Website. Praise God!
After writing extensively of my experiences and maintaining faith in God while in my prison, on 20th May, 2016, God opened a door miraculously for me to enter and I moved back to the island I had been living previously, to commence a two year contractual work position.
I thought that finally things were coming together, that finally I was about to make some progress, although no man was still in sight. Yet, I was grateful for small mercies.
Unexpectedly though, I spent the first six weeks at my new job, in shock at what I had entered into. For, apart from the culture at my new workplace being highly dysfunctional and extremely toxic, the level of verbal and psychological attack I faced from a group of people in high office was brutal and unlike anything I had ever experienced before, in my working career.
They hated me with a passion and without a cause and would even concoct evil strategies in advance to attack, belittle and embarrass me publicly whenever we had meetings, which were held frequently.
I cried much (in my private moments), tried to justify myself to them and continued working hard but it was to no avail. The abuse continued relentlessly and I seriously felt that if I continued there, I would lose my mind. I was sick regularly, the stress taking a toll on my body. At one point, I went to work with dizzy spells, not being able to see anything or anybody clearly. On that day, I was once again berated at a meeting by one individual, her not even knowing that I could not see her clearly. She was the holder of a position of high office, so I could not retaliate, although I do admit that there were times when provoked by persons or falsely accused of something or other, so as to deflect from their own wrong doing or mistake, that I would angrily respond to defend myself, when I shouldn’t have.
In retrospect, I realize that God was using that fiery situation to get rid of that retaliation-prone way in me, when provoked. He wanted me to remain silent and when reviled, not to revile again, even as the Lord Jesus Christ did when he was reviled by his enemies.
1 Peter 2:17-23 tells us:
- “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.”
Given the effect that this job was having on my body, soul and spirit, I tried to leave that job by desperately looking for another. I even drafted a resignation letter in advance, as it seemed that another job was going to open up. However, God kept me at the abusive workplace, the other position fell through and it was only His grace that kept me from delivering my resignation.
I realized that as painful as my experience was though and how regularly I was becoming ill, it was God’s will for me to remain at that job up to the end of my contract. It was not easy, especially as I had to be firm in standing my ground where people wanted me to compromise my faith and integrity but by His grace, I endured and completed the two year period.
In retrospect, it was only by his grace that I was able to survive two years of what felt like hell. Their hatred for me had been so intense and their lies and false accusations so diabolical, that I knew that they were commissioned by the enemy to try to destroy me.
“Where did all of that come from?” I asked myself incredulously as I reflected on that very, very painful period in my life. Then it dawned on me that one of the reasons was because there was a promise from God on my life!
In fact, after I received what I sincerely believe was the Lord’s promise in 2013, things went from BAD to WORSE from that moment, right through to the end of 2018!
After my contract ended and I left that position in May 2018, I remained unemployed (again) for several months, although I felt that the Lord was supernaturally upholding me in that period. For, it did not bother me as much as it did on the last occasion when I was unemployed. I had been this way before and God had proven himself faithful.
The weeks and months that I spent again, back in my parents house, where I again had to move back to, flew and I just felt this wonderful calm, in the face of what those looking on at my life, considered to be a horrible storm.
In December 2018, the Lord then gave me a wonderful surprise, by having the head office of that previous place of employment call me, to collect newly negotiated and finalized terms and conditions for that past period, meaning that I was entitled to backpay. This was due to a steep increase in the salary, an allowance I received and a second new category of allowance they decided should be part of the package for the position!
Get this: These payments in total, amounted to about double my pay and this was to be paid to me as one lumpsum for the twenty four (24) months I had worked in that position! In effect therefore, I would be getting two (2) additional years of salary, without even working at that place!
GOD AND GOD ALONE!
As if this was not enough to blow my mind, that previous workplace also owed me a hefty gratuity of 20% of my gross income (which had just increased exponentially as a result of the salary increase), so the sum owed to me in all was close to $400,000.00 in my country’s currency, before taxes.
Just like that, God did that.
