“TIMES OF REFRESHING”
INTRO:1.Hagar is often presented as the conniving, heartless, blindly ambitious, threat to God’s plan.
a)When she ran away from Sarah she went alone, maybe because she had no real friends in the camp.
b)Had it been up to Sarah or even up to us, we may have simply exclaimed, “Well, Good riddens, leaving is the best thing you could ever have done for us.”
c)But that was far from God’s response to Hagar, He went to her at her hour of deepest distress and brought her a “time of refreshing”.
2.Jesus found her by a spring in the desert, but what she needed was a refreshing that the water would never give her - she needed spiritual refreshing.
a)Jesus, in the form of the Angel Of The Lord, was not a mirage to her but an Oasis of Spiritual and Emotional Restoration.
b)This “time of refreshing” came at a crucial time in her life, at a crossroads where she didn’t know which way to turn.
3.Peter in His sermon in Acts 3 tells his listeners that a benefit to coming to Christ is that He brings us times of refreshing.
Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
a)Like Hagar, these times may come even when we aren’t even aware we need them.
b)Like Hagar, these times may come when you’ve exhausted—all of your reserved strength is gone. (All your resources fail you)
c)Like Hagar, these times may come when no one else bothers to care.
d)But more than likely it will be, like Hagar, a turning point in you life and in your relationship with God.
I.WE NEED REFRESHING.
a.We live in a desert wasteland, sin and corruption has left this world void of the true life that God has to offer, we must be away that this world can drain us of that lifeflow if we let it.
b.But, thank God, Peter says these times of refreshing comes standard with salvation.
c.The sad side is that there are those that resist this refreshing, or ignore this refreshing because they were too proud to admit they need it.
d.We’ll die if we choose to just walk past the oasis that God plants in our paths.
e.Let’s recognize why we need these times.
A.BECAUSE SOMETIMES WE GET WHAT WE WANT.
1.Hagar got what she had dreamt of all of her life, she was going to be the mother of Abraham’s son, the future heir of his riches - but she found it wasn’t what she had expected.
2.Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to you is what you want most to happen to you and find it far from what you expected.
3.ILL. Sampson’s life was a wasted life because he got what he wanted - Delilah.
4.ILL. Judas’ soul was lost because he got what he wanted - 30 pieces of silver.
5.When we reach for things, postions, power and pleasure to bring refreshing to our souls we’re reaching in the wrong direction.
B.BECAUSE SOMETIMES WE BECOME THE VICTIMS OF THE BAD CHOICES OF OTHERS.
1.This started out being the idea of Sarah, but ended up Hagar’s problem.
2.Life on this planet with other human beings can leave us scared and wounded by the bad decisions of others - leaving us crying, “It’s not fair, I did nothing wrong to deserve this”.
3.It’s easy to get caught up in resentment, anger, even the spirit of hatred if we fail to submit ourselves to his time of refreshing.
4.Jesus can take what was intended for your hurt and turn it to be an advantage for your good.
5.Sure, life isn’t fair, but we have an advantage over the world, we have Jesus watching out for us.
6.ILL. Paul and Silas had every reason to resent those that had unfairly beat them and now had them in shakles sitting on a hard prison floor - but they opted for a time of refeshing.
C.BECAUSE SOMETIMES GOD’S PEOPLE FAIL TO GIVE US WHAT WE NEED.
1.Let’s not forget that Hagar was living among “God’s chosen people”, these were the same ones that now had been treating her harshly.
2.Sometimes the church people, the pastor, the children of God disappoint us - they fail to be there when we need them, sometimes they are part of the problem.
3.Let me note that no matter what our problem is, we are never justified to have unchristian spirits toward each other.
4.Sometimes the church simply can’t give us what we need—Only Jesus can.
5.Don’t give up on the church or God’s people, find the oasis for refreshing.
D.BECAUSE SOMETIMES WE BECOME OVERWHELMED WITH THE TEMPTATION TO JUST “RUN AWAY” FROM OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.
1.Hagar wasn’t just tempted to run, she did run, but she didn’t find her answer running - it was when she stopped to get refreshed at the spring that God brought her another refreshing.
2.It’s so tempting when times get tough to just run away from it all, sometimes that looks like the best solution - but it’s not.
3.Tempted to run away from our marriages, our families, our jobs, our church, our responsiblities, our friendships.
4.ILL. Elijah knew what it felt like to want to run, he found himself discouraged and ready to quiet, but God started him on the path to refreshing.
a.God’s in no hurry to refresh us - turned a two day walk for Elijah into a 40 day journey.
b.God knows what it takes to refresh us.
E.BECAUSE WE ARE JUST NATURALLY INCLINED TO DRY TIMES.
1.Our flesh just naturally draws us away from God, eventually leaving us in a dry, lifeless place far from God and God’s people.
2.ILL. The prodigal thought his fleshly lusts would leave him satisfied and fat, but it only left him in a pigpen in a land of famine.
3.The farther we get from the well of life, the drier our experience becomes.
II.WE NEED THE REFRESHING JESUS BRINGS
a.Sometimes it’s not a vacation we need, our need goes with us - not a raise, not a rich relative leaving there inheritance - it’s refreshing only God gives.
b.Only His refreshing can make a real difference in our lives.
A.HIS REFRESHING RESTORES OUR SUBMISSION.
1.Pride had become a major obstacle for Hagar, and had made her life miserable.
2.She had every ‘right’ to feel violated, she was being treated wrongly - but Jesus gave her another principle to use in her defense - submission.
3.Until God can break through our calloused proud heart, we will never know his refreshing.
4.ILL. Saul thought he was following God until God met him on the road to Damascus restored his submission and opened him to a life full of times of refreshings.
B.HIS REFRESHING RESTORES OUR VISION.
1.Hagar was surprised to find that God had a place for her in his plan until He gave her a future prospective.
2.Where theirs life there’s vision.
Prov. 29:18 KJV Where there is no vision, the people perish...
3.Restored vision gives us a reason to living.
4.Restored vision gives us a goal to reach.
5.Restored vision gives us promise to anticipate.
6.Have you had an eye exam lately, How’s your vision.
C.HIS REFRESHING RESTORES OUR GOD AWARENESS.
1.Hagar was so surprised that God would get involved in her life she proclaimed “You are the God who see’s me”, she named the place Beer Lahai roi which means “well of the one who sees me”.
2.The Angel of the Lord gave her another constant reminder that God was always watching over her —told her to name her son “Ishmael” which means literally “God hears”.
3.His refreshing will leave us saying “I know God see’s me and God hears me”.
4.His refreshing makes him real to our lives again.
D.HIS REFRESHING RESTORES OUR COURAGE.
1.Hagar was given the strength and courage, no longer to run, but to face her problems head on.
2.Jesus often refreshes us, not so he can deliver us from our need, but so he can empower us to triumph through our need.
3.ILL. Simon Peter wasn’t delivered from the mockers that identified him with Christ, but his time of refreshing gave him the courage to face them and triumph because of it.
CONCLUSION: Do you need a time of refreshing today?
Jesus is that oasis in the wilderness of life.