Imagine having everything. Living in the nicest home, driving the best car, eating the finest foods, receiving the best education, and possessing an incredibly influential and powerful position of leadership in your job. And now, imagine giving it all up. Trading in all of these pleasures for a life of hardship and suffering. Sound crazy? Many would think so. And yet, that is exactly what Moses does as described in Hebrews 11.
Moses had it all, literally. He had received the best education, lived in the finest homes, and enjoyed every privilege the world could offer as the adopted grandson of the Pharaoh of Egypt. And yet, we see that Moses trades all of this in. He gives it all up in order to identify with his Hebrew brothers and sisters (Hebrews 11:24,25). And this choice would cost him everything. He would choose a life of suffering and difficulty following God’s call and leading the Hebrew people out of Egypt.
Why? Why would someone give up everything and do so to pursue a life of suffering and hardship? Hebrews 11:25,26 gives us two reasons for such an incredible choice. Moses understood that all the pleasures and riches of Egypt would not last forever. They were fleeting. At some point they would fade away. At some point they would have left Moses feeling empty and hollow. Moses understood that nothing in the world can truly satisfy for the long run. It will either fail us in this life or be unable to go with us into eternity.
But then Moses also understood that appearances are not everything. Yes, he would wander the desert for the rest of his life. However, Moses knew where true and lasting riches could be found. They were not to be obtained in Egypt but in the desert. Moses believed that true and lasting joy was to be found in God and obedience to Him. And so, he turned his back on Egypt and all the promises of pleasure to find true joy and satisfaction in Christ.
The life and faith of Moses speaks to us today. It is a reminder that the pleasures of the “American Dream” with all they promise are truly fleeting. They too can be lost in a moment. You can spend your life acquiring everything this world has to offer only to lose it. Furthermore, the very best this world has to offer will still leave us feeling empty in the end. We were made to be satisfied by so much more. We are designed to find our joy in God.
Moses also reminds us that God is worth it. He is worth all the suffering, hardships, and trials we will face in this life. Paul would say in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
What is your source of joy in life? Is it God or something else? If we are honest there are always parts of our life in which we will struggle to find our joy in God. But John Piper encourages us to remember that even our struggle to find our joy in God brings glory to God. Our desire to find our joy in Him honors Him. So, continue to fight to find your joy and satisfaction in God. Immerse yourself in His Word, surround yourself with others to encourage your faith, and prayerfully ask God to help you delight in Him.