I say all this to say, that although Prince Charming is yet to arrive on my doorstep, I am STILL trusting God to bring it to pass! Although I am getting older and women have a biological clock, I am STILL trusting my maker and the owner of the biological clock, to give me, not just one child but CHILDREN, within the context of a loving, God-fearing marriage. For, what I believe God promised me in July 2013 was not a child (singular) but children (plural). He is a God of his word and once he promised me this, this is exactly what I am going to obtain.
I firmly believe that even when things go from BAD, to WORSE, once God gave you a promise, it is bound to come to pass, no matter what the devil does, to try to frustrate and derail it.
In the Bible, I saw this in the life of Joseph, the son of Jacob.
As a child, God gave him two dreams that suggested that he would one day be in a position of leadership and great authority. These dreams, although planted by God were dismissed by his brothers who hated him and they sold him to a stranger, an Ishmaelite, who was on his way to Egypt. They said to themselves, let us see what will become of his dreams once we have sold him off, so convinced were they, that he would not survive that ordeal.
As if this was not BAD enough, Joseph was then sold to Potiphar when he arrived in Egypt with the Ishmaelite and he was made to serve him as a slave. Things then went further downhill, when Potiphar’s wife tried to sleep with him and when she could not get her way, she framed him with a false accusation, claiming that he had tried to rape her.
Due to her lies, Joseph was sent to prison and spent many years in that state, although he had done nothing wrong. He had a promise over his life but yet, things went from BAD to WORSE.
Thankfully though because God is faithful and all powerful, things did not stay that way. Joseph is a testament, that when God gives a promise, things will usually go from BAD…to WORSE…to DELIVERANCE!
God took Joseph through the WORST and when he was good and ready, he intervened and delivered him from that prison. He did not just do that but he also granted him favour in the eyes of king Pharaoh and caused him to be promoted through the gift that God gave him, to second in command over all of Egypt.
Years after that, when Joseph and that Pharaoh had died, the Israelites (Joseph’s relatives who had come to Egypt to live with him at his invitation) were made into slaves by the new Pharaoh, who was insecure about how quickly the Israelites were multiplying as a people.
In response, God raised up Moses, an Israelite and sent him to tell Pharaoh to let his people go, so that they could serve him. For, he (God) had made them a promise that he would deliver them and take them into their own land.
The Israelites believed Moses and his brother Aaron when they told them that God had appeared to Moses while in Midian and told him that he was ready to deliver them from Egyptian bondage. They also believed Moses and Aaron when they told them that God had commanded Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let his people go.
However, once Moses and Aaron obeyed, instead of things getting better, they got WORSE!
As if the workload was not already too much and they were not already groaning under the extent of the affliction, Pharaoh concluded that the request was made because the Israelites were idle and had too much time on their hands. He therefore increased their workload by commanding them not to just make brick but to go out and look for the material to make it. Things therefore went from BAD to worse, after God gave the promise.
No longer would the material be supplied to the Israelites by the Egyptians but they were still expected to deliver the same amount of brick each day. Of course because this instruction was unreasonable and impossible, the Israelite officers who had been placed over the people were beaten by their Egyptian task masters, when the Israelites failed to deliver the quota.
When, tired of the beating and weary with the impossibility of it all, the officers went to king Pharaoh and lamented their situation, he told them that it was because they were idle, that the request had been made to let them go and worship their God. He therefore insisted that they must look for the material to make brick each day and deliver the same amount of brick as before.
This meant more beatings for the Israelite officers, as the workload was impossible to fulfill. In their grief, they therefore cast the blame for their trouble on Moses and Aaron, the ones who had told the Israelites that God was about to deliver them from their bondage and had gone and spoken to Pharaoh about it.
Instead of DELIVERANCE, which they had initially gotten excited about, things had gone from BAD to WORSE!
In their pain and frustration, the Bible states in Exodus 5:19-21:
- “And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task. And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.“
In fact, things had gotten so BAD after the promise from God of DELIVERANCE, that even Moses seemingly, began to doubt the role that God had given him, in leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
In verse 22-23, it states, that after the officers spoke to Moses and Aaron:
- “ …Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? Why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”
Of course because God is faithful, the story did not end there. He answered Moses and then demonstrated his magnificent power to Pharaoh, so much so, that Pharaoh went from refusing to let the Israelites go, to practically begging them to leave, when God was done with him.
