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** When things get tough, look up
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** Exodus 5:2
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** And Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.”
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Moses and Aaron had gone to Pharaoh saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh refused. Instead he removed resources from them and expected the same quota of bricks from them for building. And he laid more work on the men, that they may labor in it.

The taskmasters forced them to hurry, saying, “Fulfill your work, your daily quota, as when there was straw.” Those heading up the children of Israel were beaten and asked, “Why have you not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as before?

Ánd when they complained that it was not possible to continue producing the same amounts under such pressure, Pharaoh said, “You are idle! Idle! Therefore you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ Therefore go now and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the quota of bricks.”

Today we are experiencing much the same as the children of Israel. We see the systems of this world pressing down and demanding everything in the workplace. Shareholder value has overridden grace and mercy. Profiteering, greed and corruption are the new whips on the people’s backs.

There is no longer any respect given as hours become longer and resources less in order to produce more profit for those in control. More and more work is being laid on men and women. More and more we see taskmasters simply swallowing up the needy and trampling on the poor, making them fail to even survive. Sundays are no longer a day of rest but in fact one of the biggest trading days to make money.

This world is shouting loudly, “Who is the Lord, that we should obey His voice to let you go? We do not know the Lord, nor will we let you go.”

But we know that we have been saved by grace and that this world is not our home. Like Abraham, we are just pilgrims on this land, passing through. We are looking to that city whose builder and maker is God.

So take courage today my brothers and sisters in Christ because we have a hope; and that hope is in Jesus Christ who will soon return to collect the saints of God. So let us encourage, exhort and comfort one another in these times. And let us hold fast the profession of our faith as we shine the light of Christ in a depraved generation; despite the pressing times, despite the unrealistic expectations of this world, and despite the demands and the chaos and corruption that surround us.

Let us be confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Today, let us lift up our heads, for our redemption draws nigh.

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed ; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
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Additional scriptures for reading:
Luke 21:20, 26
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Hebrews 11:13-16
13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

1 Corinthians 1:8
Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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This ODAAT daily devotion written by Gareth Hosking

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