The third reality we can know for sure is that God has supernatural options available for delivering us from trouble. The closing portion of 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” I love 2 Peter 2:9, which says, “The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.” It guarantees that when I get into trouble, though I may feel as though I am trapped in a room with four walls closing in on me and no windows or doors for escape, God already knows how He is going to deliver me. He is in the business of making ways of escape.
When David was being hunted by Saul, he found himself in a cold cave crying out to God, “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” (Ps. 13:1-2 NASB).
Like David, when we feel that God has forgotten us, we are prone to plan our own escape. We say, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll—no, that won’t work. Here’s what I’ll do—no, I don’t think that will work either.” It’s the total despair of seeming to be locked in with no way out.
The children of Israel, finally delivered from Egypt through God’s performance of phenomenal miracles, stood with their backs to the Red Sea watching the dust of the app roaching Egypt ian host on the horizon. Their response? “God has options we never dreamed of in Egypt. Remember those 10 plagues? We never dreamed God would deliver us like that. Can you imagine what He’s going to do now? This is going to be spectacular.”
Unfortunately they said, “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Ex. 14:12).
Yet God had a plan to deliver them that they never would have dreamed of. God said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground” (vv.15-16). We know the rest of the story. The sea parted and the Israelites walked across. The Egyptian army followed, God closed the sea, and they sank like stones. God’s people were free. The trouble was past. God knows how to deliver the righteous from trouble.
I recall counseling a woman who had just come to know Christ. She was interested in becoming God’s kind of woman, so we were studying passages of Scripture that had to do with what a biblical wife is like and talking about the whole matter of gracious cooperation with her husband’s leadership. She came to me one day and said, “Pastor, I’ve got a major problem. I have been saving up my money for a dining room set. I love the one my mother-in-law has and am looking for something just like it. After I’ve gone through the used furniture ads in the paper, my husband and I drive around and look at them. But he doesn’t seem to be real interested. He’s so insensitive. We’ve been to a couple of places where I really liked the furniture, but he just says, ‘No, I don’t like those.’ ”
I encouraged her to be patient and wait for the Lord to work in His way. The next week she came back and said it was worse. She said, “The worst thing about it is that it’s my money and he couldn’t care less what kind of furniture we have in the house. He doesn’t know if we have French Provincial or Early Salvation Army. He’s basically interested in his newspaper, easy chair, and the TV.”
A couple of weeks later she came back and said, “You’re not going to believe this, but my mother-in-law called me and said that she had bought a brand-new dining room set and wanted to know if I wanted hers.”
God does not always work exactly like that. But it’s clear that He has lots of different options of deliverance. When we are faithful and patient through trouble, God will, in His time, exercise options of deliverance that are far beyond what we ever dreamed.