We see the idea of potential glory in the story of the Israelites. In chapters 13 and 14 of Exodus we see the Israelites who had been freed from slavery. God had heard their cries and had delivered them from the power of the Egyptians.
After several days of traveling, God leads them to a “dead-end.” The Red Sea is in front of them and mountains are on the sides. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, hears about this “mistake” and decides that he should never have let them go. He calls out his army and marches after the Israelites.
As the Egyptian army gets nearer and nearer the Israelites can see them coming and they begin to panic. It appears that the Israelites are trapped. They have followed God and it has led them to a place where it appears that there is no hope. Was God not in control? Did God not care? Did God not know? God was in control and He did care and He did know.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” (Exodus 14:15-18)
God then parted the Red Sea and the Israelites walked across on dry ground. The Israelites crossed safely and once the Egyptians followed them God closed the Red Sea destroying the helpless Egyptian army. The Egyptians and the surrounding nations would hear about the power of the one true God of the Israelites.
Can you relate to the emotions from this story? Fear, unknown, doubt, anger. In your life today are there any situations that seem too difficult. Are there any situations that cause you to wonder where God is? It could be that He is allowing or even orchestrating a situation that will bring Him glory through our lives like never before. To be able to understand and accept this perspective we must first realize that our comfort, pleasure, and security are not the ultimate priorities of this world. Whether we acknowledge it or not, this world is here for God's purposes. His desire is that the people of all nations will come to know Him and His greatness.
There are extreme examples and more normal, every day examples. The potential glory in our world today is higher in places where God's people are being persecuted. That could be China, North Korea, or the Middle East. Ordinary examples will be more evident in our family or work situations.
Some of us have difficult work situations. Some of us have difficult financial situations. Some of us have difficult situations with our health or the health of a family member. Some of us are struggling with our singleness. We have choices. What will happen next? Will we do what comes natural and worry, be angry, be unkind, do what is illegal, or even turn our back on God because He is not making everything perfect? Or will we trust the God who already proved His love for us on the cross and has proven that He is Almighty and All-knowing?
It could be today that God has brought you into a difficult situation where He has great plans. Like the Israelites at the Red Sea, it could be He just needs you to trust and obey Him. As you ask for God's power and grace He will empower you to forgive, be patient, to love, and to serve others.In the midst of your dark situation you will find that your light shines brighter, and the potential glory is realized in your life like never before.
For the sake of God's glory and the salvation of the non-believers around us, may we allow God to use us to make the most of what is happening in our lives. May He be the God that turns our struggles into victories for eternity.
"May" your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16