READ: Matthew 2:1-23
THINK: Have you ever gotten out of one tough situation only to encounter another one right away? Perhaps you feel that this is just life as usual for you? Jesus understands. He never promised that life would be easy. In fact, some of the people God uses the most are those who have been through the toughest trials. In addition, God's plans often take a course that you may never understand in this lifetime. But God expects you to trust Him. He is completely able to bring you through any challenge and circumstance. But God's protection often requires obedience to God's direction (see vv. 13-14, 19-22).
RESPOND: Who were the Magi? (See 2:1 note.) Who were the chief priests and teachers of the law? (See 2:4 note.) What lesson can you learn form Jesus' family's escape to Egypt? (See 2:13 note.) Why do you think God did not remove Herod immediately rather than to let Jesus begin his life as a refugee? Why might God allow you to face opposition or go through things you don't understand? How can the experience of Jesus family right after his birth help you to understand and cope with some of the problems, difficulties and opposition you might face? What can you learn from Joseph and Mary's actions and responses?
PRAY: Ask God to help you be sensitive to His direction and to trust Him when facing challenges, particularly those that seem to require a change in plans or direction. Thank Him for providing protection, even though you don't always understand His methods or reasons.
ACT: Think of a problem or tough situation you are currently facing. Instead of removing the apparent obstacle or opposition, could God be trying to give you guidance and direction to work through it? Perhaps He will lead you into an unexpected course of action? Ask God for wisdom. Then listen for His guidance and be prepared to act. Thank him for what He will teach you through the situation.
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