READ: Exodus 1-2
THINK: Have you ever done the right thing-and still gotten grief for it? Or perhaps you ended up in a bad situation and wondered how you got there-and how anything good could ever come of it. Whether you're experiencing the consequences of your own actions or suffering through no fault of your own, the results never take God by surprise-and they certainly don't prevent His purposes. In fact, God can use the most difficult and confusing circumstances to heighten people's awareness of Him and deepen their dependence on Him. In fact, many of Christ's most faithful and passionate followers have endured some of the most extreme hardships. But God works through it all, preparing His people to become all He created them to be.
RESPOND: In what way had God blessed the Israelites in Egypt up to this time (see 1:7 note), and what tensions did this cause with the Egyptians? (See 1:8 note.) In what ways can God's blessing sometimes bring difficulty and opposition from other people? Why do you think God allowed His people to be enslaved? (See 1:11 note.) How and why can tough times help you grow in character and spirit? How can the unusual ways that God preserved Moses' life inspire your faith? (See 2:2 note.) What are some of the prophetic parallels between Moses and Jesus? (See 2:11 note.) Though Moses may have overreacted when he killed the Egyptian, what did his actions reveal about his priorities? (See 2:12 note.) As with Moses, how and why does God use "desert experiences" to prepare His people for higher purposes? (See 2:15 note.) Why does it often take tough times to inspire people to turn to God for help?
PRAY: Ask God to help you obey and identify with Him in every situation, regardless of the difficulty you might encounter. Express thanks to God for teaching you-even through tough times-to depend on Him more fully.
ACT: Is there a difficult situation or issue in your life that has caused you to wonder if you're missing God's plans or if He has left you on your own? This situation provides an opportunity to grow your character and increase your faith in God. Do something specific and practical to show your trust in God, your determination to honor Him and your willingness to inspire others to consider Christ.
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