For hundreds of years, the Israelites had been waiting and praying to be set free from slavery in Egypt. God sent Moses to deliver them. You’d think that the Israelites—especially after the awesome Red Sea episode—would have been ecstatically happy, eternally grateful, cooperative and confident of Moses’ leadership and God’s ability to take incredibly good care of them, and constantly rejoicing in their deliverance from Egypt. Instead, it didn’t take long before they sank into a pattern of complaining, rebelling, and fearfully resisting change. They kept looking to the past, wishing they could go back to how things were.
Have someone read Exodus 16:2-3; Exodus 32:25-26
Why do we struggle with change? Why do we so often prefer to remain in the present rather than face the challenges of an unknown future?
Have you ever glamorized the past, recalling it as better than it really was? Why do you think we glamorize the past (even if the past really wasn’t that great)?
Gene explained how we often overlook the good things in the present.
Have someone read Numbers 11:6.
Have you ever found yourself complaining about the imperfections of something instead of being grateful for what you had in front of you?
How do you think God feels about our complaints? How do they affect our relationship with him?
When your faith is tested, do you listen more to people’s complaints, to God’s promises, or to inner doubts?
Gene explained that another reason we often dislike change is that deep down we fear the future.
Have someone read Numbers 13:31, 33.
What are some things you are afraid of? Public speaking? Spiders? Rollercoasters?
Have someone read Numbers 14:1-3.
What was God’s reaction to the Israelites’ persistent complaints and fears?
So how can we positively navigate the changes we are hit with in life?
Live with a sense of gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Have someone ready 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 10.
What is something that you are grateful for right now? What are some habits we can create to help us cultivate and strengthen an attitude of gratitude?
Stand on the Rock. 1 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”
Is there anything you have allowed to become a “golden calf” in your life? In what area of your life do you need to declare God as the Rock?
Live by Faith.
Have someone read Hebrews 11:30.
As we help each other navigate change, which one of the three statements above would top your list of advice? Why? Which one do you need more of?
Have each person give their prayer requests. Ask someone to type them up and share them with the group. This week spend time daily praying for your group.
Ask God to show us each what things we need to be more grateful for in our lives. Pray that God would give us a heart of gratitude and help us live by faith. And if you have drawn a line in the sand today, declare to God that you are standing on the ROCK.
Consider starting a daily or weekly gratitude journal to help keep your mind in a healthy place of gratitude.