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Against all odds (from bondage to victory)

Coming out of Egyp   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Breaking free from a busy life, discouragement, and fear

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Exodus 6:9
Discouragement
Synopsis (from Sermon Starter)
A sense of unhappiness arising from a loss of confidence in one’s own abilities, in the reliability of God or in the power of the gospel. Discouragement can occur in the Christian life, especially when there is resistance to the gospel or in instances of personal failure. Scripture provides reassurance for those who experience discouragement.
Discouragement has at his roots a disconnect of our minds from God’s real promise for us. At the heart of discouragement, there is a sense of loss, inability to see a better future, and hope. This is because we are unable to see three aspects of God:
vv.2-3 Permanent character: God never changes
v.4 Permanent Promise: God maintains his promises:
v.5: Power to change the future: God is able and willingness to bring us to freedom. He knows our sufferings, hears our cry and acts on our behalf
There’s a nice chiasm in the verses:
vv. 2-3 cf. 8: Relocating Israel to the Promised Land (a new future)
v. 4 cf. 7: Adopting into the family (covenantal love, buying them out of slavery)
(NIrV) — 20 “Why is the light that leads to life given to those who suffer? Why is it given to those whose spirits are bitter? 21 Why is life given to those who long for death that doesn’t come? Why is it given to those who would rather search for death than for hidden treasure? 22 Why is life given to those who are actually happy and glad when they reach the grave? 23 Why is life given to a man like me? God hasn’t told me what will happen to me. He has surrounded me with nothing but trouble. 24 I sigh instead of eating food. Groans pour out of me like water. 25 What I was afraid of has come on me. What I worried about has happened to me. 26 I don’t have any peace and quiet. I can’t find any rest. All I have is trouble.”
See also the Israelites in the desert; the Canaanites and Rahab; the Israelites and Goliath; God’s judgment on Sennacherib; ; ; Wisdom speaks to the sinner; the Teacher’s disillusion; ; to Baruch; God’s judgment on Israel; ; Paul
c. 5 cf. 6: Setting them free from their suffering and slavery
(NIrV) — 4 The people of Israel traveled from Mount Hor along the way to the Red Sea. They wanted to go around Edom. But they grew tired on the way. 5 So they spoke against God. They also spoke against Moses. They said to them, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt? Do you want us to die here in the desert? We don’t have any bread! We don’t have any water! And we hate this awful food!”
Discouragement has the ability to harden our hearts and take away from us the ability to receive our God-given future/blessing
(NIrV) — 8 Rahab went up on the roof before the spies settled down for the night. 9 She said to them, “I know that the Lord has given this land to you. We are very much afraid of you. Everyone who lives in this country is weak with fear because of you. 10 “We’ve heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt. We’ve heard what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings. They ruled east of the Jordan River. You completely destroyed them. 11 “When we heard about it, our hearts melted away in fear. Because of you, we aren’t brave anymore. The Lord your God is the God who rules over heaven above and earth below.
See
(NIrV) — 10 Goliath continued, “This very day I dare the soldiers of Israel to send a man down to fight against me.” 11 Saul and the whole army of Israel heard what the Philistine said. They were terrified.
Exodus 6:9 NIrV
Moses reported those things to the Israelites. But they didn’t listen to him. That’s because they had lost all hope and had to work very hard.
(NIrV) — 26 Their people do not have any power left. They are troubled and put to shame. They are like plants in the field. They are like new green plants. They are like grass that grows on a roof. It dries up before it is completely grown.
Moses’ personal ability hindered him to to believe God was able to use him.
(NIrV) — 6 Hard times don’t just grow out of the soil. Trouble doesn’t jump out of the ground. 7 People are born to have trouble. And that’s just as sure as sparks fly up.
