At the moment you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, you are a target for Satan to use every tactic possible to hinder your spiritual growth and progress and to break your faith; to make you doubt God, the decision you've made to be a follower of Christ and a servant of God. His plan and his purpose is to make you think or feel like it's the hardest thing in the world to be a Christian, and it's not worth the burdens you are bearing, the loads you are carrying, the tears you are shedding, the pain you're enduring, the failures and disappointments you're experiencing, and the trials, tribulations and troubles you're facing. He wants you to think you were doing better under his control and in his bondage. He wants you to wonder what living a Christian life has to profit you. This is his job, but to prove your faith and your commitment, you've got to press on in spite of what you're going through, regardless of what's going wrong. You've got to believe that this too shall pass, that troubles donít' last always, that there's a brighter side somewhere, that the sun will shine again, that all things are working for your good, your benefit, your prosperity and your eternal peace. Times will get hard and the way will get dark, but you must believe and know, without a shadow of doubt, that God has always made a way where there seemed to be no way, that He is still in control, and He will step in right at the needed time.
The Children of Israel were enslaved, in bondage; just as we are when we are living a life of sin for Satan. God sent Moses to save and deliver the Children of Israel from bondage; just as He sent Jesus Christ to save us from the bondage of sin. They welcomed the idea of being free; just as we do, but that freedom began to get hard. They began to face some problems, trials, tribulation, failures and disappointments, and they didn't want that. You know how we are; we all want smooth-sailing. How many of you know that anything worth having at all requires a little hard work, some suffering, some pain, some disappointments, some failures? Well, the Children of Israel had endured many things on their journey to freedom, but they felt that when they had reached the Red Sea, there was no place else to go but back into Egypt, into bondage once again. I'm sure all of us have been there; we feel we've reached the end of our rope. We begin to question why we got saved and begin believing that our decision to follow Christ has caused a lot of problems that we did not encounter when we were in the world. I'm sure some of you understand what I'm talking about: Every time you turn around, somebody's talking about you, putting you down, and scandalizing your name; friends walk away and family turn their backs on you; every time you make two steps forward, you get pulled three steps back; every time you get a nickel, you have to spend a dime; the more you do in the church and for the church, the worse the members treat you; the more you pray, the more troubles and temptations arise. You get to the point where you feel like you might as well backslide. That's where the Children of Israel were when they reached the Red Sea. They said Moses might as well left them to serve the Egyptians; they had it better there, but now because they chose to follow him, they were looking death and defeat in the face. Moses could have given up, but because he was strong in his faith and obedient and faithful to God, he didn't give up. Instead, he chose to look to God for the answer because he knew that God didn't bring him that far to leave him. He told the Children of Israel to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. That's what I come by to tell you today. Whatever you are going through today, stand still and wait on the salvation of the Lord; be still and know that He is God; trust and believe that no weapon formed against you shall prosper because all things work together for your good. Always be assured that God is in control, and Satan can't do anything without God's permission, and God won't allow anything to happen to you that is not meant to strengthen you and to make and mold you into the vessel He needs you to be for His will and His purpose. People, if God has brought you to a Red Sea; I don't care what kind it may be: a marriage on the verge of divorce; foreclosure on your home; repossession of your car; a child that has gone astray; death of a love one; sickness in your body; loss of a job; bills due and money gone; war and division in your home; confusion in the church; verbal, emotional, physical, and spiritual attacks; He has the power and the desire to take you through it. Just stand back and stretch out your rod of faith and watch the sea part so that you can walk through peaceful waters. God would not bring you this far just to leave you. He would not have made a way so many times before if He didn't care, and He wouldn't have given His only begotten Son who gave His life, if He didn't love you. He wouldn't lift you up to let you down. If God brings you to it, He will take you through it. He didn't bring you this far just to leave you.
I'm reminded of a story about a young mother, who was on the verge of giving up on her faith. Her husband had walked out on her; she had four children, her light bill was due, and she had no money, and she had just been served an eviction notice. She looked up to the hills and began to talk to God, and said, "Lord, I might as well backslide. I don't care how hard I try, I can't get ahead. I keep falling behind. I got bills that are due; all my money is gone, and I'm about to be thrown out on the streets. I might as well backslide, but before I backslide, I just want to take out a moment to thank You for the things You've already done for me. Lord, I remember when they diagnosed me with cancer, I called on Your name and You healed me. I remember when my daughter was just a little girl, and a nickel got lodged in her throat. I tried all I could to get it out, but it wasn't until I called upon Your name, she up-choked that nickel. Lord, I remember when my husband walked off and left me, my broken heart and soul were all torn apart; I was to the point of near suicide, but when I called on Your name, You mended my heart, put me all back together again, and delivered me from that depression. Lord, as I look back over my life, I can't backslide because You've been so good to me. I can't give up now because I've come too far to turn around."
So, as a reminder to all of you, when you get to the point that you want to give up, look back over your life and just begin to think about what God has already brought you through; the ways He's already made. You don't have to look far; just look back at last night when death's angels were encamped around your bed waiting for the opportunity to take your very life, but God spoke and told them to get back and behave. Think about the unseen dangers you encountered to get to your destination today. God didn't bring you this far just to leave you; so don't you leave Him.
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