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“And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Genesis 24:30
God loves and honours perseverance. Jacob refused to stop wrestling until God blessed him. God is so much stronger than Jacob and could overpower him in a second, but He allowed Jacob to wrestle with Him all night. He wanted to see how badly Jacob wanted the blessing and what persevering character He could find in Jacob. Jacob did not give up, he wrestled until the break of dawn and then God blessed him. God changed his name from Jacob to Israel and his sons and daughters became known as the Israelites, God’s people.
Sometimes God pushes us to see how far we are willing to go, not just to reveal to Him our true character and determination, but also to reveal to us what character He has placed inside of us. As we see the character which is inside of us, we are encouraged and gain confidence. A coach will not make an athlete run 10 kilometres, if he knows that he has the potential to run 20. He will push his trainee everyday so that the trainee can see what potential he has in himself. This will enable the trainee to go further than he ever thought he could.
God works in the same way. He knows what He has planned for you and what He needs to prepare you for and I can assure you, the greater the preparation or the trial, the greater the destiny. So do not get discouraged when God stretches you, He is preparing you for greater things. Sometimes we think that some people have it so easy and why are we having to struggle with something, but I can assure you, the greater the struggle, the bigger the blessing. Imagine Jacob gave up during the night, he would never have received the blessing or have had an entire nation named after him.
When we wrestle with God, we never leave the same way. Wrestling with God changes us. The name Jacob means “he takes by the heel” or “he cheats”. This was not an honourable name and Jacob deceived his brother twice, but after wrestling with God, God restored his honour and gave him a new name. Count it as an honour if God wrestles with you, He would not wrestle with you if He didn’t know that it will be worth it.
“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:10-13
Everyone who believes will not be put to shame. Do not be ashamed when you struggle or face a trial, you will not be disappointed. He will never put you through more than you can bear. Next time when we get to that point, ready to give up, remember Jacob and lift up your head and say “bring it on God, I will take the blessing!” and you will never be the same again.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
Come to me - Bethel Music
Come to me - Bethel Music