Fruitful in the Land of Affliction

August 03, 2015

Throughout this journey of life, we end up in a situations that don’t always paint a pretty picture. But even in darkest painting, our God will add a touch of color or light to guide us. Even in the darkest painting – God brings us hope.

As I was walking in the church parking lot several weeks ago, I noticed something peculiar.

Among the dust and compacted gravel, there was something unusually beautiful that stood out.  There, in the midst of grey and black concrete, was a beautiful, red, and dainty plant shining through the cracks of the pavement.

This little plant reminded me of a profound story in the Bible of the children of Israel.  The children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt for 400 years. In Exodus chapter one, it tells the story how the Egypt became oppressed by their Pharaoh, which knew that the children of Israel were “more and mightier” than the Egyptians.  Pharaoh began working them tirelessly, building the city from sun-up to sun-down, just to wear them down in their faith. But what intrigues me most about this story was the children of Israel’s attitude.  Their attitudes were positive towards becoming fruitful in the midst of a dark and dreadful land.

If we analyze some of the situations in our lives that appear as though we are in “the land of affliction”, how do we respond? Do you imagine we let our spiritual fruits bloom – despite of the land they’re planted in – or do we let our affliction set us up for doom?  Scripture states in Exodus 1:12, ” The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.  And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.”

The way Pharaoh’s mind operated is much like Satan when it comes to distracting the Body of Christ, especially when we are in the land of affliction.  He tries to desensitize us with the “Pharaoh effect” by making our lives bitter with hard bondage. He begins to continually remind us of our troubles day after day as a way of torment. But what I found interesting is that Pharoah knew that the children of Israel were mightier, and it wasn’t their hearts that became hard – it was Pharaoh.

“And the children of Israel were fruitful , and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” {Exodus 1:7}

When God sees your positive response to your affliction and misery, He will bless you abundantly the ability to be fruitful in the land of Egypt.  We must remember to be fruitful in the midst of tribulation and affliction.  God can only operate through us dynamically when we’ve learned through our affliction to use Him as our lifeline for spiritual growth.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” {2 Tim. 1:7}

In my personal walk with God I have found that my negative spirit is the number one destruction that hinders my forward progression in Christ.  The children of Israel could have easily had their own pity party and sat around grumbling and complaining about how cruel and malicious Pharaoh was. I believe that every time he afflicted them, making the Israelites work even harder, they worshipped God in the midst of their distress.  Because they knew that God would deliver them into the Promised Land.

Remember this: the greater the affliction, the deeper the blessing.  

Exodus 14:14