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Any life that is going to be used by God must be humbled and broken first. This is God’s process of showing us who He really is, and who we really are by comparison. But we fight against this process because we don’t want to be humbled; we don’t want to be broken. And so we continue trying to live in our own strength, by our own resources, and in doing so, we miss out on what God wants to do through us. Are you still resisting this work of God in your life?
Anyone watching Moses during the middle years of his life would have concluded that he would never amount to anything. He was a murderer and a fugitive who ended up living in a desert. Surely he had completely ruined his chances of ever being useful to God. Yet, behind the scenes, God was using all these things to prepare Moses for one of the most important assignments in the Bible. Are there failures, fears or disappointments in your life holding you back? Those may be the very things God uses for your greatest service to Him in the days to come!
Are there situations in your life right now that have brought you so much pain or fear or discouragement that you are beginning to doubt God’s love and faithfulness? Do your prayers sometimes feel like they are falling on deaf ears? No matter how long you may have to wait for an answer, you can be absolutely certain of this: God’s providence is at work behind the scenes, orchestrating all things for His ultimate glory, and you can trust Him through it all.
It has been said that we will never truly know how to live until we have learned how to die. This simply means, unless our faith for what happens to us after death is firmly anchored in the truth of God’s promises, we will live our entire life filled with uncertainty and fear. So what are you counting on to get you through death? Your accomplishments, your money, your friends won’t do you any good when that time comes. There is only one thing you can trust in completely when life is over, and you either have it right now, or you don’t!
When life turns out differently than we had hoped, when our plans are dashed, when hardships and suffering come our way, we tend to say, “God, where are you?” This is because we are basing God’s presence and love for us on our immediate circumstances instead of on His Word. Joseph was a young man whose life was filled with trials, yet he continued trusting in God, even through the tears and pain. He could do this because he knew that, despite the trouble that came his way, God was with him, and He was using it all for His greater purpose.
At times in life we tend to go our own way instead of walking with God. In fact, sometimes we don’t just walk away from Him, we actually run! But if we truly belong to Him, He will not let us run forever. Often He will have to break us, wound us, in order to keep us from going astray and forgetting our dependence upon Him. These wounds might be painful, but they are really the marks of grace. They are proof that He knows us and loves us enough to keep us close to His side.
Many people spend their lives searching for something to fill up the empty ache they feel inside. They look for fulfillment in relationships, career, money, status… yet they soon realize that those things are not the answer. That emptiness every person feels inside is there for a reason, and that’s because sin separated us from God and left us incomplete. There is only one way to satisfy that empty longing forever, and today’s message tells us exactly how.
Jacob had ruined his life. He had lied to and cheated his family, and now he was about to pay! When his brother threatened to kill him, Jacob fled for his life, and while running away from his sin, he ran straight into God! Surprisingly, God met Jacob in love, and it changed his life. Sometimes we also try to run from the consequences of our sin, but we must remember that God’s love is greater than our sin! He longs to restore us to Himself if we will just surrender.
As we have studied the lives of Abraham and Sarah, we have learned many lessons from both their failures and their faith. But despite every setback and every obstacle, God’s plans prevailed, and ultimately they trusted God’s Word right to the very end of their lives. Can the same be said of us? Is our faith in God so secure that regardless of the problems that may arise, our trust in His Word will stand firm to the very end?
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Today, we take a break from our typical teaching to focus specifically on our children and pray over their upcoming school year.