Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13–14, NIV)
It is one of the greatest victories in Israel’s history, the “fight” between Israel and Egypt at the Red Sea. You find references to the victory throughout the entire Bible. And what did the Israelites do to accomplish that victory? Nothing … they only had to be still.
Think of a time when you felt trapped between a rock and a hard place, much like the Israelites were in this story. What plans did you make to get out of the mess you were in? Why did you think you had the wherewithal to accomplish those plans?
Why is it so difficult for us to be still in the midst of adversity?
How can you trust God more today to accomplish that which really, only he can accomplish in your life anyway?
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12, NIV)
Need a great “To-Do” list for today? Here’s one!
In what ways has the hope you have brought you joy? Why do joyful people make us feel hopeful, like everything is going to be alright?
How do you typically react when things go bad? Are you stressed out and anxious? What can you do to be more patient, even in the midst of problems in your life?
Have you prayed today? If not, why not take a moment to do so now. If so, why not take another moment to do so now?
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)
No one likes trouble in their life, but doesn’t it make it easier to know that the troubles we face have all been overcome?
Would you say your life is one of strife or peace? Why do you think this?
How comforting is it to know that “in this world, you will have trouble”? How comforting is it know that Jesus has overcome that trouble?
How does (or should) your life look more peaceful knowing these words of Jesus?
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. (Matthew 8:5–13, NIV)
A Roman soldier would have been the last person people would have thought should be commended for his faith in God. Often times the people most unlikely to be drawn to Jesus are the first to actually come to him, which says a whole lot about the appeal of Jesus and quite a bit about our assumptions of what it takes to have faith.
Why do you think this centurion turned to Jesus for help with his servant?
In what ways do the assumptions of this soldier tell us about what it means to have faith, especially for those who assume to have faith perfected?
How can we have faith that looks more like that of this centurion?