Faith For Provision: Widow At Zarephath

Widowed woman

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. 1 Kings 17:15-16 

During a severe famine in the land, God had told Elijah to go to a certain widow in Zarephath for his provision of food. There he asked the lady for some food. The woman said that she had only a little food left for one meal, then she and her son would die from starvation.

Think about this for a moment. Here is a lady and her son about to eat their last meal and die and this guy comes up to her and wants her to make him some food first. This sounds selfish and rude. Most people would tell him to get lost or sorry that they cannot give him any food.

Pancakes

Giving up the last of something you have to a complete stranger would be difficult to do, especially if it meant life or death for you or someone else you love. In order to do something like this, it would take a great step of faith. You would have to first know that you are doing what God wants, then you would have to trust that God would meet your needs.

Elijah told her to trust that God would provide and still to make the food for him. The widow chose to trust Elijah and God and decided to make the food for Elijah. As she made the food, somehow God continued to provide the needed oil and flour to keep making more food.

Man stepping of cliff

Stepping out into faith will sometimes require to give up something that you need. In doing this, you are trusting God to meet that need in some other way.

Often people trust their own abilities to meet their personal needs. They trust their job, bank account, experience, and more, rather than have faith in God. Choosing to do your own thing will not show faith in God, but faith in self. In the process of trusting self, you will not be able to see the provision of God in your life.

A life of faith will not be focused on self. It will be focused on what you can do for others knowing that God will meet your needs. When Jesus came to this earth, He came focused on serving life to every person. He trusted His Father to take care of Him and meet His needs. This included laying down His life. He had faith, that if He laid down His life for others, God would raise it back up again. And He did.

Empty tomb

If the widow had not trusted Elijah and God, then that meal most likely would have been her last meal. God would not have provided for her, because she would not have trusted in Him, but in her own abilities. Yet, her actions of trust allowed God to provide abundantly for her needs.

As you see a need in someone else’s life, you may have the ability to meet it, but in the process may create a need of your own. In seeing this, you may not see how you can help the other person out, without jeopardizing your own life. This is where faith steps in. Trust God to meet your needs.

In the same way you may be meeting the need of someone else, God may have another person waiting to meet your need. Or God may doing some miracle to provide for your need as you step out in faith.

Helping hands

Do not hold back helping someone else out when you have the ability. This is a way to shine God’s love and provision into the life of another person. It is also a great act of faith on your part. Trusting God to touch the other person through you. Trusting God to meet your needs. Trusting God to help you provide for others.

Think about ways you can step up to help meet the needs of someone else. How can God use you to touch someone else’s life? If God could provide for he widow…If God provided for you in the past…then God can provide for you again in your time of need. Trust Him. Have faith in His abilities.

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Psalm 4:8 Sleep In Peace

Cat sleeping

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 

Good sleep is something that a lot of people are desiring, yet are not always getting it. It is common for people to toss and turn all night, or constantly be getting up for something throughout the night. When morning comes they feel as if they had not slept at all and are not rested and ready for the new day.

To help combat this restless sleeping people will try many different things. It is common for many to have a drink of alcohol in the evening before going to bed to begin to relax. Others take medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription, to help them sleep better at night.

The reason many cannot sleep is that they have things on their minds. They are worried about tomorrow, they are worried about what happened that day, they are trying to figure out what to do in a situation, and many other reasons.

David said he was able to lie down in peace and sleep. Yet, much of his life he had been running from enemies. He had peace because he knew that God was protecting him. He was safe in God’s hands.

The world only has the here and now and what they can individually do. They do not have the peace of God, the One in absolute control, in their lives. They live in sin and hope that everything will turn out all right, so they toss and turn seeking rest that is not there.

Believers know that God is in control of every situation in their lives. They do not have to worry about any thing. One can lie down at night, laying down every situation in his life at the feet of Jesus, knowing that God is in control and will take care of him. All fear and worry can leave, so that he can have a peaceful rest.

Place all of your cares and worries into God’s hands. Trust that He is in control. Then when you go to sleep at night, you can rest assured that God is with you and will protect you.

Put all your trust in God and not the things of this world. This world will let you down and destroy you. God will build you up and give you life, eternal life.

Do you have peace at night?

I pray today that you will know the peace God offers; that you will put all of your trust in God; that you will allow God to take care of your worries and fear; and that God will give you a peaceful rest each night.

Job 34:12 God Cannot Do Wrong

Rainbow on river

It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice. Job 34:12 

Watching some people, it sometimes appears as if they can never do anything wrong. They live such a good life, that they almost appear perfect. Yet, if one examines their life closer, there will be faults found in them.

There are also some people that many people feel as if the person cannot do anything wrong. People often put a politician on a pedestal and believe that no matter what he does, he cannot do anything wrong. Again, if a person really  looks closely at the person, faults will be found.

Job had been feeling as though God may be doing something wrong in judging him. Elihu points out that it is completely unthinkable that God would do something wrong, or that He would pervert justice.

