One of the things I am working at teaching my kids is “hard things can lead to good things.” I want them to understand that we don’t necessarily need to shy away from things that are hard in life. In fact hard things often help us become better people and can lead to good things.

Sometimes those hard things lead to blessings. Other times it leads to growth as a person. Sometimes it can lead to more perseverance. Hard things often equips us to better help others. They always pus us deeper into our sanctification. So I often try to encourage my kids when they have to do something they think is difficult that this can actually lead to good in your life. And one of the themes we are going to see emerge in Exodus 14 is:

God will lead us through difficult circumstances so that we can be more like Jesus.

In Exodus 13:2-14:4 God leads the nation of Israel to where they would be trapped, exposed, and then attacked by Pharaoh. So we see that…

God will expose our weaknesses, so we can be exposed to his strength

Why did God do this? Because God was going to get glory from Pharaoh. God still wanted his children to see his strength and salvation from the Egyptians. He lead his people to a place where they had to totally depend on him so he could do something amazing for them!

Sometimes God will do the same thing with us. I know these past few months have been hard for a lot of different reasons for a lot of different people. But imagine with me for a minute if we viewed this difficult season as an opportunity to grow, to become more like Jesus? Sometimes God might lead us into circumstances that reveal our weaknesses so that he can show us places in our lives that we are not depending on him.

What if God was leading us into situations that caused us fear so we could learn what it means to trust him in new ways? Maybe he is leading through things that bring us to our wits end so that we can learn to be patient like Jesus. God may remove some financial stability in your life so you can trust in him as your provider. Perhaps he will allow some relational conflict into your life so that you can learn what it means to walk in love and grace in deeper ways. He might humble you, so that you can learn to walk in humility. God removes things from our lives that often times hinder our growth, because he loves us. Your circumstances are no cosmic accident. 

God gave us his word so we can walk in confidence

What always amazes me about this story is that God told Moses to tell the Israelites what was going on. But in verses 10-12 the Israelites start panicking. They say it would be better to be back in slavery. But look at Moses says in verse 13:

Exodus 14:13-14 “But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation that he will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you must be quiet.””

The reason Moses could say that with such confidence was because God has told him this was all part of the plan. But often I find myself responding like the Israelites. A difficult circumstance comes along and my default is worry or panic. Maybe I even going so far as to question the goodness of God and the wisdom of his plan. Why? Because in the moment I’m not letting my life be shaped by God’s Word.

When we don’t know the God’s Word, we fall into the same trap. We don’t walk in confidence because we don’t know what God has promised us. And when difficulties come, we have no confidence that God has a good purpose or plan, because our hearts and minds are not filled with his Word. God gave us his Word so we can see, stand, and trust in God. Do we know God’s word? Are was living in confidence?

But as the people respond in verses 19-22, God literally splits the Red Sea wide open. He delivers his people and did exactly what he said he was going to do. Then, God became big in their eyes and the believed (verse 31)Which leads us to our last point. 

God’s victory should lead us to praise God

When Israel saw God’s great power they feared him and believed in him. Then they praised God. And for over 20 verses they praise and worship God. Praise is the result of rich theology made personal.

Throughout chapter 15 they praise God for his works, his worth, his name, his characteristics, and his incomparability. In these verses you get such a good picture of who God is. He is exalted, strong, a warrior, glorious in power, glorious in holiness, merciful, a redeemer, and we see that he reigns forever and ever. But all this rich theology is made incredibly personal. They say I will sing. The Lord is MY strength, MY song. He is MY God. This is what he has done for ME. He lead, hears, and is with US.

One of the goals of corporate worship, according to Colossians 3:16 is that we can remind each other of and rehearse to each other rich theology and how that rich theology has changed our lives. Even when we are in the middle of hard circumstances we can praise God for the victory that he has won on the cross. God’s victory should lead us to praising God. Praising God becomes an exercise of faith because you are choosing to believe what God says over what you feel. 

In conclusion

We are in difficult days. Whether we are talking about the Coronavirus, or we are talking about the racial tension we are facing as a country, or perhaps you are going through something in your own personal life, we are living through historically, difficult times. But did you know that nothing has ever caught God by surprise? When the coronavirus first become a world-wide pandemic, God didn’t say “Wow, I didn’t see that one coming.”

God has a purpose through all of this. He takes the broken pieces of our lives and puts them together so we look like Jesus. In his omniscience, God knew every good thing, every bad thing, every pleasurable thing, every painful thing that would ever happen to you. Then according to Romans 8 he predetermined that all of those thing in your life would work for your good by confirming you to the image of Christ.

God will lead us through difficult circumstances so that we can be more like Jesus.

 

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Nick Minerva

Author Nick Minerva

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