June 6, 2017

PLANS CHANGE!

Psalm 105:23–45

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23   Then Israel came to Egypt;
    Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24   And the LORD made his people very fruitful
    and made them stronger than their foes.
25   He turned their hearts to hate his people,
    to deal craftily with his servants.
26   He sent Moses, his servant,
    and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27   They performed his signs among them
    and miracles in the land of Ham.
28   He sent darkness, and made the land dark;
    they did not rebel1 against his words.
29   He turned their waters into blood
    and caused their fish to die.
30   Their land swarmed with frogs,
    even in the chambers of their kings.
31   He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
    and gnats throughout their country.
32   He gave them hail for rain,
    and fiery lightning bolts through their land.
33   He struck down their vines and fig trees,
    and shattered the trees of their country.
34   He spoke, and the locusts came,
    young locusts without number,
35   which devoured all the vegetation in their land
    and ate up the fruit of their ground.
36   He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
    the firstfruits of all their strength.
37   Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold,
    and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.
38   Egypt was glad when they departed,
    for dread of them had fallen upon it.
39   He spread a cloud for a covering,
    and fire to give light by night.
40   They asked, and he brought quail,
    and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.
41   He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
    it flowed through the desert like a river.
42   For he remembered his holy promise,
    and Abraham, his servant.
43   So he brought his people out with joy,
    his chosen ones with singing.
44   And he gave them the lands of the nations,
    and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples' toil,
45   that they might keep his statutes
    and observe his laws.
  Praise the LORD!

Footnotes

[1] 105:28 Septuagint, Syriac omit not

PLANS CHANGE!



Key Verse | Psalm 105:43–45

So he brought his people out with joy,
his chosen ones with singing.
And he gave them the lands of the nations,
and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples' toil,
that they might keep his statutes
and observe his laws.
Praise the Lord!
(Psalm 105:43-45)

Central Truth

At times you may not understand your situation or circumstances, but they make complete sense to God. No matter what struggle you might endure, trust in Him. 

Devotional | Psalm 105:23–45

Last summer, I qualified to run in the AAU Junior Olympics in the3200 meters. However, I learned there was intense swelling inside both of my tibias and was warned that if I chose to continue to run, both legs could...

Last summer, I qualified to run in the AAU Junior Olympics in the 3200 meters. However, I learned there was intense swelling inside both of my tibias and was warned that if I chose to continue to run, both legs could possibly end up with stress fractures. I spent several weeks in intense pain, stunned by my circumstances. I wanted to train and compete, but after much prayer, I decided not to risk the possible injuries.

To top it off, I had to back out of a mission trip to West Dallas I was looking forward to participating in with friends. I was frustrated and greatly disappointed. Even though I could not see the bigger picture, God did, and He had other plans for me. He provided a spot on the last mission trip scheduled to serve in West Dallas for the summer. I was excited for another opportunity. Despite the distraction of pain, I was able to serve others in various ways, and, in doing so, I made some great friends (#Weganwagon) who will be close friends for years to come.

Having to wait is hard, especially when we think we have it all worked out. The Israelites were imprisoned as slaves for hundreds of years, crying out to God to rescue them. It was in His perfect timing that He delivered them out of Egypt, provided for them in the desert, and gave them the Promised Land so they could finally worship Him in it.

Even though my circumstances may seem small, especially compared to what the Israelites and others have endured, God still cares about my situation. I did not understand the reasons for not being able to accomplish my plans, but looking back I notice how God orchestrated those events. Sometimes, when we are in the midst of turmoil or struggles, it is hard to recognize God’s faithfulness. In learning to remember and look back on how He has helped us, we can be encouraged and gain strength to endure any situation.

Lord willing, I am training for the next Junior Olympics as you read this.

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Bio | Christian Cortez

Greetings, everyone! My name is Christian Cortez. I have been at Watermark for nearly seven years now, and I am currently serving with the LEAD (Leadership, Education, and Development) Team, which ministers to high school students who desire to be Christian leaders. Watermark has so generously provided me with amazing small group leaders, who have taught me so much in the past three years. My greatest (earthly) passion is running. It's the only sport I have a decent reputation in.

Discussion Questions

1. How has God changed your plans for the better, and how has it helped you learn dependence on Him in more recent times? 

2. In your uncertainties, do you tend to rely first on your own strength to get you through? If so, how can you begin to change this pattern and trust in God first, knowing His plans and timing are always perfect?

3. Share stories of God’s faithfulness in your life with others this week. You never know when your story of trusting God through difficult times will encourage and strengthen someone else.

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