Encountering God through trials—“Bethel” — The House of God.
In our study of the life of Jacob this morning we read a story that’s familiar to most of us by personal experience.
Jacob found himself in a sad, low and lonely place. Partly because of the consequences of his own actions, partly the actions of others, and then partly just because of unfortunate circumstances. But when he was made aware of God’s presence and promises, Jacob’s place of great pain was transformed to what he named Bethel which means “The House of God.” Jacob then said:
“Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Gen 28:16)
This happens so often! The place of trial is the place of encounter with God. We can know about God through knowledge, but so often we come to know him personally by encountering him through hardship.
George Macdonald once said “Afflictions are but the shadows of his wings”
When we encounter God through trials it can change us. We see evidence of this in the life of Jacob in Genesis 28:16-22
Encountering God through trials can
Vs 16 build our faith
Vs 17 build our theology
Vs 18 build our worship!!!
V 22 make us thankful and generous
Whatever you are going through right now, like Jacob, you can be encouraged that we can encounter God through trials. We draw near to Him in the hard places and those places can become Bethel – The House of God. Like Jacob, we too can say “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Gen 28:16) Like Jacob, we too can face trials knowing and believing the promises of God—that by grace through faith in Jesus we are saved, called, loved, and kept!
Remember, “Afflictions are but the shadows of his wings.”
God bless you, and keep looking up!