God is WITH Us in our Doubts: Day 5

02 God is With Us in our Doubts

     Day 5: GOD IS WITH US IN OUR DOUBTS

Have you ever seen God accomplish amazing things? Assuming the answer is yes, consider this: Have you ever doubted God even though you’ve seen Him accomplish amazing things? If so, then the story of Moses is one that should resonate with you. 

At this point in the story of Moses, he has seen God work in profound ways. Moses had first experienced the presence of God on a mountain in the form of a wildfire. Then Moses experienced the power of God by turning his staff into a snake. He then witnessed the strength of God through various plagues that God sent upon Egypt. 

After Pharaoh released the people of Israel, Moses crossed through a body of water on dry ground, with the Egyptian Army pummeled by the same waters. He then experienced the presence of God in the form of cloud and fire. If you read through the entire story from start to finish, you’ll see that Moses had no reason to doubt God. But despite everything he had seen God accomplish around Him (and within him), Moses still had doubts. 

As you read today, consider this: Think back through all of the readings from this week: How did Moses respond to the challenges he experienced?

READING:

     NUMBERS 34

Who is the hero of the story of Moses? What passages in this story lead you to this conclusion? 

In just one sentence, write out the one thing You learned from the story of Moses. Then write out how You will respond to God as a result. 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Numbers 16 & 17

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

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God is WITH Us in our Doubts: Day 4

02 God is With Us in our Doubts

     Day 4: Moses Doubts Again

Have you ever seen God accomplish amazing things? Assuming the answer is yes, consider this: Have you ever doubted God even though you’ve seen Him accomplish amazing things? If so, then the story of Moses is one that should resonate with you. 

At this point in the story of Moses, he has seen God work in profound ways. Moses had first experienced the presence of God on a mountain in the form of a wildfire. Then Moses experienced the power of God by turning his staff into a snake. He then witnessed the strength of God through various plagues that God sent upon Egypt. 

After Pharaoh released the people of Israel, Moses crossed through a body of water on dry ground, with the Egyptian Army pummeled by the same waters. He then experienced the presence of God in the form of cloud and fire. If you read through the entire story from start to finish, you’ll see that Moses had no reason to doubt God. But despite everything he had seen God accomplish around Him (and within him), Moses still had doubts. 

As you read today, consider this: Think back through all of the readings from this week: How did Moses respond to the challenges he experienced?

READING:

     NUMBERS 20:1-13

Think back through all of the readings from this week: How did Moses respond to the challenges he experienced?

Would you have responded any differently a year ago? 5 years ago? 10 years ago?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Numbers 13 & 14

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, even though the life Moses lived is very different than my own, I’m encouraged to know that I am not alone in my doubts. I’m encouraged to know that somebody who accomplished such great things still struggled with doubts. 

But even though I do struggle with some doubts, I pray that You will continue to reveal to me the purpose and plans You have for my life, and that I won’t run from Your purposes, but will instead continue to embrace them. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God is WITH Us in our Doubts: Day 3

02 God is With Us in our Doubts

     Day 3: Moses’s Obedience

Take just a moment to think about somebody you know who is regularly looking for ways in which God is already at work so they can join Him in it. Do you think they ever struggle with their own doubts or fears? Do you think they ever wonder if they’re actually doing what they’re supposed to be doing? Do you think they experience trials? The answer, of course, is a resounding yes. Everybody struggles with these thoughts from time to time. 

At this time in the story of Moses, he had seen and experienced God doing a lot of miraculous things. Now he was leading an entire nation of people out of Egypt, but there was a huge obstacle in the way – a great sea on one side, and a furious Egyptian army prepared for battle on the other. 

As the people began to panic, Moses remembered everything God had accomplished. He turns to the people and shares a truth that helped calm their fears. He said, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14). 

As you read today, consider this: What problems was Moses facing? How do you think he felt throughout these experiences? 

READING:

     EXODUS 13:17-14:31

What problems was Moses facing? 

How do you think Moses felt throughout these experiences? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Numbers 11 & 12

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess there are times in my life in which I don’t feel close or connected with You. There are times when I feel like I need to pray more, or read my Bible more, or do more of something else in order to be closer with You. But today I am reminded that the battle is Yours. You have fought for me. You are fighting for me. You will continue to fight for me. My role is simply to be still.

Today, my desire is take intentional time to be silent and to experience Your presence. May You speak to me in the quiet, and may I be refreshed and rejuvenated by meditating on the wonders of who You are. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God is WITH Us in our Doubts: Day 2

02 God is With Us in our Doubts

     Day 2: Moses’s Invitation

Have you ever been invited to a large event or gathering and you weren’t sure what to do?  Maybe there was an expectation that you would give a speech, or interact with politicians, or some other requirement that was completely out of the ordinary for you?