Over time there have been many people who have turned against God because they thought He did something wrong. They had a loved one who God allowed to die from a sickness, rather than heal that person. God allows a person to lose his job. Things in his life do not go correctly and they blame God for it.

It is easy for a person to blame God for things when they go wrong. However, one needs to determine what is considered ‘something going wrong’. When a sickness overtakes a person, most people think that is wrong, but God may have it there for a greater, eternal purpose. Losing a job may feel as a bad wrong, but it may be done in order to move him to somewhere better or to get him out of what will become a bad situation.

God ways of doing things is strange to man’s thinking, but it is always correct and always the best action.

When things go ‘bad’ in your life, don’t just blame God and get angry with Him. Ask Him to reveal His purpose for those bad times. Ask Him how you can grow closer to Him through those bad times. Ask Him how you can be His witness in those bad times.

God will not and cannot ever do anything wrong. His love for you is so great that He will only do what is best for you. Trust Him, don’t blame Him. Despite the problems in this life, there is coming a day when it will be worth it all for eternity.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will trust God’s choices for your life; that you will know God never does things wrong; and that you will have a life of perfection for eternity in heaven with God some day.

Abraham: Doing Crazy Faith

Bavaria landscape

The LORD had said to Abram, “God from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, who you love–Isaac–and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:2

As we continue to look at what faith is, we must look at Abraham. He is considered the father of faith.

When he comes on to the scene, it shows God coming to him and telling him to leave his land, father and inheritance to go somewhere God would lead him to. Abraham (at this point Abram), listened and obeyed God. He stepped out in faith to follow God’s leading.

Abraham had been raised up in the land of the Chaldeans in Ur. His father was probably and worshipper of a false god or some idol, not a follower of God. He had lived there most of his life. At the age of seventy-five years old, God appears to him and tells him to move away to an unknown area.

Elderly man

Think about this for a moment. There was no internet in those days. Abraham was not able to look up information on where to get housing. He was not able to call ahead and find a new job to transfer to. The new area was probably an area that speaks a different language.

Along with this move, he is leaving his father behind. He was no longer carrying on his father’s occupation or caring for his land. He was, in a sense, turning his back on his family, walking away from them.

Not only was this a new location to move to, but Abraham was not young anymore. He was seventy-five years old. Keep in mind this was after the flood and God had said that man’s days would be limited to about 120 years on this earth. Abraham was well over that half way point.

This was like a mid-life crisis. He had to change homes, countries, jobs, and family after being settled for many years. Yet, he stepped out in faith, trusting God’s word to him. God promised him land and families, though Abraham did not know how this would happen yet, nor the problems that would come about before it was fulfilled.

Boy stepping out

 

First point–Step out in faith.

God has a different path for each and every believer. Some things may be somewhat similar, but they are still different roads. One thing that God wants from everybody is for them to trust Him. That is what faith is.

Although radically changes are not an every day thing, they do occur within the life of a believer, or anyone else. As you walk with God, there will be times God will have you pack up and move out to something new, something you cannot see or really dream of.

Sometimes this can be a physical move from one place to another. Other times it can be a change in lifestyle, giving up something or changing your friends. It could also be a change of careers or work. Whatever the change is, it can be difficult, but it is what God wants you to do.

Usually these types of changes do not always make sense to the normal mind. It appears to be an insane change or a step towards suicide. Yet, God always makes a path towards a greater life.

Since Abraham had obeyed God, he was blessed with a nation from his family line. He was given land. Ultimately, Jesus brought salvation to the world through his lineage. All because of a step of radical faith.

When God calls you to do something, it is for a purpose. It is to make you better, make you His witness and to build His kingdom. So step out in faith to do what He is calling you to do. Trust that He knows what is best for you in this fallen world.

The other thing that Abraham had to face was when God asked him to sacrifice his son. This was the long promised desired son and only son that Abraham was called to sacrifice on an altar. It sounded like an insane thing to do. Why would God call him to sacrifice his promised son? What good could ever come from that? Isn’t God a God of life? Didn’t He command that no one is to kill anyone? Isn’t this going against what He had commanded?

God was not looking for the sacrifice at all. He really does not care about sacrifices. God is looking for obedience. To obey is better than sacrifice, yet God called for a sacrifice.

When God asked him to sacrifice his son, Abraham immediately obeyed. The bible does not say he questioned God or had to pray about it for days/weeks to make a decision to whether he heard God or not. He knew that he had heard God and so he immediately obeyed Him.

Since Abraham had obeyed without any question, God provided an alternative to sacrificing his son. He provided a ram to be sacrificed instead of his son. God knew then that Abraham would obey no matter what God asked of him.

Abraham and Isaac

 

Point two–Obey immediately in faith. 

There are times that God still asks people to do something extremely radical and crazy. Some of those things will even appear to go against what God has previously said to do or not to do. You must know that it is God who is speaking and guiding you.

