“Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them” (Exodus 2:23-25, NKJV).
God’s people were in a dark place of physical bondage to the Egyptians who were working them to death. Not only were they living in slavery, but the Egyptians had ordered all of their male babies to be drowned in the river. They had every reason to groan and cry out to God, but they were able to endure this suffering because they had God’s promise to Abraham that they would be delivered and become come a great nation (Genesis 15:13-14)–and God is always faithful to His promises.
God had even given them a time table of 400 years that they would be in bondage to a foreign people. They must have known the time for their salvation was getting near. When the time was right, God remembered what He promised Abraham and acknowledged the cries of His people.
God hadn’t forsaken the Hebrews by allowing them to be slaves in Egypt. In fact, God often allows his servants to endure hardship, but He always has a plan to turn what Satan means for evil into a larger blessing. In the book of Genesis, Joseph had to endure many years of ridicule, slavery, and prison before He became one of the highest ranking leaders in Egypt. God never forgets His people.
There are many times in our lives when we face adversity and hardship. This shouldn’t be a surprise since Jesus warned us:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV).
Even though Jesus warned that we would endure hardship, He softened the warning between two promises: (1) We would be given peace of heart, and (2) Jesus would give us the strength to endure. He hadn’t yet gone to the cross, but He was already claiming victory; He had perfect trust in the power of the father that would allow Him to endure the cross of Calvary. In the same way, we may also have the assurance of our salvation through the blood of Jesus.
In the midst of our hardship, we can also know that God hears our groaning and crying out to him. King David knew this when He wrote:
“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears” (Psalm 18:6, KJV).
Like the Hebrews, who had endured 400 years of cruel slavery, we can rely on the promises of God to His people. No matter how bad things get, we can know for certain that God is aware of our suffering, that He hears our cries for help, and that He WILL turn all of our adversity into a glorious triumph.