This is the situation in which Moses finds himself. Except he’s not just supposed to give a speech, nor is he just encouraged to interact with a major political figure. It was so much bigger than that. Moses was invited to meet with the most powerful world leader in his day, and tell him that he needed to permit all of the enslaved people to leave and not come back. 

While God may not be inviting you to sit down with world leaders to discuss foreign policy, He is inviting you to be a part of some big things. As Henry Blackaby writes, one of the best ways to experience God is to “…find where God is already at work, and join Him in it.” In the story of Moses, God was already at work in leading His people to more fully trust Him. Consider the likelihood that God is already at work in significant ways around you, and He’s inviting you to join Him in it. 

As you read today, consider this: How will you join God in the work He is already doing in your own life? In the lives of others?

READING:

     EXODUS 4:1 – 6:12

What aspects of Moses’s story resonate with your own life experience? (Consider his family upbringing, those he worked for, those he interacted with, etc.)

What kinds of ambitions or hopes could Moses have had through his life experiences? In what ways does this help you to identify with the story of Moses?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Leviticus 23

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the reminder that You are already at work within me and all around me. My desire is to be fully committed to You and to join You in the work You’ve already started. Open my eyes so that I may see and understand the work You’re doing within me, and continue to provide me opportunities to reveal the wonders of who You are to others. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God is WITH Us in our Doubts: Day 1

02 God is With Us in our Doubts

     Day 1: Moses’s Doubt

On first glance, Moses’s life was very different than our own. He grew up away from his family in a royal household. He was provided the very best opportunities for education and training. But when difficulties came his way, Moses responded in the same way many of us would – he ran!

In his young adulthood, Moses learned that he was a Hebrew, not an Egyptian. Shortly after learning of his true heritage, he kills an Egyptian who was beating a fellow Hebrew. When Pharaoh learns of what happened, he sets out to kill Moses. This is when Moses started running.

While living out the rest of his days away from Egypt, God appears to Moses and tells him that he is being sent back to Egypt to free God’s people. How does Moses respond? He doubts God. He doubts he can fulfill God’s purpose and plan in his life. He doubts everything. In Exodus 3:11, we read:

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 

As you read today, consider this: What does this passage about Moses tell you about reality? About humanity?

READING:

     EXODUS 2 & 3

What does this passage about Moses tell you about reality? About humanity? 

In what ways does this help you to identify with the story of Moses?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Leviticus 23

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, as I begin this week I want to pray specifically for three people. I pray for (_______), (_______), and (_______). I pray that You will reveal Your grace and love to them in profound ways, and I recognize that You may very well use me to reveal it to them. Which leads me to pray this: I question whether or not I’m the best person to fulfill that role in their lives. I confess that I have doubts about Your purpose and plans for my own life. I confess that sometimes my default response is to run. This week, may the only running I do be towards You and Your Word. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God is WITH Us in our Trials: Day 5

01 God is With Us in our Trials

    Day 5: God is WITH Us in our Trials

READING:

     GENESIS 47 & 50:15-26

Who is the hero of the story of Joseph? What passages in this story lead you to this conclusion? 

In just one sentence, write out the one thing You learned from the story of Joseph. Then write out how You will respond to God as a result. 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Leviticus 16 & 17

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

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God is WITH Us in our Trials: Day 4

01 God is With Us in our Trials

    Day 4: Joseph’s Secret

The story of Joseph has a ton of twists and turns. He’s deeply loved by his father, beaten by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned, then raised to become the second most powerful person in what was, at the time, the most powerful nation in the world. 

Joseph could’ve inflicted severe punishment on his brothers. He could’ve imprisoned them. He could’ve let them leave Egypt without any food, which would’ve led them to starvation. He could’ve had them beaten and sold into slavery. He could’ve responded in so many ways…but he responded in grace. 

We read in Genesis 45:16, “Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and after that they began talking freely with him.”

As you read today, consider this: 

Think back through all of the readings from this week: How did Joseph respond to the challenges he experienced? Would you have responded any differently a year ago? 5 years ago? 10 years ago? Would you respond any differently today?

READING:

     GENESIS 44, 45 & 46

Think back through all of the readings from this week: How did Joseph respond to the challenges he experienced?

Would you have responded any differently a year ago? 5 years ago? 10 years ago?

Would you respond any differently today? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Leviticus 8 & 9

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I’ve learned this week that Joseph’s story is more than a “Rags to Riches” story. It’s a story that ultimately speaks of Your redemption. It’s a reminder that I have been enslaved by things that I initially thought were outside my control. It’s a reminder that I can grow to love others who have hurt me. It’s a reminder that You strongly love me despite the things I have done to hurt You. Finally, it’s a reminder that You have been (and will continue to be) with me through it all. Thank You for that! I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God is WITH Us in our Trials: Day 3

01 God is With Us in our Trials

    Day 3: Joseph’s Brothers

Have you ever not seen somebody for a number of years, and when you do see them you’re initially unable to recognize them? Perhaps it was somebody you graduated high school with, or a distant relative you haven’t seen since childhood. Or maybe it was somebody who used to struggle with anger, addiction, or other behaviors, but today their demeanor is completely different.