How do we overcome discouragement:
(NIrV) — 1 Lord, don’t correct me when you are angry. Don’t punish me when you are burning with anger. 2 You have wounded me with your arrows. You have struck me with your hand. 3 Because of your anger, my whole body is sick. Because of my sin, I’m not healthy. 4 My guilt has become too much for me. It is a load too heavy to carry. 5 My wounds are ugly. They stink. I’ve been foolish. I have sinned. 6 I am bent over. I’ve been brought very low. All day long I go around sobbing. 7 My back is filled with burning pain. My whole body is sick. 8 I am weak. I feel as if I’ve been broken in pieces. I groan because of the great pain in my heart. 9 Lord, everything I really want is clearly known to you. You always hear me when I sigh. 10 My heart pounds. My strength is gone. My eyes can hardly see. 11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds. My neighbors stay far away from me. 12 Those who are trying to kill me set their traps. Those who want to harm me talk about destroying me. All day long they plan ways to trick me. 13 I’m like a deaf person. I can’t hear. I’m like someone who can’t speak, who can’t say a word. 14 I’m like a man who doesn’t hear. I’m like someone whose mouth can’t make any reply.
Set your eyes upon Jesus
(NIrV) — 26 So I will laugh at you when you are in danger. I will make fun of you when hard times come. 27 I will laugh when hard times hit you like a storm. I will laugh when danger comes your way like a windstorm. I will make fun of you when suffering and trouble come.
Moses obeyed even when he was unsure that God’s plan was a good plan
Wait for his salvation: things will get worse before they get better
Let God take you in as a new member of his family
(NIrV) — 17 So I hated life. That’s because the work that is done on this earth made me sad. None of it has any meaning. It’s like chasing the wind. 18 I hated everything I had worked for on earth. I’ll have to leave all of it to someone who lives after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be wise or foolish? Either way, he’ll take over everything on earth I’ve worked so hard for. That doesn’t have any meaning either. 20 So I began to lose hope because of all of my hard work on this earth.
(NIrV) — 2 I have seen a vision about something terrible that will happen. People are turning against Babylon. Robbers are taking its goods. Elamites, attack the city! Medes, surround it! The Lord will put an end to all of the suffering Babylon has caused. 3 The vision fills my body with pain. Pains take hold of me. They are like the pains of a woman having a baby. I am shaken by what I hear. I’m terrified by what I see. 4 My heart grows weak. Fear makes me tremble. I longed for evening to come. But it brought me horror instead of rest.
Be available to let God bring you to a place of rest and recreation
(NIrV) — 3 ‘You have said, “How terrible it is for me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain. I’m worn out from all of my groaning. I can’t find any rest.” ’ ”
(NIrV) — 7 They will ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ “Then you will say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. The hearts of all of the people will melt away in fear. Their hands will not be able to help them. Their spirits will grow weak. And their knees will become as weak as water.’ “The news is coming! You can be sure those things will happen,” announces the Lord and King.
(NIrV) — 2 Other gods tell lies. Those who practice magic see visions that aren’t true. They tell dreams that fool people. They give comfort that doesn’t do any good. So the people wander around like sheep. They are crushed because they don’t have a shepherd.
(NIrV) — 8 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the hard times we suffered in Asia Minor. We were having a lot of trouble. It was far more than we could stand. We even thought we were going to die. 9 In fact, in our hearts we felt as if we were under the sentence of death. But that happened so that we would not depend on ourselves but on God. He raises the dead to life.
Prayer in discouragement
(NIrV) — 5 My spirit, why are you so sad? Why are you so upset deep down inside me? Put your hope in God. Once again I will have reason to praise him. He is my Savior and 6 my God. My spirit is very sad deep down inside me. So I will remember you here where the Jordan River begins. I will remember you here on the Hermon mountains and on Mount Mizar. 7 You have sent wave upon wave of trouble over me. It roars down on me like a waterfall. All of your waves and breakers have rolled over me. 8 During the day the Lord sends his love to me. During the night I sing about him. I say a prayer to the God who gives me life. 9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go around in sorrow? Why am I beaten down by my enemies?” 10 My body suffers deadly pain as my enemies make fun of me. All day long they say to me, “Where is your God?” 11 My spirit, why are you so sad? Why are you so upset deep down inside me? Put your hope in God. Once again I will have reason to praise him. He is my Savior and my God.
See also ; David; Jehoshaphat; ; ; Hezekiah; ;
(NIrV) — 6 “But the people of Egypt treated us badly. They made us suffer. They made us work very hard. 7 Then we cried out to the Lord. He is the God of our people who lived long ago. He heard our voice. He saw how much we were suffering. The Egyptians were crushing us. They were making us work very hard.
