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Too Discouraged

Too Discouraged

23 January 2011

Today’s Reading: Exodus 6-8; Luke 23

Scripture:

So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they wouldn’t listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the increasing burden of their slavery. (Exodus 6:9 NLT)

Ever since Moses showed up and started preaching to the people that God loves them and is going to free them from their slavery, things had been getting worse, not better!

Moses told the Israelis that God loves them so much that he has sent Moses to lead them out of slavery and into the land he promised their ancestor Abraham more than half a millennium earlier. Then Moses demonstrated a couple of minor miracles (or were they cheap magic tricks?) and the people believed him. They were so excited! Hope at last!

But every time Moses made his demands of the Pharaoh, things got worse. Now the people were so discouraged they just couldn’t believe it was real. They stopped listening. Tough for Moses, tough for the people.

Sometimes people get too discouraged to listen. When people are struggling with a marriage that’s getting worse, when they’ve been diagnosed with a serious disease or are suffering chronic pain, when their financial situation is grinding them down week by week, when they’re bound by an addiction that is stronger than their best intentions and efforts, it’s hard to hear a glibly delivered message that says, “Jesus will fix it!”

I don’t want to be guilty of offering too easy answers to too hard questions. I believe God does love and care and is prepared to set people free from their slavery – slavery to sin, sickness, situations. But sometimes people get too discouraged to listen.

Prayer:

Father, Help us to touch people’s lives, to identify with their situations, to offer them practical help and hope. But please keep us sensitive and aware, and may we never offer glib and simplistic answers to people who are out of hope and too discouraged to listen. May the message we bring and the compassion we show give discouraged people the hope to listen again! Amen.

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