Summary: Trials play an important part in our walk of faith, as well as our knowledge of the character and faithfulness of God. Only as we learn to look to Him in faith and confidence can we hope to have our needs met.
From Trials To Trust
Text: II Kings 4: 1-7
Intro: Let’s be honest this morning. There’s not one person here that has not had to endure some trials of some sort. Trials seem to be an integral part of life that cannot be bypassed. We all face them, perhaps some more than others.
But for the Christian, trials play an important part in our spiritual growth. It is through trials that we learn to walk closer to the Lord and develop an intimate trust in Him. God desires that we live daily in an attitude of confidence and trust in the Lord as the Source of all that we need. This is the basic thought addressed in Phil.4: 19, which says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
The widow, to whom Elisha ministered in II Kings 4, discovered the truth of Phil.4: 19, even though it hadn’t yet been penned at that time. This dear destitute lady learned three important steps that led her from trials to trust in God as her source of supply.
God’s present-day children need to be aware of these steps as well; for there will always be trials and troubles that invade our lives from time to time. After all, if we truly want to follow God and walk with Him, He will inevitably carry us through situations that will accentuate our need to depend solely on Him. Such is the nature of the faith walk.
Theme: As we follow the steps that lead from trials to trust, we notice:
I. THE DILEMMA THAT CAUSED CONSTERNATION
A. The Woman’s Companion Had Died.
1. He had been a prophet in training.
II Kings 4: 1a “Now there cried (to shriek) a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead…”
NOTE: Some scholars say that the widow mentioned in this verse, was the wife of Obadiah, who hid the prophets of God from Ahab and Jezebel.
2. He had a proper testimony.
II Kings 4: 1b “…thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord…”
NOTE: Not only was this good man a husband and father, but logically, he was also a provider. As a result of his death, his widow had been left with debts, and two sons to feed and raise, but with no means of support.
In adversity we usually want God to do a removing job when He wants to do an improving job. To realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the storm.
B. The Woman’s Creditors Were Making Demands.
II Kings 4: 1c “…the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.”
NOTE: There was famine and drought in the land at this time, so this woman could not hire out her sons and herself to pay off the debts left by her husband. According to Jewish law,
…a creditor was entitled to claim the person and children of the insolvent debtor, and compel them to serve him as bondmen till the year of jubilee should set them free.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary.
C. The Woman’s Commodities Were Depleted.
II Kings 4: 2 “And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.”
NOTE:  In assessing the woman’s situation, Elisha inquires about the sort of supplies this widow has on hand. This implies a principle of which we need to be aware: There is nothing wrong with honestly and realistically assessing one’s situation, as long as you realize that your shortage doesn’t tax God’s ability to supply.
 This situation was not the fault of this woman’s dead husband, or herself. The fact was that, in this particular situation, God had permitted this lady to come to poverty, so that she could know God’s power to provide.
Vance Havner told a story about an elderly lady who was greatly disturbed by her many troubles—both real and imaginary. Finally, someone in her family tactfully told her, “Grandma, we’ve done all we can for you. You’ll just have to trust God for the rest.”
A look of absolute despair spread over her face as she replied, “Oh dear, has it come to that?” Havner commented, “It always comes to that, so we might as well begin with that!”
II. THE DETERMINATION TO COMPLY WITH GOD’S COMMAND
A. This Resulted In The Disclosure Of God’s Plan.
1. The widow was to make preparation.
II Kings 4: 3 “Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all they neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.”