(NIrV) — 7 When I was in trouble I called out to the Lord. I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice. My cry for help reached his ears.
(NIrV) — 9 ‘Suppose trouble comes on us. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a punishing sword, plague or hunger. We’ll serve you. We’ll stand in front of this temple where your Name is. We’ll cry out to you when we’re in trouble. Then you will hear us. You will save us.’
(NIrV) — 32 “Our God, you are great, mighty and wonderful. You keep the covenant you made with us. You show us your love. So don’t let all of our suffering seem like a small thing in your sight. We’ve suffered greatly. So have our kings and leaders. So have our priests and prophets. Our people who lived long ago also suffered. And all of your people are suffering right now. In fact, we’ve been suffering from the time of the kings of Assyria until today.
(NIrV) — 9 Lord, show me your favor. I’m in deep trouble. I’m so sad I can hardly see. My whole body grows weak with sadness. 10 Pain has taken over my life. My years are spent in groaning. I have no strength because I’m hurting so much. My body is getting weaker and weaker. 11 My neighbors make fun of me because I have so many enemies. My friends are afraid of me. Those who see me on the street run away from me. 12 They have forgotten me. I might as well be dead. I have become like broken pottery.
(NIrV) — 14 I cried softly like a weak little bird. I groaned like a sad dove. My eyes grew tired as I looked up toward heaven. Lord, I’m in trouble. Please come and help me!
(NIrV) — 18 Lord, my heart is weak inside me. You comfort me when I’m sad. 19 Listen to the cries of my people from a land far away. They cry out, “Isn’t the Lord in Zion? Isn’t its King there anymore?” The Lord says, “Why have they made me so angry by worshiping their wooden gods? Why have they made me angry with their worthless statues of gods from other lands?”
(NIrV) — 1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said, “When I was in trouble, I called out to you. And you answered me. When I had almost drowned, I called out for help. And you listened to my cry.
Endurance in discouragement
(NIrV) — 3 He will not break a bent twig. He will not put out a dimly burning flame. He will be faithful and make everything right. 4 He will not grow weak or lose hope. He will not give up until he makes everything right on the earth. The islands will put their hope in his law.”
See also Paul; ; ; ; concerning the church at Ephesus
(NIrV) — 4 Instead, we make it clear that we serve God in every way. We serve him by holding steady. We stand firm in all kinds of trouble, hard times and suffering. 5 We don’t give up when we are beaten or put in prison. When people stir up trouble in the streets, we continue to serve God. We work hard for him. We go without sleep and food. 6 We remain pure. We understand completely what it means to serve God. We are patient and kind. We serve him in the power of the Holy Spirit. We serve him with true love. 7 We speak the truth. We serve in the power of God. We hold the weapons of godliness in the right hand and in the left. 8 We serve God in times of glory and shame. We serve him whether the news about us is bad or good. We are true to our calling. But people treat us as if we were pretenders. 9 We are known, but people treat us as if we were unknown. We are dying, but we continue to live. We are beaten, but we are not killed. 10 We are sad, but we are always full of joy. We are poor, but we make many people rich. We have nothing, but we own everything.
(NIrV) — 4 So among God’s churches we brag about the fact that you don’t give up easily. We brag about your faith in all the suffering and testing you are going through.
(NIrV) — 32 Remember those earlier days after you received the light. At that time you stood firm in a great struggle. You did it even in the face of suffering.
(NIrV) — 3 He put up with attacks from sinners. So think about him. Then you won’t get tired. You won’t lose hope.
(NIrV) — 3 You have been faithful and have put up with a lot of trouble because of me. You have not given up.
Discouragement through disobedience
(NIrV) — 9 Those who think they are wise will be put to shame. They will become terrified. They will be trapped. They have not accepted my message. So what kind of wisdom do they have?
See also ; Eliphaz to Job;
(NIrV) — 15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you troubled me by bringing me up from the dead?” “I’m having big problems,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me. God has turned away from me. He doesn’t answer me anymore. He doesn’t speak to me through prophets or dreams. So I’ve called on you to tell me what to do.” 16 Samuel said, “The Lord has turned away from you. He has become your enemy. So why are you asking me what you should do? 17 The Lord has spoken through me and has done what he said he would do. He has torn the kingdom out of your hands. He has given it to one of your neighbors. He has given it to David. 18 You didn’t obey the Lord. You didn’t carry out his burning anger against the Amalekites. So he’s punishing you today.