In order to know it is God speaking, you must be in constant communication with Him. You must know His voice and what He has to say. You must know His character. In order to know these things, you have to stay immersed in the Bible and in prayer.

Every time you open and read some of the Bible, you are finding out something about God. You are learning who He is, how He is and what He does. As you spend time in prayer, communicating with Him, you are learning to hear His voice. Once you know His voice, you will know when He speaks or when it is something false.

As soon as God speaks something, you must step out an act upon it. This is obedience. Obeying God immediately every time. It is not questioning God or doubting self, it is trusting God–faith. It is knowing God and knowing you can trust him.

I doubt that God will call you to physically sacrifice your son, since Jesus became the sacrifice for all. However, He will call you to sacrifice other things in your life that it is not needed. He will also put a test in front of you to see if you will fully obey Him or not. This can be found in sacrificing something that is not bad, but is dear to your heart–your treasured possession.

It is at this point that faith steps in. It is trusting God and having faith in Him that what He is asking you to do is in the best interests of you, others and His kingdom for His glory and honor.

Faith will obey immediately without questioning. It will not to try and find an excuse not to do something, but will find a way to do it.

No Fear

As I close out this talk on faith, using Abraham as an example, learn from Abraham. Learn what it means to step out in faith immediately. Learn what it means to obey immediately in faith. God will not let you down, but will carry you through whatever is ahead of you in this life and the life to come.

Do not fear, but live and act in His love for you. God is there for you and will not forsake you or steer you wrong. Be full of faith as you step out and obey God in every area of your life.

Job 23:3 Sometimes God Is Silent

Guy at sunset

If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! Job 23:3 

Finding someone who does not want to be found can often be very difficult. It is easy for a person to hide in this world. This is even with the high technology of tracing someone through cell phones or credit cards. If one really wants to hide, it is possible.

There are times when some people want to just be alone. They go into hiding in various ways. Often stopping the normal things that they do. Other times they move to a new location to bring on anonymity.

Job had the problem of trying to find God in everything that was occurring in his life. Everywhere he searched, he was unable to find God. He wanted to talk with God about what has happening. Yet, during all of this God was silent and staying hidden, out of sight.

God is outside man’s physical realm of seeing, touching or hearing. With this being the case, if He does not want to be found, no one will be able to find Him.

There are times when God is silent. He chooses not to speak or reveal Himself openly. This usually occurs during a time of testing. He is testing someone to see how faithful he is to Him and how much he trusts Him.

As a believer is going through a harsh testing, God is standing back and watching what will happen. Too often, a person gives up on God, because he does not understand what is happening and loses faith in God. He no longer fully trusts God.

If a person holds on to what he knows about God, he will realize that God is faithful and will always be there, even when not seen or felt. God will not and cannot go back on His promises.

Just as Job held on to his faith in God, you must also hold on to your faith in God when going through a difficult time. God may be silent, but that is when He has His eyes on you and is proving how you will react to your situation.

Do not give up your faith in Him, but know that despite how it looks or feels, God is right there by your side. He will never leave or forsake you, though He may be silent for a time. Keep searching for Him and He will be found in the right time.

I pray today that you will have a personal relationship with God; that you will know His promises to you; that you will trust God in every situation; and that you will hear God’s voice every day.

Job 7:20 Blaming God And Self

Cloudy road

If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Job 7:20 

When things go wrong in life, people want to find out why they went wrong. They want a reason as to why something had occurred so they can avoid it the next time.

If the cause of the problems was being on the wrong side of town, they will begin to avoid that side of town. If the cause was from a person, then they will avoid that person.

However, often the cause cannot be directly seen. Then people will begin to blame themselves or God.

As Job was going through an extreme amount of suffering, he was trying to understand why it was happening. He questioned God in wondering if he had sinned in some way or not to bring on the suffering. He also wondered if he had become a burden to God and God was trying to get rid of him.

Just like Job, people today will ask those same questions. Neither Job, nor people today, see the bigger picture. They could not see that the cause of the suffering was neither their sin, nor God wanting to get rid of them. Seeing the larger picture reveals it was Satan causing the suffering, and God allowing it to prove Job was faithful.

God’s ways are far above the ways  and thinking of any man. No one can fully understand them. People are not supposed to lean on their own understanding, but to trust God.

Rather than blame self or God, one must accept and trust God’s ways. Examine self for sin, but then repent and know that those sins are now gone and are no longer a factor in suffering.

Instead of blaming God or yourself for the suffering you are going through, trust in God and give Him praise that He knows what is best for you. Praise Him that He is with you throughout the time of suffering and has eternal life waiting for you in the end.

God’s love and mercy is greater than you or any sin you have done. Once you have repented of your sins, they are gone and God no longer holds them against you.

Now trust Him, instead of blaming self or Him for the suffering you are going through.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s forgiveness He offers; that you will trust God’s work in your life; and that God will reveal His presence in your life.