Process Vs Petition

Process Vs. Petition

by Dan Neighbors

In the midst of difficulties, trials, and suffering; what do you ask God for the most?

If you were to stop and think about your prayers and requests during your most difficult times, I’m guessing you would find yourself frequently asking God to remove them. This is natural, understandable, and even exemplified by people throughout scripture (see Psalms). If you’re worried about a project, your boss, a financial decision, or a relationship problem; oftentimes we just simply want it to go away. When you face or fear cancer, a dying loved one, a loss of job, or your marriage is in shambles; would you tend to ask God to heal, to save, to provide, and to fix?

Suffering in life is real and asking God to remove these obstacles we are facing can be an opportunity to see God work in miraculous ways; but have you ever considered that sometimes the best way to see God work and show His glory is the process of going through these difficult trials?

In Exodus 13-14, we see the Israelites being set free from slavery and bondage in Egypt. They have begun their trek to the Promised Land being guided by God Himself through a Pillar of Clouds & Fire. As God guides them, He doesn’t take them the easiest, quickest, or most efficient route to get to the promised land. Instead, God takes them on a detour towards the Red Sea to camp out and trapped in front of a body of water. The Egyptians realize this and jump at the opportunity crush the Israelites and take back their lost slave labor. In the midst of this difficulty facing fears of death and a return to slavery, the Israelites argue and complain about their present situation. Instead of excitement and celebration as they quickly and easily arrive in the promised land, they are plagued with fear, worry and anger at the situation they are currently facing in front of the Red Sea. I’m am sure the majority of the Israelites wanted it to all go away hoping that at the very least they could back to the life they knew in Egypt.

Making all the trials and suffering go away was not God’s ultimate plan and reason for freeing them from slavery. God had a greater plan to fulfill His promises and establish this nation in the promised land, but that plan included a more difficult path through the Red Sea, not around it. In the gospel project lesson this week, we will see that going through an obstacle and trial like the Red Sea is part of God’s plan. We find that even in difficult life circumstances, God is always acting for His own glory and for the good of His people. Although the Israelites didn’t fully understand what God was doing at the beginning; after passing through the Red Sea they saw God’s provision, protection, and unmatched power on display! Through this difficulty, the Israelites were given another opportunity to grow as they experienced the magnificent glory of God!

This week I’d encourage you to take some time to consider how God is acting for His own glory and for your good in your life. Maybe take some time to ask yourself these questions:

— What difficulties and trials am I currently going through that I wish God would simply eliminate?

— How would God want me to change my perspective of those life circumstances?

—  How is God currently displaying His provision, protection, and power in my life today?

— What can I do now to better trust God through these difficulties and trials?

As you consider the thoughts above, here are a few resources to help you better worship God this week along with our Gospel Project teachings. As always, you can see our updated resources for each week on our Resources Page. We also sell (at cost) family resources to take home and accompany our studies through the gospel project like family devotionals and worship music. If you are interested in any of these, visit our Family Resource Center on Sunday in the EKIDZ Wing.

The Red Sea [Gospel Project Kids Video]

What Is God’s Glory? [Ask Pastor John by Desiring God]

How Does Christ Help Us In Our Suffering? [Christian Counseling & Education Foundation]

The Exodus Part 1 [The Bible Project]

Our Help [Sovereign Grace Kids Worship]

The Lord Is My Salvation [Shane & Shane Worship Song]

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