(NIrV) — 24 Suffering and pain terrify them. Their troubles overpower them, like a king ready to attack his enemies. 25 They shake their fists at God. They brag about themselves and oppose the Mighty One.
(NIrV) — 17 I will bring trouble on the people. They will trip and fall as if they were blind. They have sinned against me. Their blood will be poured out like dust. Their bodies will lie rotting on the ground.
Discouragement and discipline
(NIrV) — 5 You have forgotten that word of hope. It speaks to you as children. It says, “My son, think of the Lord’s training as important. Do not lose hope when he corrects you. 6 The Lord trains those he loves. He punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7 Put up with hard times. God uses them to train you. He is treating you as children. What children are not trained by their parents?
See also ;
(NIrV) — 14 The Lord became angry with Israel. So he handed them over to robbers. The robbers stole everything from them. He gave them over to their enemies who were all around them. Israel wasn’t able to fight against them anymore and win. 15 When Israel went out to fight, the Lord’s power was against them. He let their enemies win the battle over them. The Lord had warned them with an oath that it would happen. And now they were suffering terribly.
(NIrV) — 16 Lord, when your people were suffering, they came to you. When you punished them, they could barely whisper a prayer.
Effects of discouragement
(NIrV) — 22 A cheerful heart makes you healthy. But a broken spirit dries you up.
See also the Israelites in Egypt; ; the rebuilding of the temple; ; ;
(NIrV) — 9 Moses reported those things to the Israelites. But they didn’t listen to him. That’s because they had lost all hope and had to work very hard.
(NIrV) — 1 Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul, heard that Abner had died in Hebron. Then he wasn’t so brave anymore. And all of the people of Israel became alarmed.
(NIrV) — 4 Then the nations that were around Judah tried to make its people lose hope. They wanted to make them afraid to go on building.
(NIrV) — 5 Now trouble comes to you. And you are unhappy about it. It strikes you down. And you are afraid.
(NIrV) — 13 A happy heart makes a face look cheerful. But a sad heart produces a broken spirit.
(NIrV) — 14 A man’s cheerful heart gives him strength when he is sick. You can’t keep going if you have a broken spirit.
Resisting discouragement
(NIrV) — 21 The Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take it. Do what the Lord says. He’s the God of your people. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.”
See also ; ; David reassuring Saul about Goliath; David to Solomon; Hezekiah; ; ; ; ; ;
(NIrV) — 9 “Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.”
(NIrV) — 1 Then the Lord spoke to Joshua. He said, “Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. Go up and attack Ai. Take the whole army with you. I have handed the king of Ai over to you. I have given you his people, his city and his land.
(NIrV) — 32 David said to Saul, “Don’t let anyone lose hope because of that Philistine. I’ll go out and fight him.”
(NIrV) — 13 “Be careful to obey the rules and laws the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Then you will have success. Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.
(NIrV) — 7 “Be strong. Be brave. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope. The king of Assyria has a huge army with him. But there’s a greater power with us than there is with him.
(NIrV) — 46 You will hear about terrible things that are happening in Babylonia. But do not lose hope. Do not be afraid. You will hear one thing this year. And you will hear something else next year. You will hear about awful things in the land. You will hear about one ruler fighting against another.
(NIrV) — 1 Jesus told his disciples a story. He wanted to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
(NIrV) — 1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust in me also.
(NIrV) — 9 Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.
(NIrV) — 13 So here is what I’m asking you to do. Don’t lose hope because I am suffering for you. It will lead to the time when God will give you his glory.
(NIrV) — 5 But I want you to keep your head no matter what happens. Don’t give up when times are hard. Work to spread the good news. Do everything God has given you to do.
God’s help in discouragement
(NIrV) — 35 Who can separate us from Christ’s love? Can trouble or hard times or harm or hunger? Can nakedness or danger or war? 36 It is written, “Because of you, we face death all day long. We are considered as sheep to be killed.” 37 No! In all these things we will do even more than win! We owe it all to Christ, who has loved us. 38 I am absolutely sure that not even death or life can separate us from God’s love. Not even angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers can do that. 39 Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can do that. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.
