It shows that Sarai’s decision to produce offspring her way and not God’s way will produce a wild man with countless offspring in the earth who will be at war with everyone, yet he will live among his brothers. I wonder how all of those years went by so quickly. What a wonderful example he was in turning to God’s Word instead of thinking he had what it took to stand up to the enemy. God had encouraged my heart with the truth that tucked inside those hymns. Leah: The Woman No Man Loved But Every Woman Envied (Gen. 29:15-35), 1. But Paul was seeking to serve the Lord by spreading the gospel where Christ had not yet been named (Rom. So whatever you're concerned about and need prayer for—we are here for you! 3:1; 4:4). How do we do it? We must repent of our grumbling. Or maybe you aren’t the one having the test; it’s someone you love. But when Hagar saw that she had become pregnant, she disregarded Sarai, treated her disrespectfully. His plans are the best — more than anything we can ask or imagine. He is with you always and hurts when you hurt, God wants you to be happy. Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was born. En route, Nancy gave birth to a stillborn child and almost died herself. Too often we get caught up in the way the world thinks. Lord, I’m sorry for interfering with the work You’re trying to accomplish in my life. The study is perfect for small groups and is closed-captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing. The hope is the future glory. . Did you know that your waiting could actually be strategic for breakthrough in prayer? Grumbling is natural for those who don’t know Christ, but it ought to be rare for those who submit to Jesus as Lord. This is absolutely astounding. And the reason that's a problem is that the Christian life is essentially one of waiting. Now after introducing the theme of glory, Paul has more to say. The older you get, the quicker life seems to fly by. When the Sun Sets: Jacob Meets God (Gen. 27:41-28:22), Jacob: When God Turns Darkness into Dawn (Expository Sermons On O.T. He gets the Spirit's way of thinking. We may not find the answer to why we suffer until God answers that directly to us when we are in heaven. Are you waiting for something you’ve been praying about for a very long time and the answer has not come? Learning God’s names can be very encouraging when we are going through trials. Whatever we are waiting for, it is God who will cause it to happen so it should be Him who we put our hope in. Sometimes when we pray long and hard about a situation in our life without receiving any answers, we just learn to live with it. (Whew. We must trust Him to accomplish His will through us by His power. After a difficult four-month voyage, they arrived in India only to hear discouraging reports about Burma and to learn that they could not stay in India. Sarah convinces Abram to sleep with her maidservant, Hagar. When we grumble, it brings dishonor on the Lord’s name. I found that the words my pastor had for me were very encouraging. Often we will find that a friend will help us and then there will come a day when our friend will need a hand as well; we will be able to be that person. I've seen it before. In the Bible, Paul and Silas knew about waiting, and they waited well. © 2019 Sabrina Dawkins and Black Christian Mind. Find Anne on her website and Facebook page. But in the case his readers are too discouraged here, the apostle continues. Paul had post-doctoral degrees, but there were still more courses to take! Your email will not be shared. As he suffered with fever in that dark prison, Judson’s wife delivered a letter from a friend that asked, “Judson, how’s the outlook?” He replied, “The outlook is as bright as the promises of God.”. In that case, the waiting seems impossible. Suffering is a reality if you are in Christ. In fact, Paul says something here that many of us gloss over. Help me not to take matters in my own hands. They call for a plumber, claiming it’s an emergency, and then they move away!”. She actively prepares for the arrival of the baby because she knows the promise will be fulfilled—it's just a matter of time. And when such an important patriarch fails to listen to God, it can have far-reaching consequences. I choose to trust you, and I refuse to believe the lies of the enemy. We must trust in God, not in our circumstances. In spite of all of his years of trials, Paul was full of joy, not in his circumstances, but in the Lord. As we wait on the Lord, he changes us and strengthens us. There indeed is a future glory. And Sarai’s backlash caused Hagar to flee. I’m more like Sarah than I care to admit. Rather, the hope in which we were saved — and in which we rejoice — is the eternal reality of fellowship with God (Romans 5:1–2, 11). Pastors are good at encouraging hearts that are bent low because of trials. The Bible says we are to encourage one another. Acts 16 tells the story of how they were attacked by a crowd, beaten and thrown in jail. When our hearts are eager to hear from God, He loves to rush in suddenly with His solution. A handful more trickled in over the years, but mostly, they faced fierce opposition from the Buddhist monks and the government. We have to remember Satan is the father of lies. Is there any hope for those who take matters into their own hands? Psalms 106: 7-13, " Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. When you make careful plans in dependence on the Lord, and the plans get foiled by what seem like random chance (there is no such thing), you have to bow and say, “Lord, you are God and I am not. We’re in a crisis and we cry out, “Help, God!” Silence. Every time that Felix called for Paul (and it was often, 24:26), Paul’s hopes must have soared. Fourth. Father, give them a measure of grace so they can wait, though they feel the waiting is impossible. Our situation can change suddenly—quickly without warning! Sarah is caught in a dilemma here. We are weak. The notice we get seems almost like an insignificant passing comment: “But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned.” You can read that comment in a few seconds, but it represents two long years of Paul’s life, and he wasn’t getting any younger. Helping Someone in Grief: 17 Things You Need to Know. Knowing that gives us confidence, even when the waiting seems hard. C. We submit to God’s lordship by taking advantage of present opportunities while we wait on Him. Today I introduce you to my friend Sarah (formerly named Sarai), who has a lot in common with me … because neither of us likes to wait. Our greatest pleasure is experiencing the perfection of God’s plan. My idea is good and God-honoring. Paul was probably in his mid-fifties at the time of this imprisonment. Perhaps you want to own a home, be married, or see your loved ones saved. (Romans 8:27). Someday you may be alone, and wouldn’t you welcome a visit from someone? Deepen my understanding, and give me a greater knowledge of what You are doing in my life. When David fought Goliath, even he reflected on what God had done in the past in his life. But then, as far as the text tells us, the Lord sort of checked out, as far as any visible or audible messages to Paul. C. When God delays, we must trust in Him, not in our circumstances. Why would God let the pigs drown? Feeling desperate and believing she’s reached an impasse, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. Studying the Bible can seem like an intimidating endeavor. But we need to keep waiting on God and trusting Him with a sweet and simple faith. Read Matthew 4:1-11. Sometimes it seems as if God responds to our emergencies like that plumber responded to that call. Even if the Lord enables me to serve until I’m 75, it isn’t all that far off. Characters), The Net Pastor’s Journal, Eng Ed, Issue 37, Fall 2020. Wow! So don't give up! This brings us to the amazing hope of our key verse: “It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old” (Hebrews 11:11). In many cases this waiting period actually serves as a time of preparation for the answer. Anne Peterson is a speaker, poet, and published author who is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. For reasons only God knows—and we don’t have a right to have Him explain His ways—God has not forgotten you. What it does mean: if you trust in Jesus for your best life now, you don't have the kind of faith the Bible describes. He will do what He has promised. It’s just like when a woman is pregnant; it's said that she is expecting a baby. (Genesis 16:2) Her plan was “successful,” as Abram became a father. Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2002, All Rights Reserved. Help me to pray by faith consistently and long-term, to believe, wait, and then move forward in Your timing. The Christian life is one of waiting. At any time you can unsubscribe and remove your consent. Paul says it in Romans 8.

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