Escondido, CA

Overcoming Will Stretch Your Faith

  “And in that day, I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land.  I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be” (Exodus 8:22-23, NKJV).

  Recently, I sensed the Lord wanted me to read through afresh the story of the Exodus of Israel from their slavery in Egypt, specifically beginning with the first plague and ending with the deliverance through the Red Sea.  I saw several things I want to relate here.

  First, God most often takes you through challenges rather than around them.  But you learn several lessons you wouldn’t otherwise learn.  This was the case with Israel.  

  Upon closer examination, it appears Israel experienced the first three plagues along with Egypt: the water turned to blood, the frogs and the lice.  It wasn’t until the fourth plague, the flies, that God chose to make a distinction between Israel and Egypt.  I believe the reasons for this are two-fold.  First, imagine if you went through plagues.  What would be the end result?  Well, if you’re like me, you’d cry out to God for help, and quick!  Second, Israel got to experience the distinction God made, having seen the difference between God’s protective hand and being left to themselves, like the Egyptians.  It made them appreciate His care that much more.

  Having lived through COVID-19, we all know of people who’ve contracted it, and sadly, some who have died.  I am happy to say that neither I nor anyone in my family, or our church for that matter, has contracted Covid-19 locally.  My family intentionally declares the promise of God that states, “Because you (I) have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your (my)dwelling place, no evil shall befall you (me), nor shall any plague come near your (my) dwelling” (Psalm 91:9-10, NKJV, emphasis mine).  In this way, we’ve been able to experience the distinction God makes for those who believe His Word.

  That is not to say that others who contracted the virus had no faith, but faith is intentionally applied, and it has been my experience that when I act on what the Word of God says, it works powerfully on my behalf, and I believe it will for you, too.  

  So, when we face challenges, we have a choice to make.  Will we allow the challenge to bring us down and drown us in fear, or will we allow it to stretch our faith and trust that God is good and means good for each of us? – “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12, ESV).  

  It all begins right here – becoming a child of God and trusting in your Father that when you go through life’s challenges, He, like all good fathers, will protect you and provide for you, though He may not remove you from your struggle.  In this way, God will demonstrate His presence and power in you, stretching your faith, causing you to overcome! 

Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit for further information.

  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.

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