How do you respond to such a situation? Do you proceed with caution? Do you respect them for the person they are, forgiving them for the person they were? Do you keep your distance, holding onto the past?

Initially, this is the situation in which Joseph’s brothers find themselves. After selling Joseph into slavery and assuming he is long gone, they’re unable to recognize their own brother, and even though he’s completely overcome with emotion, he decides to keep his true identity hidden. Soon, they will learn of his true identity, and they’re left with a big decision: how should we respond? 

As you read today, consider this: How do you think Joseph felt throughout his life experiences? 

READING:

     GENESIS 42 & 43

What problems was Joseph facing? 

How do you think Joseph (and Joseph’s brothers) felt throughout these experiences? 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 40

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today’s story is an excellent reminder that everybody has experienced major challenges in life. Joseph experienced life-changing trials due to his brothers’ decision to sell him into slavery. His brothers also experienced life-changing trials (fear, shame, hunger, and more). I ask today that You will lead and guide me in how to respond to others—even others who have personally wounded me—in ways that will lead others to better see and know You, and ultimately bring glory to You. The one person who comes to mind is (_______). Provide me the wisdom to respond to them in new, grace-filled ways. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God is WITH Us in our Trials: Day 2

01 God is With Us in our Trials

    Day 2: Joseph in Prison

Have you ever experienced a high level of jealousy towards somebody else? Chances are, they’ve had some painful experiences of which you may not be aware. The more you get to know people and hear their stories, the more you learn that nobody rides for free. Everybody has something in their story that which, if you listened closely, would bring you to your knees. 

Joseph lived what many would’ve considered a privileged life. Within the local customs and culture of his day, his family was well to-do. His parents showed him a lot of love and affection. At best, he was an overconfident young man without any worries or concerns. At worst, he was a spoiled child who was regularly at odds with his siblings. Still, from an outside perspective, he would’ve been seen as somebody who came from a family of great influence. 

Despite his privileged upbringing, Joseph’s story goes on a huge downward spiral. He finds himself not just sold into slavery, but also wrongfully imprisoned.  

As you read today, consider this: What aspects of Joseph’s story resonate with your own life experience?

READING:

     GENESIS 40 & 41

What aspects of Joseph’s story resonate with your own life experience? (Consider his family upbringing, those he worked for or was enslaved to, those he interacted with, etc.)

What kinds of ambitions or hopes could Joseph have had through his life experiences? In what ways does this help you to identify with the story of Joseph?

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 34 – 36:1

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I thank You for the many opportunities You provide me to share something about You with those I interact with on a regular basis. Though parts of my story are very different from Joseph, You continually provided Him with others who were ultimately seeking to know and understand You and/or Your plans for their life. May I learn and grow from Joseph’s example, and regularly point others toward You in whatever circumstances they may be facing. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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God is WITH Us in our Trials: Day 1

01 God is With Us in our Trials

    Day 1: Sold into Slavery

Did you ever experience any kind of sibling rivalry throughout your childhood? (Unless you were an only child, surely the answer to that question is a resounding yes!)

This is the situation in which Joseph finds himself. He was one of the youngest of 12 brothers in a culture that regularly favored the eldest son. But because Joseph was born to his father at an old age, he was deeply loved by his father. In fact, he was loved more than his brothers.

To make the sibling rivalry worse, Joseph had a dream in which his father, mother, and brothers all bowed down to him. For his brothers who were already jealous of him, this was the final straw. Their jealousy became a fierce anger to the point of wanting to kill their brother. But due to the insistence of one of his siblings, they instead sold him into slavery and told their father he had been killed. 

As you begin reading through the story of Joseph today, consider this: What does this passage about Joseph tell you about reality? About humanity? 

READING:

     GENESIS 37 & 39

What does this passage about Joseph tell you about reality? About humanity? 

In what ways does this help you to identify with the story of Joseph?   

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

Read: Exodus 32 & 33

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, as I begin this week I simply pray that the story of Joseph will continue to speak to me in ways I didn’t expect. I ask that you help me to see Joseph, his father, brothers, and all of the others in his life story in such a way that I’m able to identify with them. Whether it’s their pride. Their fears. Their long-suffering. Their prayers. Or their trials. May I see some similarities between their experiences and my own, and may I respond to You in the same ways Joseph ultimately responds to You. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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