Faithlife Sermons

Hope In A Hopeless Situation

Pieces   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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You can have hope in hopeless situations because the LORD is faithful to his word.

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Introduction

Dr. Tony Evans tells a story about a boy who went to the grocery store with his mom.
The boy asked his mother for some chocolate chip cookies, “mommy, get me some chocolate chip cookies.” Mother said, “no, we are in a hurry. I don’t have any extra money. No chocolate chip cookies today.”
As they continued to shop, the little boy said, “but , mama, I want some chocolate chip cookies today.” “Mama, please, why won’t you get me some chocolate chip cookies?”
She said, “boy, you are getting on my nerves. I told you we are not getting chocolate chip cookies today.” She continued shopping.
“Mama, I am begging you for chocolate chip cookies.”
“You are about to get in trouble, son! I told you you’re not getting chocolate chip cookies today. If you ask me again, I’m going to have to punish you.”
She got in the check out line. While waiting the little boy stood up in the grocery cart, clasped his hands looked up to heaven, and said, “Jesus, my mama won’t give me any chocolate chip cookies, but you told me to pray to you about anything. I am asking you to make away for me to get some chocolate chip cookies, because mama is not giving me any chocolate chip cookies.”
People in the line started saying, “why won’t she give that boy some chocolate chip cookies?”
The little boy kept on praying, “Oh, please, Jesus, give me some chocolate chip cookies.”
His mother got so embarrassed, she went and got two packs of chocolate chip cookies.
She came back, put them in the cart, and he said “thank you Jesus.”

God is aware of your situation

1 Kings 17:8–9 ESV
Then the word of the Lord came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”
1 Kings 17:8-9
It was God who decided that he would bring about the drought.
God used the drought to teach and equip Elijah.
Elijah learned that God can provide what is needed and he does not have to use conventional means. ()
Elijah was equipped for his encounter with the widow as a result of his experience at the brook.
God does not call us to a task that he does not provide what is needed for us to accomplish the task he has assigned for us to do.
Noah was provided with the ability to gather the animals as well as build the ark which would house the animals.
Moses was provided with the education and the leadership skills to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Why, because the LORD is aware of your situation.

God has made preparation for your situation

1 Kings 17:10–12 ESV
So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
The LORD sent Elijah to the widows home.
Having experienced the provisional power of the LORD, Elijah was now able to speak from faith to the widow. ()
Elijah’s request was unusual, since this was a widow, she of all people would have been impacted the most by the drought and yet Elijah is sent to the home of a widow by God for his daily bread during a drought that would last 3 1/2 years (). Not just any widow, a widow in Zarephath.
Jesus states in that the reason Elijah was sent to this particular widow is because Elijah was not accepted in his hometown. So once again Elijah witnesses the Lord working in an unconventional way, instead of being sent to a Jew for help, the Lord sends him to a Gentile widow.
Her situation was hopeless, a widow with a young son and no means or resources to provide what is needed to sustain her and her son’s life. She had come to grips with the inevitable, they were going to die from hunger.
Her situation was hopeless, a widow with a young son and no means or resources to provide what is needed to sustain her and her son’s life. She had come to grips with the inevitable, they were going to die from hunger, it was just a matter of time.
Having experienced the provisional power of the LORD, Elijah was now able to speak from faith, to the widow “do not fear” () Elijah points to the spoken word of the Lord as the reason not to be fearful an apparent hopeless situation.
4
1 Kings 17:14 ESV
For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’ ”
Elijah had a Word from the LORD concerning the widow before he encountered the widow. In other words the LORD had made preparation for the widow and Elijah was the vessel he used to deliver a Word of hope.
2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
Is it possible that we are stressing out, tripping out and even falling out, over our hopeless situation because we have failed to hear from the LORD concerning our situation? (PAUSE)
Could it be that we have failed to develop a habit of spending time in the Word of God, which teaches us about hopelessness and equips us for hopeless situation and therefore we fall apart because we have no idea how to handle our hopeless situation?
Notice what Elijah says to the widow in verse 14“for thus says the LORD”.
As a child we grew up playing all sort of games for enjoyment, the games would go on for hours. One of the games that we played was Simon Said, Simon Said was a game where we would compete against each other to be the last person standing at the end of game. One person would try to trick as many people as possible into doing something that Simon did not say and thus be disqualified from the game. The winner of the game was that one person who only did what Simon said.
Elijah tells the widow that the LORD had spoken concerning her situation and that she and her son would not die because the LORD had made preparation for her situation. In other words the LORD would bless her so that she could be a blessing to Elijah.

God will do just what he said

1 Kings 17:15–16 ESV
And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

The widows obedience to Elijah’s request led to her receiving what the LORD had prepared for her.
1 Kings 17:15-16
The text does not provide and exact reason as to why the widow granted Elijah’s request.
What I find more important is that the widow did not experience the results until she acted on what the LORD had said. (faith without works....)
In order for us to experience the power of the LORD, sometimes, we have to obey his Word. (PAUSE)
In order for us to experience the hope that the Lord provides, sometimes, we must obey his word.
In order for us to have victory over a situation that says death is inevitable, sometimes, we must obey the word of the Lord.
According to , it was not until Naaman followed the instructions of Elisha that he was healed of Leprosy.
According to , it was not until the seventh day, when the people marched around Jericho seven times, and the priest blow the trumpets and the people shouted to the LORD that the walls of Jericho came a tumbling down.
According to , it is not until we believe in Jesus Christ that we will receive the greatest reason to have hope in our hopeless situation.
Jesus, the child that was born and the son that was given, Jesus the sinless lamb of God that took away the sins of the world, Jesus the man who walked among humanity, Jesus the rejected and despised one, Jesus the innocent man, that was brutally killed on a cross, Jesus the man that dies and was buried in a borrowed tomb, Jesus the one who rose from the grave bodily and is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven making intercession for you and I.
Close
Jesus, the child that was born and the son that was given, Jesus the sinless lamb of God that took away the sins of the world, Jesus the man who walked among humanity, Jesus the rejected and despised one, Jesus the innocent man, that was brutally killed on a cross, Jesus the man that dies and was buried in a borrowed tomb, Jesus the one who rose from the grave bodily and is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven making intercession for you and I.
Because he lives
God sent his son, they called him Jesus, He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there to prove my savior lives.
Because he lives I can face tomorrow Because he lives All fear is gone Because I know he holds the future And life is worth the living Just because he lives
Is it that you have not heard what the Lord has said concerning your situation?
Is it that you have not obeyed what the Lord has said concerning your hopeless situation?
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