Tag Archives: hope

00. Daughters of Sarah: Wives of great worth

Sarah’s imperfection gives me hope. The story of Sarah proves that we don’t have to be perfect to receive God’s blessing and become wives of great worth.

Introduction and Author’s Preface

Becoming Sarah’s daughters

Sarah was not perfect. Her early history makes her seem an unlikely example to pattern ourselves after. Yet we are told in 1 Peter 3 to submit to our husbands as Sarah did. God says that we are daughters of Sarah “if you do what is right do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do” (v. 6, NLT).

Sarah’s imperfection gives me hope. I’m still learning. As I look back, I can see areas where I could have been a better wife. God understands my humanity, and he has forgiven me for the things I lacked. Through many years of seeking his will for my role as a wife, God taught me the principles I’ve shared in Daughters of Sarah.

Unequally Yoked

My husband was an unbeliever when we married. I was a Christian, but I allowed other things to compromise my relationship with God. Seven years into the marriage, I made a new commitment to God, and I questioned how to live for Christ in an unequally yoked marriage. My husband later professed faith in Christ, but he struggled with commitment and security in that relationship. Through it all, I found answers in God’s Word to help me find my role.

The last year we were together, my husband was out of the house a lot. I worked in volunteer Christian ministry through chat rooms when I was alone. I found women who were experiencing the same marriage struggles I experienced, and I began sharing with them the things God taught me through the years.

Hope in a House Divided

When my marriage ended in separation, my friends reached out to me. Yet, they could not reach the loneliness I experienced as I watched my world torn to shreds. Again, I sought answers in God’s Word. God planted a dream in my heart to create a place where women experiencing the hurts of a troubled marriage could find help.

In January of the year 2000, God led me to to set up the website Hope in a House Divided in order to share the things I was learning from the Bible. God also opened doors for me to start an email support group for women struggling in their marriages. Early in the year 2000, I began writing and publishing the Daughters of Sarah Bible studies on Hope in a House Divided as well as our email support group where we discussed these lessons in depth.

Moving Forward

As I moved these studies to our new site in March of 2009, I added discussion questions for each session. I also added sub-headings throughout, and made a few editorial changes for clarity. This preface and introduction is written in March of 2009.

The story of Sarah proves that we don’t have to be perfect to receive God’s blessing. We only have to submit to God’s loving direction in our lives. God bless you as you seek to fulfill the role he has for you at this point in your marriage.

Lois

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21. Wondrous things: Though it linger, wait for it.

God can work in our children’s wrong choices. He can use evil influence to bring about good. God can reach us in our sin! We pray for our children, and we see God’s answers by faith.

“Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3)

Worship Our Father, He Is Working

What can we do when our children stray and we don’t see God working? We can join the Psalmist when he says:

“Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!” (Psalm 72:18 NKJV)

God is always at work in our children’s lives, whether we see it or not, and God only does wondrous things! We cannot think of anything God has done that is not wondrous. God made everything from nothing.

Fix Your Faith in the Wonder

How wondrous the unsearchable galaxies that extend so far into space we can’t even begin to count them!

How wondrous the elusive microorganisms that challenge our most powerful microscopes to explore their detail!

How wondrous the human body that began as dust and returns to dust yet lives with such awesome splendor!

How wondrous the uniqueness of each blade of grass, each drop of rain, each human soul!

How wondrous that the God who reigns over all his creation would allow his most prized creation, mankind, the freedom to choose to rebel!

And wonder of wonders that this great God would redeem the creature by becoming the created and suffering the full penalty in himself for our rebellious choice!

This God–our God–is always at work to bring individuals into a love relationship with himself. We can be assured that God is doing something wondrous in our children’s lives right now.

Find Fulfillment in the Waiting

We don’t see everything that happens in our children’s lives. We don’t have access to God’s communication with them. We may not be aware of the witness God sent to our children yesterday. We can’t hear the words of a scripture that sounds over and over in their minds.

We can’t see all that God is doing. We must not assume that God is not working just because of our unawareness of his presence. On the contrary, we must assume that God is working because of his awareness of our need.

We can ask God to let us see a little glimpse of his activity in our children’s lives. We can begin to recognize everything that happens in our children’s lives as God’s working to bring our children to himself. Whatever is happening in our children’s lives, we are seeing God at work. The happening is God working!

God can even work in our children’s wrong choices. Our powerful God can use evil influence to bring about good. God can reach us in our sin!

Wield the Weapons of our Warfare

We can unleash God’s power through prayer. God has ordained prayer as the means by which his work is done on earth. Our prayers have the power to bind Satan and to free God’s Spirit to open our children’s eyes and draw them to Himself.

What a wonder that God would allow us this privilege to cooperate with Him through prayer!

There are many prayer promises. Here are just a few of them:

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14).

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7).

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10:19).

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

Application

What can we do when we don’t see God at work? We can praise the wonder of our God. We can recognize that what we do see is God’s work. We can cooperate with God through prayer. We can rest assured that God has already answered our prayers.

The drama of God’s work is unfolding day by day in this world captured by time. God’s answer is on its way, and we can see the vision through faith.

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

Thought for Today

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).

Question for Discussion

  1. What should we do when our children go farther and farther astray, and God doesn’t seem to be doing anything?
  2. Which prayer promise will you claim for your children today?

Called to Be a Mother – Contents

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

16. Faith for the battle: Listening in God’s presence

Joshua found faith for the battle by listening in God’s presence, meditating upon God’s deliverance, and rehearsing God’s words. God told Moses, “Make sure that Joshua hears it.”

“Write this…to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it” (Exodus 7:14).

Joshua Rehearsed God’s Words

In chapter 15, we saw that Joshua remembered God’s deliverance and God’s banner. Joshua also rehearsed God’s words.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven” (Exodus 17:14).

“Make sure that Joshua hears it.” God gave Moses the words to write to describe what happened, and God told him to read and discuss this especially with Joshua. God was nurturing Joshua’s faith. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). God was preparing Joshua to be a man of faith.

God is challenging us today to study his Word that we might become God’s faithful women. We must accept the challenge. Only by faith can we pull our children from the edge of the sword.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

–Ephesians 6:10-18

We go to battle for our children against the armies of Satan himself. Our sword is the Word of God, and our shield is faith in God’s faithfulness. The victory is ours as long as we hold God’s banner high.

Joshua Spent Time Listening God’s Presence

Not only did Joshua remember God’s deliverance, God’s banner, and God’s Word, but Joshua also remembered his personal encounters with God as Moses’ aide. Wherever Moses went, Joshua went to assist and minister to Moses. Whenever Moses encountered God, Joshua encountered God also.

Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”

When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

–Exodus 24:13-18

When Moses received the instructions for the tabernacle and the ten commandments written on two tables of stone with the finger of God, Joshua was near. Joshua and Moses went together up into the mount of God. For six days, Joshua and Moses fellowshiped in the light of God’s glory. On the seventh day, Moses went farther, into the midst of the cloud, and he stayed there forty days and forty nights.

Joshua probably could not go all the way with Moses. But Joshua remained in the warmth of God’s presence. For forty days and nights, God spoke with Moses. God ministered to Joshua during this time as well. Joshua probably could not hear God audibly, but this was a time of refreshing for Joshua. Joshua basked in the glow from magnificent splendor of the glory of God. He meditated upon the ways God had delivered them. Surely Joshua rehearsed again and again the words of God that Moses had already shared with him. He experienced the calming atmosphere of the presence of God. And he waited in anticipation to see what Word God would give them through Moses.

When Moses and Joshua came down from the mount, Moses brought with him God’s instructions for building the tabernacle. But before the actual tabernacle was constructed, God would talk with Moses inside the makeshift “tent of meeting.” When God met with Moses in this makeshift tabernacle, Joshua was there:

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.

As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent.

The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

— Exodus 33:7-11

Application

Joshua delighted in the presence of God. Just being in God’s presence while God spoke with Moses gave Joshua strength. It was during these times of refreshing that Joshua found the faith to go back into the battle.

Joshua remembered God’s deliverance. Joshua fought under God’s banner. Joshua rehearsed God’s Word. Joshua spent time in God’s presence. These things made a difference for Joshua, and these are the things that will make a difference for us!

I wrote earlier about Joshua meditating on God but, when I proofread what I had typed, I discovered that instead of typing “meditated,” I accidentally typed “medicated.” This may be the best rendering of all: “Joshua medicated on God.” As we medicate on God, our spirits are healed!

Thought to Remember

Like Joshua, we can win this battle if we remember our past encounters with God, and spend time in his presence through Bible study, prayer, meditation, and medication on our faithful God.

Question for Discussion

  • How can I have the kind of faith that gets results? (part 2)

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

00. Called to be a mother: Introduction

Between the battlefield of prayer and God’s promise of hope, I found faith to know that God was working in my children’s lives in ways I couldn’t see just yet.

Don’t give up. God hears your cry!

Author’s Preface

These sessions were written in the mid 1990’s, between the battlefield of prayer and God’s promise of hope. My last child was a teenager then, and we were going through some rugged times. I went to God’s Word for help, and this Bible study is the result. From the beginning, I wrote it in a format to share, because the things God was showing me were too wonderful to keep to myself. As I’ve moved them to our new site in March of 2009, I’ve added sub-headings and made minor editorial changes for clarity.

Chapters 1-19 were written while my son was home. He moved out a few days before he turned 18, and chapters 20 and 21 were written about three years later as I continued to wait for God’s answers. It was not until my son was in his early-to-mid-twenties that I first saw God’s transformations in his life. But, all along, I knew he was working in a way that I couldn’t see just yet.

My son will be thirty this year. He is a committed Christian, a great father, and a productive citizen. He is married to a former missionary from Turkey, and they are serving the Lord together.

My oldest, a daughter, is also serving the Lord. Her work as a CNA gives her many opportunities to show God’s love to the patients she cares for. She is a mother, and we have done this “Called to Be a Mother” Bible study together with local friends several times.

Don’t give up. God hears your cry.
Lois

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