Parashat Vayishlach, Testing our faith


Times of hardship can test the faith and convictions of all of us.  God’s Word in
Parashat Vayishlach
recognizes the challenge of testing in Yaakov’s (Jacob’s) life, whether it comes from fear that resulted from the deception Yaakov committed against His brother Esau or what occurs from persecution, disaster, or grief.  In our passages for this week, Yaakov’s faith was tested to return to the land of Canaan.  As a result of his fear, Yaakov prayed to God for help.  Bereshit / Genesis ’32:9 Jacob said, ‘O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your
relatives, and I will prosper you,’ 32:10 I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies.  32:11 ‘Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children.  32:12 ‘For You said, ‘I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.  (NASB)
  Yaakov (Jacob) prays to God thanking the Lord for His loving kindness and faithfulness being blessed with, cattle, wives, and children.  Yaakov then asks God to deliver him from
Esau his brother and reiterates the promise God had given him before leaving the land of Canaan in Parashat Vayetze.  Our portion of scriptures for this week offers three truths to remind us to stand strong in our faith during challenging times.  First, God is trustworthy and faithful to us to deliver us.  The implication is that our Lord will not abandon us nor should we have reason to abandon our faith in Him during hard times.  Second, Yeshua
himself suffered and was vindicated by God.  By aligning ourselves with Him in faith we have an eternal perspective that God will give us everlasting life and know without a doubt that despite our current times of difficulty we will ultimately 2 Thessalonians 2:14 … share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Third, that even in the midst of trials God extends his mercy to encourage and strengthen us.
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