See also ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; Paul
(NIrV) — 6 “Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t be terrified because of them. The Lord your God will go with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you.”
(NIrV) — 8 The Lord himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.”
(NIrV) — 23 The Lord gave a command to Joshua, the son of Nun. He said, “Be strong and brave. You will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them with an oath. I myself will be with you.”
(NIrV) — 9 “Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.”
(NIrV) — 20 David also said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and brave. Get to work. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope. The Lord God is my God. He is with you. He won’t fail you. He won’t desert you until all of the work for serving in the Lord’s temple is finished.
(NIrV) — 15 Jahaziel said, “King Jehoshaphat, listen! All you who live in Judah and Jerusalem, listen! The Lord says to you, ‘Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope because of this huge army. The battle is not yours. It is mine.
(NIrV) — 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take your positions. Stand firm. You will see how I will save you. Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. Go out and face them tomorrow. I will be with you.’ ”
(NIrV) — 18 The Lord is close to those whose hearts have been broken. He saves those whose spirits have been crushed.
(NIrV) — 29 He gives strength to those who are tired. He gives power to those who are weak. 30 Even young people become worn out and get tired. Even the best of them trip and fall. 31 But those who trust in the Lord will receive new strength. They will fly as high as eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not grow weak.
(NIrV) — 1 The Spirit of the Lord and King is on me. The Lord has anointed me to tell the good news to poor people. He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts have been broken. He has sent me to announce freedom for those who have been captured. He wants me to set prisoners free from their dark prisons.
(NIrV) — 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me. He has anointed me to tell the good news to poor people. He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners. He has sent me so that the blind will see again. He wants me to free those who are beaten down.
(NIrV) — 10 “ ‘People of Jacob, do not be afraid. You are my servant. Israel, do not be terrified,’ ” announces the Lord. “ ‘You can be sure that I will save you. I will bring you out of a place far away. I will bring your children back from the land where they were taken. Your people will have peace and security again. And no one will make them afraid.
(NIrV) — 33 “I have told you these things, so that you can have peace because of me. In this world you will have trouble. But cheer up! I have won the battle over the world.”
(NIrV) — 6 But God comforts those who are sad. He comforted me when Titus came.
Warnings not to discourage others
The Israelites discouraged when on the point of entering the promised land
(NIrV) — 12 That was a time of trouble for your brothers. So you should not have looked down on them. The people of Judah were destroyed. So you should not have been happy about it. You should not have laughed at them so much when they were in trouble.
See also by the spies; by the Gadites and Reubenites
(NIrV) — 28 Where can we go? The men who checked out the land have made us lose hope. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are. The cities are large. They have walls that reach up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’ ”
(NIrV) — 7 The Lord has given the land of Canaan to the people of Israel. So why would you want to keep them from going over into it?
General warnings not to discourage others
; ; James advises against discouraging the Gentiles;
(NIrV) — 16 They never thought about doing anything kind. Instead, they drove those who were poor and needy to their deaths. They did the same thing to those whose hearts were broken.
(NIrV) — 2 Other gods tell lies. Those who practice magic see visions that aren’t true. They tell dreams that fool people. They give comfort that doesn’t do any good. So the people wander around like sheep. They are crushed because they don’t have a shepherd.
(NIrV) — 19 “Now here is my opinion. We should not make it hard for the non-Jews who are turning to God.
(NIrV) — 21 Fathers, don’t make your children bitter. If you do, they will lose hope.
The need to stand with the discouraged
(NIrV) — 3 Remember those in prison as if you were in prison with them. And remember those who are treated badly as if you yourselves were suffering.
See also ; ; ;
(NIrV) — 14 “A man’s friends should love him when his hope is gone. They should be faithful to him even if he stops showing respect for the Mighty One.
(NIrV) — 21 My people are crushed, so I am crushed. I sob, and I am filled with horror.
(NIrV) — 15 Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad.
(NIrV) — 27 Here are the kinds of beliefs that God our Father accepts as pure and without fault. When widows and children who have no parents are in trouble, take care of them. And keep yourselves from being polluted by the world.
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