Read Exodus 5

“I thought following Jesus would make life easier.”

Ever thought that?

It feels like it should be true. If there is a God (and there is) and God asks us to follow Him (and He does), shouldn’t God make life easier if we obey? That would make sense. It’s just not true.

Exodus 5 is an illustration of what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12:

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

In Exodus 5, Moses and Aaron were following God. Moses fled Egypt 40 years before. Now God told Moses to relay a message: “Pharaoh? God has a message for you: ‘Let my people go.’ ”

What happened when Moses and Aaron obeyed God? Things fell apart. Pharaoh threatened. People suffered. Israel blamed Moses and Aaron. This wasn’t what they expected when they said “yes” to God.

Question – Do you remember a time you obeyed Jesus and life got harder? Have you seen someone get close to receiving Christ and experience spiritual opposition?

The apostles believed suffering for Jesus showed God was pleased with them. This is how they responded to threats and beatings for sharing Christ in Acts 5:41:

“So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”

Prayer – Dear God, I want to follow You. Help me remember that I can suffer for obeying. Help me rejoice when I’m counted worthy by You to suffer for Jesus’ name.

— Tim Howey