Pharaoh changed his mind though and tried to pursue them after they had left Egypt, so as to bring them back to bondage but God overthrew him and his army in the red sea, that he (God) had previously parted for the Israelites to go through.
This reminds me of what I went through at the workplace I spoke of before.
While in it, I realized I was having what I call an ‘Israelite in Egypt’ experience. For, although my job description stated that I was to be in charge of a Department, the six workers over whom I had supervisory authority were rebellious, rude, extremely lazy and uncooperative. They were used to this and were this way because they were encouraged to be like that by a senior employee who detested contracted workers. This senior employee was quite close to my immediate supervisor. They therefore all knew what I was going through but enjoyed my pain, me being powerless to effect any real change.
The group of people in high position to whom we all had to give account, also condoned the rebellion of my staff. This was so although they knew what was happening administratively in the office, that my wings were clipped due to the senior employee who encouraged my staff to rebel, being so closely affiliated with my Supervisor and that as one person, I could never perform the work that required a team’s effort. They still berated me when the work did not get done on time or properly, although they knew it was not my fault.
In essence therefore, they were saying, we do not care that your staff is not supportive and refusing to do the work. In fact, we love that they are this way, as it makes for good drama but we still expect you to get it done, by yourself! We know it is impossible but it brings us great delight to see you suffer with tiredness, weariness and sadness, as you try to get it all done and within the set deadlines.
In the midst of that situation, I knew that I was under spiritual attack. I knew though that despite all the wicked voices, God was still in control. I therefore continued to work as hard as I could in the situation and honestly in the sight of God, trusting that this was only for a season. I remained at work at late hours although I had far to travel and by two taxis afterwards and when I went home, I still continued to work, depriving myself of many hours of sleep. This I did for days, weeks and months.
Working around the clock with hardly any rest began taking a toll on my health and I was frequently sick with all sorts of weird illnesses. Yet, it was still not enough, as the people in high office always called for me to do more and falsely accused me of not performing my functions.
Yet I knew that it was God’s perfect will for me to be working at that place for that season and that when he was good and ready and he had processed me enough in that fire, he would DELIVER. In fact, at one point, on my way to work and feeling terrified because of a meeting my Supervisor had summoned me to attend that morning, I prayed desperately and then reminded myself out loud three times, that the wickedness of my Supervisor (I called her by name) was not greater than the power of almighty God. Each time I said it, I was reminded of how big my God was and how small my Supervisor was in comparison. I therefore reasserted my faith in the power of almighty God. I went to work and learned that very day, that my Supervisor had been suspended by those higher than her and higher than even those in high position, where I worked.
I attended the meeting where all the Heads of Departments who were also under her Supervision were gathered and saw with my own eyes, that very Supervisor break down and cry in front of all of us. Humiliated, she was escorted off the premises by Security, based on the orders given from one of the highest offices in the land. During the meeting, she glanced at me and maybe what I had told her when I had initially met her, resonated. Back then, she tried to establish fear in my heart for how much drama and trouble and danger characterized my new place of employment. It was alarming to hear but I remained calm and told her that I usually do not have to fight when people give me trouble because my God usually does the fighting for me. She may have laughed it off then but in that moment, I believe she realized that what I had said was true.
On the whole, I realized that one of the reasons why I was hated intensely by the group of people where I worked (who loved wickedness over righteousness) and daily so was because the light of Christ was in me and they sensed the favour of God on my life. The wicked, jealous spirits operating through them to attack me, knew that God had a great purpose for my life in his Kingdom agenda and they tried their very best to frustrate and derail it, the intention being to make me feel fearful, powerless, anxious and absolutely worthless. BUT GOD!
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Having gone through all of that and even as I wait on God to show me what’s next, I STILL believe that I will be married and will birth at least two children because I believe that God promised. I also believe that me and my children will increase and increase because the favour of God is on my life.
Things may go from BAD to WORSE (and they have in my life) but based on His infallible track record, whatever He promises, He DELIVERS.
(Written on 28th January, 2019)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be informative, edifying, beneficial or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 143 – ‘God – Sometimes Silent But Ever Present’
- Note 145 – ‘Our Difficulty Is God’s Opportunity’
- Note 173 – ‘Showdown In Egypt: God’s Power Trumps All’