Families of Faith

Genesis 25:21; Exodus 2:1-2; 1 Samuel 1:10-11

The young preacher was shocked to hear the well-known evangelist utter the words,
"I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life in the arms of another man's wife.
Yes, I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life in the arms of another man's wife
."

Then, following a pause, the evangelist added, "That woman was my mother."

"I've got to use that!" the young pastor thought to himself.

A few weeks later, as he was speaking to a civic group,
the phrase came to mind and he exclaimed,
"I have spent some of the happiest days of my life in the arms of another man's wife."

Then, after another long pause, the young man muttered meekly,
"But for the life of me I can't remember who she was."

There is absolutely no doubt that mothers have a powerful influence on our lives.

I like what Chuck Swindoll said about the family, "Whatever else may be said about the home,
it is the bottom line of life, the anvil upon which attitudes and convictions are hammered out.
It is the place where life's bills come due, the single most influential force in our earthly existence
."

As Christian parents, we must make sure that we have the proper priorities for our families.

What are your priorities in your family?
What are your spiritual priorities?
Does faith have a high priority in your family?

Let's look at the lives of Isaac and Rebekah.

Isaac was living with his father and mother in the land of Canaan.
Isaac had grown up and it was time for him to find a wife.
Abraham did not want him to marry any women of the land of Canaan, so he made arrangements
to send a servant back to Mesopotamia to find one of his kinsmen for his son, Isaac, to marry.
In Genesis 24, Abraham sends his servant to his own kinsman to find Isaac a wife.

This is a story of of how God provides and of faith in God.

Isaac needed a wife, but he had to trust that God would provide just the right wife for him.
He had to trust that God would give the servant wisdom in selecting that woman.
Also, he had to trust that God would direct in all of the circumstances concerning
the selection of his bride.
Isaac trusted God for a wife.

His servant came to the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia.
God was already at work.
God led the servant to a young girl named Rebekah, and she just happened to be related
to Abraham's people.
The servant and Rebekah went to her house and told her family all about the journey
to find Isaac a wife.
The proposition was made that she return with this servant to Isaac.

Then Rebekah had to exercise her faith in God.
In Genesis 24:58 we read, "Then they called Rebekah and said to her,
'Will you go with this man?' And she said, 'I will go.' "


Rebekah came back, and there was a great wedding.
She and Isaac were married, and they lived happily ever after.

Well, not exactly.
Although they had experienced God's provision, they had another test of their faith.
Rebekah was barren.

They had a choice to make.
Would they try to figure out some human means to get a child, following the example
of Abraham and Sarah where Abraham fathered a child by Sarah's handmaid, Hagar?
Or would they trust God to fulfill His promise?

And Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren;
and the Lord answered him and Rebekah conceived. (Genesis 25:21)
They trusted God for a child, and God responded to their faith.
God provided a child.
Isaac and Rebekah had learned to trust God.
They had to learn to trust God for one another, and to trust God for their family.
And that God honored their faith and provided for their need.

We must trust God for our needs.
We must have faith that God will provide.
The God who knows when a sparrow falls to the earth knows our every need.

Sometimes it is hard to trust Him for our needs.
Sometimes, even the smallest needs appear to be mountains we can't climb.
When you are facing a financial need and you do not know how you can get the the money
-- that is a mountain that you can't climb.
When you find out your job has been terminated, and you don't know what you will do
-- that is a mountain that you can't climb.
When one of your children gets into trouble and you are hurt and embarrassed
and do not know where to turn -- that is a mountain that you can't climb.
When your doctor tells you that you have cancer -- that is a mountain that you can't climb.
Life is not fair!
Life is unpredictable just when everything seems to be going great -- wham!
Life can be cruel.
What will you do when you come to a mountain that you can't climb and certainly can't move.
What will you do?
Who are you going to trust?
Trust in God.
God moves mountain!

God will enable you to climb that mountain!
God has promised us that if we have faith, we can move mountains.
Trust God for what you need.

There is a well-known story of a man caught in a flood.
As the waters rose surrounding his house, he had to flee.
First, he went upstairs, and then onto the roof.

As he was sitting on the roof waiting for the flood waters to subside,
he seemed to be very peaceful, very self-assured.

Two men in a row-boat came by and offered to take him to safety.
But he told them, "No! I am just going to trust in the Lord."

Several hours passed and a couple of men in a motor boat came by, and offered,
again, to take him to safety.
But he replied, "No, thank you. I am going to trust in the Lord."

The waters continued to rise, and finally a helicopter came by.
The men in the helicopter offered to lower a ladder and transport him to safety.
But he replied, "No, thank you. I am just going to trust in the Lord."

Instead of subsiding, the flood waters overcame his house and he drowned.
As he was ushered into heaven, he began to complain bitterly to one of the angels.
He said, "I trusted in God, and what did it get me?
I was sitting on my roof trusting that God would cause the flood waters to subside, and He didn't.
Where was God when I needed Him?
Why didn't He save me
?"

The angel replied, "Well, He sent two boats and a helicopter,
what else did you want Him to do
?"

God provides for our needs, but not always the way that we might expect.
God's solutions are are always better than ours.

What you are looking for may not be the provision God has for you.
But you can trust that He will provide.

We can also trust God with what we have.
We can trust Him with our mate.
We can trust Him with our son.
We can trust Him with our daughter.
At times, it is difficult to trust God with those so very close to us.

From the anxiety of a mother sending her child alone to school on that first day,
to the fears of a father entrusting his precious daughter to her new husband,
the challenge is to have faith.
But the nature of faith is to trust God, not only for ourselves, but for others as well.

Martin Luther said, "Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace.
It is so sure and certain, that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times
."

Trust God with what you have.
Trust God to use what you give him.
You see, we must not only trust God for what we need, and trust God with what we have,
we must trust God to use what we give Him.

The critical question, I suppose, is, "What have we given Him?"
You see, God does not use what we do not give Him.
The Apostle Paul said, in 2 Timothy 1:12, "For I know whom I have believed
and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day
."

Trust Him with your finances, He gave them to you in the first place.
He will use them to meet our needs as a family, and He will use them to advance His kingdom.

Trust Him with your work.
He will use you as an example to your fellow workers of how a Christian responds
to the pressures of the work.

Trust Him with your marriage.
He will use it to teach your children how a Christian family ought to live.

Trust Him with your lives.
He will use us to share the good news to a lost and dying world.
You can show what a difference Christ makes in your life.

Trust God to use what you give Him.
Trust God!

I pray that our families will trust God!

Sermon Adapted

 

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