Summary: Elijah's life teaches us what it means to trust God and allow God to provide for us and lead us. He also teaches us how to respond to God in tragedy and hardship and how to grow our faith through tests.
Video Transition: Martin Luther King Jr - Last Speech April 3rd the day before he is assassinated – he showed his faith over fear to do the will of God.
Would you have done the same? I find it amazing today how many people think the will of God is to live safely in our homes and to live a long safe life until we die – we have a distorted view that this is God’s Will – No risk – no faith – safety is what it’s all about but that is not what I see in Scripture – faith is risky and faith confronts fear to do the will of God – even when it may cost you your life for the sake of others. Yes, our faith will be tested and the question is when it is how will you respond to God?
Sermon: Elijah’s Story of Breakthrough pt. 2
Scripture: 1 Kings 17, 18
Thesis: Elijah was a prophet of God called out of obscurity to confront a wicked King and Queen of Israel. He became one of Israel’s most famous prophets and helped bring a breakthrough for the nation of Israel. His calling was to confront the leaders of the nation for their promotion of sin and to prove God is the true God to be worshipped. He also teaches us what it means to trust God and allow God to provide for us and lead us. He also teaches us how to respond to God in tragedy and hardship and how to grow our faith through tests.
On the lighter side of life:
Three old men were at the doctor’s office for a memory test. The doctors said to the first old man, “What is three times three?” “Two-hundred seventy four,” he replied. The doctor said to the second man, “it’s your turn. What is three times three?” “Tuesday,” replied the second man. The doctor said to the third man, “Okay, your turn. What’s three times three?” “Nine,” said the third man. “That’s great,” said the doctor. “How did you get that?” “Simple! I subtracted 274 from Tuesday.”
Question: Why do you think God administers tests in our lives? Tests from God always have a spiritual purpose and a spiritual growth process for us in our faith walk with the Lord.
During my school years I learned a lot but I never liked taking tests. Tests were always hard, and you had to study extra to prepare and if you did not study the right stuff you could still fail even if you studied. But sometimes you would study and nail it and you would get the A. But I never liked teachers who would mislead you as to what would be on a test. I did not like the professors who tested me on things they never taught on. I at times went in and complained to a few professors who did this. I did not like those last minute change ups by these types of professors.
Have you ever thought why do we have to take tests in school? What is the purpose of taking a test? Well let’s look at what the purpose of tests are:
• Test (student assessment) or assessment, in education, (also called an "examination") serves to assess or measure students' performance, knowledge or skills
Tests measure our knowledge of a subject, our skills in a subject and our level or performance on a certain subject. Tests are very revealing about what we know and don’t know. They are a good learning tool to helps us see were we are proficient and were we lack.
This is good for us academically as well as spiritually.
The question could be asked, “Does God give tests?” The answer is “Yes” He does. We find references to those in history who received “tests” from the Lord.
In the Old Testament God tested Abraham and the truth is God will also test us in our faith walk. We are not exempt from going through times of testing!
Testing from God always challenges us in our spiritual walk and in our faith. They stretch us to place more faith and trust in the leading of the Lord. Even when there is a change of plan and the situation does not act out like you imagined it would. This does not mean that you missed God or even misunderstood His voice. It means God has a spiritual purpose for the change of plan.
When testing and trails come in life how will you react to them? They will come brooks will dry up – journeys will need to be taken in famine and drought. Sickness will strike so what will you do when this happens?
T.S. - Elijah’s life and story reveals how God provides even in times of nationwide sin, political chaos and famine and Elijah and the widow teach us - how to walk through - tests from the Lord by having a strong faith and loyal trust in God. Elijah and the widow in our story are tested by the Lord when all seemed perfect in life!