Israel’s Strength and Consolation Day 13
Open Your Bible
Exodus 15:1-3, Psalm 68:34-35, Luke 24:44-49, John 16:28-33, 2 Corinthians 12:6-10, Ephesians 6:10-18; Philippians 4:4-14
During Advent, we sing songs like “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night” with jubilant and peaceful tones, the season ushering in “good tidings” to those of “good cheer.” But there’s real sadness all around us, maybe inside us too. Yet in the Christian faith, we are given permission to hold joy and suffering together and still rejoice. As we read through today’s scriptures, John 16:33 helps us walk through the hard things while also celebrating and anticipating our deliverance in Jesus.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.
You will have suffering in this world.
Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
Many Christians think that once they accept Jesus all their troubles will disappear. Yet Jesus is very clear that suffering is a part of the human experience. Maybe you feel like Paul, and you see your “thorn” as a way for God to humble you (2Corinthians 12:7). Or maybe your suffering has no explanation other than living in a fallen world. The same God who used Israel’s suffering to reveal His great power gives purpose to even our most senseless hardship to reveal His power (v.9).
After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, Moses praised God, singing, “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” (Exodus 15:2). How soon afterward did the Israelites find their circumstances too hard and begin to grumble against God? Pretty soon. We, too, quickly forget the power God has to deliver us. Unlike the Israelites’ response to hardship, we can continue to trust God because “The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people” (Psalm 68:35).
Courage as a Christian may not look like someone having it all together. True courage is taking our weaknesses to God and allowing Him to be our strength (2Corinthians 12:10).
The God who defeated Egypt is the same God who defeated our great enemy. In sin, we were enslaved. But Jesus took the ultimate suffering, was raised on the third day, and the “forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations” (Luke 24:47).
Jesus has victory over all suffering. Trials are hard, but He knows what we need and provides enough for us to find hope each day as we wade through the difficult waters of life. Our strength and comfort are found in knowing the same God who delivered Israel is the same God who delivers us—He has done it, and He will do it again.