March 24, 2019

God Uses the Most Unlikely People

For the past 4 weeks, I have listened to some great expository preaching by Michael Staton, at FBC Mustang.

Today's conclusion of this series in the book of Ruth was one that helped me to see even more that the experience of Ruth and Naomi's lives was something that I can relate to very much.

They both left a place that had been home for them. They both experienced devastating loss in their lives and they had settled in a new city with many unknowns, especially how would their needs be met without a husband to provide for them?

We had been living in Port Neches, Texas for the past 2 years and had looked forward to living in this community for the next 20 years of our lives. 

I had experienced a devastating loss of ministry when my term as pastor was not renewed, after Hurricane Harvey had occurred. This loss affected me the most emotionally and spiritually and it had affected my wife in a similar manner too.

We moved to a new city (Murrieta, CA) to live with my mother during this transition of our lives and there were unknowns about where our lives would move to next and when. Would we be able to meet our financial obligations personally and that has been a struggle for us throughout the past 15 months and continues to be so, but we're slowly getting out from under that struggle too.

God's faithfulness can be traced throughout this story and so much more can and should we realize that if we remain faithful and diligent in our work, the blessing of God will be found and received in our lives, much like it was for Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi.

Both women suffered the loss of their husbands, but Naomi's grief was multiplied by the loss of both of her sons too, and it's not too hard to imagine the tremendous amount of grief she had experienced.

It's also not too hard to imagine how a person could begin to think that such an emotional distress could cause a person to feel that God has somehow abandoned them too.

Have you ever felt that God may have abandoned you, whether there has been an unexpected transition in your life, or not? I know that I can honestly say that I have felt that way several times in the past 15 months of my life and I've prayed at the beach asking God, "What are you doing in my life right now that I need to understand? Help me understand why this is happening, please."

One of the applications that Michael had shared at the end of the sermon was that we don't grow best in times of comfort and ease, but in the difficult times of life, which is all the more reason why we should continue to trust God during those times. 

Our faith grows stronger when there are difficulties and unless our lives are continuously rooted in the daily discipline of the Word of God, we'll simply collapse in the midst of it.

I'm also grateful that he pointed out the genealogy list of people at the end of chapter 4 of Ruth and to see the list of names in Matthew chapter 1:3-6.

Each of the women listed in Matthew chapter 1:3-6 did not have lives that by human standards would have been considered useful for service to God.

Tamar deceived a man into having sex with her, so she could have children, Rahab was a known prostitute, Ruth lived in a country (Moab) that was known for immoral living, and Bathsheba committed adultery with another man.

Not one of these women would have been chosen as Woman of the Year, by human standards. But God uses the most unlikely and even the most undeserving people, to see that His will is accomplished and that His name will be praised, by each person and among other people too.

I've certainly felt that it would be unlikely that God would use me again, but according to the story of Ruth, He wants to use people who don't feel as if they deserve to be used by Him. That gives me hope and I hope it gives you hope too.

There is something that is part of God's will that needs to be accomplished, and and I hope that you realize, as much as I do now that somehow, some way, we daily play a role in seeing the sovereign hand of God at work in the fulfillment of His will, in more than just our individual lives.

So, if you're going through a season of life that has been difficult, or even experienced a tragic loss of life, don't despair. God is still at work and is doing something remarkable, through people in around your life, to cause you to worship and thank Him in immense awe and wonder.

No comments: