In our youth department at church, we use the "Word of Life" program. The youth and leaders are given devotional books with the "quiet times" for every day that year.
On October 14th of this year, our books started a unit on Exodus, and the story of Moses and the Israelites coming out of Egypt. I can honestly say that I have never gotten so much out of a devotional unit. Ever.
The past few months have been very eye-opening for me. I have had some things to deal with that I had dreaded for a while, and things I never thought I'd have to deal with at all. And no one in the world can convince me that it was a mere fluke that we were in the book of Exodus while all these things were happening to me. I feel confident that God knew long ago that I would deal with these things, and He made it so that I would be reading the book of Exodus at that time and be encouraged.
Each day, I found a new and wonderful point in my reading. I'll share some of them right now. Most days I was moved to tears and I just felt God's protection as I read in the silence. I know that God was speaking to me, and I felt so close to Him.
God is strengthening, comforting, and blessing us in the midst of hard times.
When things go wrong, I'm the first one to look up at the Heavens and say, "Why me?! What did I do to deserve this?!" I don't always stop to think that maybe God is allowing me to go through these things for a reason. Maybe, just maybe He is strengthening me, and I'll have to go through some pain in the process. But no pain, no gain, right??
If we look to God in our hard times instead of curse Him, He WILL comfort and bless us. It's a fact!
The Israelites went from being honored guests of Egypt to slaves. God allowed them to go through this because he wanted to strengthen them and eventually use them for His power and glory.
We HAVE to ask God for wisdom in our decision-making.
In Egypt, Pharaoh had ordered all the midwives to kill all the baby Hebrew boys. The Hebrew midwives looked to and obeyed God instead of Pharaoh. IF they had not done this, there would have been no Jewish line, no King David, and no Son of David (Jesus).
Just like the midwives, we should look to God and obey Him. We should know that ultimately, GOD is the One we will have to answer to. We cannot make decisions based on life here on Earth, but keep in mind that we will account for every decision we make.
If we just obey God, we can't go wrong. He has reasons and a plan for everything.
"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
Faith is: dead to doubts, dumb to discouragement, and blind to impossibilities."
THIS hit me HARD!
THIS is what I needed to see ON THAT DAY. On that very day, I needed to see this. And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Have faith! DO NOT WORRY AND STRESS.
Having faith means you believe anything can happen with God.
Lack of faith means I don't trust God.
We HAVE to have faith!
God has everything under control. He planned my life before I was even born. He knows what will happen next, and all I can do is have faith, trust Him, pray, and believe.
And stop worrying!
Moses' parents put him in a basket and sent him down the river because they BELIEVED that he would be okay, and that God had a purpose for him. God saw their faith. He sent Pharaoh's daughter, who took Moses in. Moses was a special part of God's plan.
We have to be like Moses' mom. We have to go out on a limb and act on faith.
Even when it's hard and doesn't make sense.
So. Keep trucking. Have faith. Pray. Look to God for guidance, comfort, and wisdom.
And stay tuned for Part 2. We're just getting started! I got SO much out of these few excerpts from Exodus. I cannot put them all in one post!