Read Genesis 28:10-22.
Personally, I have found that times of trial are the very times when I grow in Christ by leaps and bounds. During periods like these, I grow in my love for the Word of God. In trials I receive supernatural strength that I didn't think possible and unique blessings that can only be found in seasons of brokenness.
Jacob experienced this reality for himself. Though Jacob was "content to stay at home among the tents" (Genesis 25:27), he soon found himself on the run, all alone, en route to his Uncle Laban. He was far away from the comfort, peace, and security of home, but he never got away from the watchful eye of his heavenly Father.
Even in our bleakest situations, God can give us hope.
One night on his journey, Jacob camped at Bethel. There is no doubt in my mind that Jacob's heart was filled with fear and anxiety at this time. He likely asked himself over and over again, Will I see Mom and Dad again? Will my brother, Esau, catch up with me? Will I ever return home?
It was there at Bethel, while he was tossing and turning on his rock-pillow, that God gave Jacob a dream. He saw a stairway to heaven and angels ascending and descending—a sign that God was very much aware of everything Jacob was going through. And if that weren't enough, he heard the Lord Himself say, "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you" (Genesis 28:15).
Perhaps you are going through a Bethel experience of brokenness and pain right now. Perhaps you have just stepped out of such a season. Or maybe you are about to enter one. Whatever your situation, I urge you to remember that the God who met you at Bethel in the past is going to meet you there again. The God who forgave you in the past will forgive you again. The God who blessed you in the past will bless you again.
In times of pain, fear, and uncertainty, we must go back to the places where we have encountered God's grace and experienced His mercy and love. As we remember His faithfulness, we will, like Jacob, be able to say even in difficult times, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it" (Genesis 28:16).
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are faithful. You are near to me in my distress, and You alone offer the peace I long for. Help me to recall Your goodness and Your sure promises that will uphold me in trials. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it'" (Genesis 28:16).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Fear Deceives, Grace Frees: WATCH NOW