Abundant Life Episode 43
In this episode Saso and Ben discuss the how Christians must place their hope in God in times of discouragement and life’s trials.
OPENED – Unclosed; unbarred; unsealed; uncovered; revealed; disclosed; made plain; freed from obstruction. – Websters 1828
2 Kings 6:15-17
Elisha’s servant was troubled with the armies that had encompassed them about, but Elisha was not fearful as he was able to see the presence and protection of God. “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
The promise he was referring to is the promise given to Abraham that through Him all of the families of the earth would be blessed. God in a sense had opened his eyes to the promise He had given him where he could visualize and see the great nation that would come from him. The opening of our eyes is the faith we must have in God to see the great things He has promised us and the great hope we have in Him.
Sometimes these emotions come with the trials of life.
What are the giants in your life? What do you fear? What makes you feel hopeless? What makes you anxious?
- Sickness, disease, cancer, terminal illness
- Personal offense, someone said/did something to hurt you
- Personal loss, home lost in fire or natural disaster
- Loss of loved one
- Divorce or marital problems
- Elections & Economy
- Rumors of wars
- Midlife crisis
- You’ve committed that same sin again that has you ensnared or a sinful habit that you can’t kick
- Difficult boss at work, or difficult co-workers
The scriptures not only speak truth and give you hope, but the scriptures are so relatable. The book of Psalms is always a comfort to me whether you are on the mountain of life or in the valley because there is something you can always relate with.
Psalm 38 is a lament when you lay your troubles at the feet of Jesus realizing your sin has brought on the trouble and you are discouraged.
Psalm 42, is a lament when you are oppressed and persecuted and discouraged.
Psalm 73 is a Psalm of wisdom written by Asaph sharing his thoughts of discouragement as he observed the prosperity of the wicked.
Here are more examples in scripture that you can relate to when you are discouraged or feeling hopeless.
Elijah was in the midst of a drought and God commanded him to go and ask a widow to feed him. The widow basically had nothing left, except a little bit of flour and she was basically preparing for her and her son to die of hunger. She must have been fearful and discouraged. In fact this is what she said: 1 Kings 17:12
Goliath the philistine was taunting the Israelites because he was a mighty warrior, a confident giant. Although we know how the story ends, the fact of the matter is that the soldiers were scared and discouraged.
1 Samuel 17:11
Elijah had just experience a great victory when God consumed his alter and then he slayed 450 prophets of Baal. But after the great victory he ran for his life after Jezebell threatened his life.
1 Kings 19:4
Can you imagine how fearful and discouraged the Israelites were as they were trapped between Red Sea and Egyptian army expecting to be executed?
How about Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt to avoid Herod’s vicious execution of young boys in attempt to kill Jesus. Imagine the fear and discouragement? Can you imagine what Mary would have thought?
Haggai 2:4-5 – Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work (building of the temple): for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
- 2 Timothy 1:7
- Isaiah 41:10
- Isaiah 41:13
Trials of life
Paul had gone through the ringer to the point where he faced death. Have you ever been pressed out of measure? Ever been without strength? Been close to death? The sentence of death came upon them but them, but it taught them to not trust in themselves as found in John 15:5.
- Matthew 19:26
- 1 Peter 1:6-7
How to overcome the giants in our life
- Confess and repent of our sin of unbelief – 1 John 1:9
- Believe God’s Promises – Romans 8:28
- Pray – Psalm 55:22
- Press on – Galatians 6:9, Philippians 3:14
God is more than enough! Open your eyes
The ultimate key to overcoming the trials of life to open your eyes and know that God is more than enough.
Hope is a confident expectation, not wishful thinking, not pie in the sky. It’s having confidence that God will fulfill every promise, that God loves you unconditionally, that God is in control at every moment, that God will judge and avenges his enemies, and ultimately, that God is more than enough.
Do you believe He is able to do the impossible in your life? Have your eyes been closed to His goodness? Do your eyes need to be opened today?
Are you like the father in Mark 9:24 who cried out to the Father?
Do you need to cry out to your heavenly Father? Are you saddled with unbelief? Are you discouraged? Will you ask Him to open your eyes?
Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Do you need Him to open your eyes to the truth of the gospel? Paul eyes were physically blinded from his meeting with God on the road to Damascus, but his spiritual eyes were opened for the first time.
May God open your eyes today and may ye not fear the enemy, but may your faith and trust be placed in God. “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”