Tag Archives: joy and peace

09. If things still go wrong: You go right for you are blessed!

When things go wrong, you go right! Accept the “gift” of adversity through which God grows his children. Always remember “You are blessed!”

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 9 (1 Peter 3:13-5:11).

We Are Blessed

Some of us have done our best to be submissive, Godly wives, yet we find ourselves groping in the rubble of a broken home. We trusted in God. What went wrong? God has a precious and tender answer for us:

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened” (1 Peter 3:13-14).

Can it be that even in what seems so wrong, “You are blessed”? Oh, yes! When a woman faithfully follows the Lord as best she can in a troubled marriage, God walks daily with her. She is called to a great faith. As she trusts God day by day, she learns that he is faithful to that trust.

“For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (Psalm 1:6).

What greater opportunity to grow in faith than when the very foundation we’ve built our marriage on begins to crumble. What a comfort to know that even in this God watches over our way! When a woman is faithful to the Lord, God will multiply that faithfulness back to her many times over. She will begin to experience continual joy and peace in the midst of the pain.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

“You are blessed!” Peace and joy in the midst of suffering and a broken heart — can there be any greater blessing than this? As we are faithful in a troubled and sometimes broken marriage, we learn of God’s faithfulness as we could no other way.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2).

Do not live for the things you desire (a beautiful marriage relationship.) Rather, live to fulfill the will of God for your life. God’s desire is that your marriage be made whole. But his greater desire is that you experience continual trust in and fellowship with him. Live for that!

Rather than envy those who have “solid Christian marriages,” begin to thank God for the blessings he has given you even in the painful times of your marriage. Remember, those “solid Christian marriages” struggle also. Some are much more shaky than they appear from the outside. Others are strong, but none is perfect. In every marriage you so envy, the wife is frustrated with her husband from time to time. He is sometimes annoyed with her. So do not envy. Rather be thankful for God’s blessing in the marriage where you are. You are blessed!

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

The Bible speaks of gifts of the spirit. But in the context of 1 Peter 4, could it be that the gift here is the gift of adversity? What greater gift can the Lord give than to make life hard so we learn to trust him? As songwriter Andrae Crouch says in “Through it All”: “For if I had never had a problem, I would never know that God could solve them, and I would never know what faith in his word could do.”

How are we to use these gifts of suffering? By “faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” God will give you grace to live for him as you trust him through the heartbreak of a wayward child. God will give you grace to live for him as you hold his hand through the storm of a difficult marriage. God will give you grace to continue on for him if you experience the pain of the marriage you’ve worked for crumbling under your feet.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13).

This verse was written to a people who were suffering persecution for their faith. Ours is a different situation, but in a sense it is the same. Because of our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and to our husbands, we’ve tried to live for Christ in our marriages. We’ve not been perfect, but we’ve done our best. Many have followed Christ even as their husband followed the world. Some have been the only Christian in their homes.

“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19).

What do you do when things go wrong? When things go wrong, you go right! Be humble toward your mate, and be willing to admit your own weaknesses in the marriage. Give your husband to the Lord, and continue to trust God moment by moment.

…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
–1 Peter 5:5-7, 10

Always remember, You are blessed!

Prayer

Lord, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you that we have a hope and a purpose, and that you are not finished with us yet. Thank you that even in our own failures in our marriages, you receive us, forgive us, and help us to stand in your grace.

Please be with our husbands, and help them find your hand, Lord. Please help them to know your comfort. If it be possible, unite our husband’s hand, and ours, back together with yours. We know you have the power to do all things, so we give our husbands to you, trusting you to work in their hearts and ours to bring about your will.

Thank you, Lord, that because of you, we are blessed. Please help our husbands to know your blessing, too. Amen.

Table of Contents for Daughters of Sarah

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

05. The God of Circumstances: Left behind, a mother’s faith

Her son left behind in a far-away land, Samuel’s mother trusted God. Hannah rejoiced in God’s faithfulness with a prayer of praise in sorrow and dark circumstances.

“My heart rejoices in the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:1).

Hannah’s Prayer of Praise

After Hannah left her son at Shiloh, she said, “My heart rejoices in the Lord.” Read her prayer of praise here:

Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry hunger no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

“The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.

The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
upon them he has set the world.

He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;

those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

–1 Samuel 2:1-10

Hannah’s Peace in Parting

After Hannah left her son at Shiloh, she said, “My heart rejoices in the Lord.”

How can a mother rejoice when her son is being left behind, far away from her? How can a mother in our day rejoice when her son has chosen a wrong path and she must send him off for rehabilitation with people she has never met to a place she has never seen? How can a mother experience great joy and peace on what would seem to be one of the darkest days of her life?

This is peace that passes understanding. This is unexplainable.

But when a mother knows that she has steadfastly adhered to God’s directions in raising her son; when a mother knows she has planted God’s Word in her son’s heart; when a mother knows she is following God’s leadership now in the placement of her son — In short, when a mother knows God is leading and she is obeying, she also knows that God is honor-bound to keep his word to her.

The fulfillment of the promise now rests on the Lord. What relief! What peace! What anticipation! What joy!

Hannah was able to express a beautiful prayer of joy unto the Lord, because the goal of her life was that she and her child would live for the Lord. Samuel was the child Hannah had longed for, the child she prayed for, the child God gave in answer to her prayers. Next to her husband, Samuel was the fulfillment of her heart’s greatest desire, save one.

Hannah’s Paramount Passion

Save one — Hannah’s #1 supreme desire was to serve God. Samuel was not #1 in her life. Neither was her husband. The #1 position in her life was reserved for her God. We can only produce children that will honor the Lord as we put God in his rightful position in our own lives.

Hannah’s Pleasure in God’s Provision

In the blockquote above, Hannah proclaimed that “It is not by strength that one prevails.” Hannah uses several other paradoxical statements in these verses to proclaim that what we see is not always what we get.

She may have been thinking back to the mocking she had experienced from Peninnah when Peninnah had children and Hannah had none (See Session 4). Hannah probably did not understand the fullness and prophecy of all God said through her in these verses.

But one thing is certain: God is always working behind the scenes in our children’s behalf to accomplish the fruition of the Godly training we have planted in their lives. We may not always see the fulfillment of God’s work in their lives with our own eyes, but we can trust God that the strength of wickedness will not prevail against his completion of what he begins in them through us!

“But,” you may say, “Samuel was at the house of God. Her child was in a Godly environment, so it was easy for her to trust.”

Ah, but read this:

Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD

1 Samuel 2:11-12.

Samuel was thrust into an environment, “young as he was,” with older role models who “had no regard for the Lord.” Yet, in spite of this, Samuel grew to be a man that God could use to minister in his own day, as well as to record part of the Word of God that still speaks to men and women today!

Application

We must allow God to control the circumstances of our children’s lives. We must trust him when we don’t understand the circumstances. We must trust him even when the circumstances seem to be a hindrance to their developing into men and women of God.

We cannot blame environment, role models, or circumstances. We have the same God today that Hannah had. Let us share him with our children then trust them to him!

Thought to Remember

We must trust God when we don’t understand the circumstances. We must trust him even when the circumstances seem to be a hindrance to our children’s developing into men and women of God.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How can we rejoice in the hard times?
  2. What if God seems to allow the wrong circumstances or the wrong role models in our children’s lives?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted