There are so many good portions of this book that I could share a post a day for weeks, but I’ll limit myself to just a few quotes over the next couple of days, and I’ll encourage you to read the book yourself.
Here’s a section about trusting God during difficult times.
Red Sea Rule #1: Realize that God means for you to be where you are.
“Consider these men and women who, through no fault of their own, found themselves beset with soul-disabling difficulties while trying to follow God:
Hagar, a single mom, was forced into the desert with her boy to die of thirst.
Joseph, wanting to fulfill divine dreams, was seized, stripped, sold as a slave, and imprisoned in Egypt.
Moses was caught between the splendors of Egyptian royalty and thankless affliction with God’s people.
David, being anointed by Samuel, was pursued by Israelite troops.
Hezekiah, seeking revival, was trapped by the most powerful arm on earth, bent on annihilating his people.
The Lord’s disciples sailed at His command on Galilee only to face a terror-filled night of storms and waves.
The Son of man Himself, fulfilling the Father’s will, was nailed fast to wood and left to hang by his hands until dead.
The apostles, trying to preach this Crucified One, were horsewhipped.
The leader of that apostolic band later told his readers: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (I Peter 4:12).
In other words, Christians shouldn’t be surprised when, in seeking to do God’s will, we find ourselves trapped in painful, frightening, difficult, or impossible situations. Life is hard–especially for Christians. We have a determined enemy seeking to devour us. “In the world,” Jesus warned, “you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).
Then He added: “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
God allows our faith to be tried, and He permits troubles to crowd into our lives. Sometimes they seem more than we can bear, but Christ can bear them.”
~quoted from The Red Sea Rules by Robert Morgan, pp. 9-10
I was particularly struck by the reference to Christ’s enduring the suffering on the cross for our sins. He could have avoided the trial, but he “endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:3). He cried out to the Father to be delivered from the trial, but the Father said “No” and essentially said, “You need to stay where you are to accomplish my purpose for you.” That trial involved suffering and death, but it fulfilled God’s plan of salvation. That trial also resulted in Christ’s resurrection and glorification and made the way for our salvation.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.