Hard times lead to a choice: Trusting God or Trusting Self? - Andrea Lennon
Welcome to the second episode in our trusting God series on the life of Abraham! As we walk through Abraham’s life, we will see what it looks like to trust God. We will also see what it looks like to blow it. (I know all of us can relate to both possibilities!)
Open your Bible to Genesis 12:10-20. In today’s passage, we find Abram in a pinch. Let that truth sink in! Abram faced trouble and hardship even while living in the promised blessing from God. If you are wondering what I mean by that, consider these facts!
- Abram was living in the land where had God led him.
- Abram was fully settled in the land. Scripture tells us Abram pitched his tent, which is the equivalent of us buying a home.
- Abram had built an altar and worshipped the Lord. In a sense, Abram had put his stake in the ground.
Abram and his family lived a pastoral or nomadic lifestyle. They lived in tents pitched in regions with adequate water and food supply. They moved based on the needs of their animals. Here is the important point! Abram had moved around in the land, but he had not left the land… until now.
4 Key Points from Genesis 12:10-20
- Trouble happens in the Place of Promise: Vs. 10
- Famine: God allowed famine at different times and for different reasons. Often it was seen as a judgment from God. However, most of the time, God used famine as a tool to help His people see their need for Him which led the people to repent and turn back to God. Famine is found throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
- Trouble: For today, let’s think of famine as “trouble or hard times.” We have trouble or hard times because we live in a fallen world that is plagued by sin. What do we need to know in the midst of trouble?
- Trouble does not surprise God.
- Trouble does not overwhelm God.
- Trouble does not negate God’s plan.
- In the midst of trouble, we can cling to Jesus’ words from John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.”
- Trouble Produces and Reveals:11-13
- Produces: Fear vs. Faith (bring up)
- Reveals: Sin vs. Righteousness (bring out)
- Two paths: Fear leading to Sin or Faith leading to Righteousness
- God Protects Us from Us: 14-16 God is always faithful to His Promise even when we are not. God is faithful to the promise when the people around us are not! When Abram gave Sarah to Pharaoh, he was giving up on the Promise of God to bless and provide a Nation through them. Even as Abram was giving up, God was preparing for victory. He was protecting and providing. This did not eliminate the consequences, but it did protect the Promise and the plan. Vs. 14-16
- Sin has consequences: In this passage, we see immediate consequences for Pharaoh, and we see the introduction of long-term consequences for Abram and Sarah. Hagar came into the story in these three verses of Scripture. Hagar will be an ongoing issue of strife between Abram and Sarah. Vs. 17-20
What is Trust? An assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. As a result, a willingness exists to place confidence in that person or thing.
- Character: Who God is.
- Ability: What God can do.
- Strength: How God accomplishes tasks in our lives.
- Truth: God’s pure intentions along the way
Result: Confidence in God.
Transforming Truth: Hard times lead to a choice- Trusting God or Trusting Self? Trusting God leads to faith and righteousness. Trusting self leads to fear and sin. Remember, we have to live this out in “real-time” amid the pinch of life that we face.
Application: What belief about God do you need to renew so you can trust Him more? (His Character. His Ability. His Strength. His Truth.) Maybe you need to renew your mind about the troubling circumstances you face. Today can you see how your circumstance is providing a way for you to draw closer to God rather than push Him further away? Whatever it is, recognize the lie you are currently believing and replace it with the truth. Victory is ours in Jesus Christ! Visit Andrea’s website www.andrealennonministry.org to take advantage of additional free resources to help you know, live, and share the truth!