Summary: Everyone of us experiences periods of grief in our lives which result in feelings of hopelessness. Pastor Dunn helps us to understand that God never leaves us or abandons us especially in our moment of need!
The Woman God Is Concerned About
Author Edgar Jackson poignantly describes grief: Grief is a young widow trying to raise her three children, alone. Grief is the man so filled with shocked uncertainty and confusion that he strikes out at the nearest person. Grief is a mother walking daily to a nearby cemetery to stand quietly and alone a few minutes before going about the tasks of the day. She knows that part of her is in the cemetery, just as part of her is in her daily work. Grief is the silent, knife-like terror and sadness that comes a hundred times a day, when you start to speak to someone who is no longer there. Grief is the emptiness that comes when you eat alone after eating with another for many years.
Grief is teaching yourself to go to bed without saying good night to the one who had died. Grief is the helpless wishing that things were different when you know they are not and never will be again. Grief is a whole cluster of adjustments, apprehensions, and uncertainties that strike life in its forward progress and make it difficult to redirect the energies of life.
Charles Swindoll, Growing Strong, p. 171.
The longer we live, the more likely we are to experience grief much like those I just shared with you. No one enjoys it, looks forward to it, nor embraces it as a close friend. In fact, we had all rather not answer the door to grief....hoping that it will pass us by. But in reality, that just isn’t so. Grief strikes all of us, regardless of our age, sex or race.
When I attended East Texas Baptist University almost 20 years ago.... wow.... time flies when your having fun! One of my professors, Dr. Donald Potts made an impact on my life that only few have made. Dr. Potts spent time with me during my college days crisis. It seemed everyday brought a new crisis, or so I thought.
One day in class, Dr. Potts spoke to all of the young pastors about grief. He has a heart for those who grieve and when he spoke about it, you knew that he had experienced grief first-hand.
He spoke from our text that we are looking at today, and said, "This is a text about a woman Whom God is concerned with." This text speaks about true grief in the life of this woman, whom in the midst of her adversity and grief, learned how to exercise hope in Christ.
I. The Woman God Is Concerned About Is Hopeful When She Grieves.
A. God understands our grief.
B. God cares about our grief.
C. God can bring us through our grief.
D. God will make something beautiful out of our grief.
II. The Woman God Is Concerned About Is Hopeful When She Believes.
A. God is aware of us.
"You (God) keep close watch on everywhere I go." Job 13:27 (NCV)
B. God cares for us.
"The Lord is good. He protects those who trust Him in times of trouble." Nahum 1:7 (CEV)
C. God wants to help us
"Whenever we are in need, we should go bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with kindness, and we will find help." Hebrews 4:16 (CEV)
III. The Woman God Is Concerned About Is Hopeful When She Perceives.
A. God will not ignore us.
B. God will not forget us.
C. God will not abandon us.
IV. The Woman God Is Concerned About Is Hopeful When She Receives.
A. God gives us grace.
B. God gives us comfort.
C. God gives us strength.
A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope!
Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should is effect be on our lives.
Today in the Word, May, 1990, MBI, p. 34