Hagar was in a crisis with no place to run, and no place to hide. Luckily for her, God came to her rescue, and she experienced Him on a different level. He wasn’t just Abram and Sarai’s God, but now He was the God who was appearing to her.
Last week while I was preparing a bible lesson on the story of Hagar, the Holy Spirit quickened a scripture to me. It was the part of the story where the Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar, when she ran away from Sarai.
“Where have you come from, and where are you going?” (Gen 16:8b NIV)
That is an interesting question, and I believe the Angel of the LORD already knew the answer, but wanted to see how Hagar would respond. Hagar got mixed up in a circumstance that was partly her fault, and partly not her fault. She was in a crisis, and was running from it. That was her solution to the problem she faced. Maybe she felt like life was over, and there was no help in sight. Have you ever been in a similar circumstance, like what Hagar went through? Maybe you have run from a problem, found yourself in a dry place, and are trying to figure out what your next move is going to be. Except you don’t have an answer, and all you’ve done in the past never works. Or those times where nothing you do is right, you see everything bad about yourself, and situations bring you down. I think if you’re honest with yourself, you know what I’m talking about, and have experienced these types of circumstances. Hard times are a part of life, but it is all about how we respond that changes the outcome. I believe the story of Hagar holds a key for us today!
There’s a line from a Pastor Steve Gray song [Trial of Your Faith] that always get’s my heart in hard times. “Jesus comes to the front line, He never gives up a fight.” Hagar was in a crisis with no place to run, and no place to hide. Luckily for her, God came to her rescue, and she experienced Him on a different level. He wasn’t just Abram and Sarai’s God, but now He was the God who was appearing to her. That’s what God wants to do in our lives when we experience difficult circumstances. When we are in a desert place, weak, helpless, hopeless, and no place to run that is a good place to be. God wants to show up on the scene to redirect us from where we came from, to where we need to go. Now you are no longer operating in your own strength, and you can depend on God’s strength. Now you’re in a position to receive a promise from God, and direction on how to get there.
For me the story of Hagar is about how God revealed himself in her circumstance. He is the God who sees us (El Roi), and the God who hears our cries for help. When push comes to shove, where do we run for help? Do we run to food, entertainment, social media, or jobs to bring us an answer? When all of those things leave you empty, it is God alone who has the power to rescue us. It is God alone who can bring us peace, and provide the answer to our prayers. Idols are things made by people that do not talk, do not help, and do not hear. God alone talks, hears, and responds in our time of great need. If you are in a difficult situation, I would advise you to do something that has worked for me. I learned the power of calling upon the Name of the LORD. Instead of voicing my problems, doubts, unbelief, I voice my faith. I dig into the Psalms and direct God’s word into my circumstance. I run to God, and I stand on the promises. I choose to stick to God’s plan for my life. When the trial has passed, I’ll still be standing. I will see God reveal himself to me as the One who sees me, and hears my prayer. Then I’ll have a testimony of God’s faithfulness to me.
In God’s book, it’s not about where you’ve come from, but where you are going. It matters how you respond, because your response will determine your future. Where are you going to run to when trials come knocking at your door? Will you choose to do what is right (praise, thank God, call upon Him), or will you continue to run from your problems? Remember, that God has plans to do you good, no matter what you go through. Be encouraged that He is the God who sees you, and He is the God that can come to the front lines of whatever you face.