ANCHORS OF HOPE
Throughout Scripture, God’s people have anchored their hope in His promises. The legitimacy of a promise is completely dependent upon the trustworthiness of the one making the promise. There are the promises of God which anchor faith in something greater than ourselves. Throughout the Bible there are promises God’s people held on to regardless of circumstance or situation or heartbreak. In this series we are going to look at specific stories of individuals who trusted God in various circumstances.
Writer: Evalyn Duke
Big Idea: We don’t always like the systems we are in. In Ruth’s culture, she had no rights, she was left for dead, but God had greater plans. Her faithfulness within the confines of her own culture and context would lead her to become the matriarch of King David’s family tree, and ultimately Jesus. When we allow God to work in our present contexts, what used to confine us, can become His platform.
Key Passages: Ruth
Sometimes God asks us to be faithful to what He has called us to, even though our context and life circumstances might tell us otherwise.
The summer I graduated college, I remember being at Hume Lake as a counselor for incoming high school freshman. I had no idea what I was doing, why I was even there, or how God could use me. It seemed as though I had just somehow found myself there, and was expected to pour into and lead these young girls. I was essentially jobless, had no idea what I was doing with my life, and felt zero direction. That season left me feeling useless to myself, the people around me, and especially to God. Clearly, my situation at this time was much less extreme in comparison to Ruth’s circumstances. She was a widow, had no rights in her cultural setting, was a foreigner in a new land, she had no way of earning money and consequently was thrown into poverty. Although these things were true for Ruth, she stayed faithful to what God had in front of her. Even though she was offered a way out and encouraged to flee, she humbly stayed put to care for her mother-in-law, who otherwise would have been helpless and cast aside.
Ruth 1:15-18 (ESV) And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
Because of Ruth’s faithfulness and honor, despite her circumstances, she would eventually marry Boaz, and through this marriage God would weave her life into the history of His people as she would become part of the family line of Jesus. I love the story of Ruth because this is exactly how God works, He takes everyday people with baggage and hardship, fears and grief, the wealthy and the poor, the Jew and Gentile alike, and redeems their stories for His purpose. Sometimes we can’t see beyond the circumstances we are in or the hurdles we are facing but He will use those exact things to display His faithfulness.
Fast-forward four years, this past June I just walked through high school graduation with those girls who were once freshman. In these past four years God was able to use me and my story to connect to theirs and point them to Jesus. I wanted to run so many times, just move away, give up, go somewhere else, but I felt God calling me to be faithful to Him where I found myself and to the people I found myself around. You may not find yourself confined by societal or cultural contexts like Ruth, but maybe you’re feeling God can’t work or use you because of where you’re at. I challenge you to give it up to Him, say, “I cannot do anything apart from You.” And pray for Him to move and work through where you find yourself today.
- Think about a time where you have seen God’s faithfulness throughout a trying situation. How did He bring you through it?
- What does it look like for you if you’re running away from what God has for you? What differences do you see when you’re walking with Him?
- Have you ever felt out of place or limited by your circumstances? In times like this, what could God be calling you to?
- Have you ever seen God work in a way that was totally opposite from what you expected? Share a story about your experience in your small group or with a friend.
Past Series Curriculum
Plan your visit
408.356.5126 • email@example.com