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WHY SHOULD WE TRUSTY IN GOD IN COMPLEX AND IMPROBABLE ENVIRONMENTS?


 

TITLE

WHY SHOULD WE TRUSTY IN GOD IN COMPLEX AND IMPROBABLE ENVIRONMENTS?

 

 

 

KEY VERSE

1 Kings 17: 1-16

 

 

 

PRELIMINARY NOTES

 

In 1 Kings 17, we are introduced to the actions of the prophet Elijah without any preamble. Directed by God, he prophesies a great drought, directly challenging Baal, the god of life and fertility. In doing so, Elijah confronts the supposed ability of this idol to control climatic conditions.

 

During the same period, Jezabel, the wife of King Ahab of Israel, orders the death of the prophets of the Lord for preaching against idolatry and other worship rituals of Baal.

 

Elijah demonstrates boldness, determination, purpose, trust, and extreme faith in God in everything He instructed, even in the face of imminent death threats. His life, recorded in the Bible, is a testimony to why we should trust in God and the security we have when guided by His Word and Promises.

 

Amidst this backdrop of uncertainties, immersed in complex and highly challenging environments, the Lord desires to teach us about our inclinations and what our true posture should be today to be upheld by His care, even when directed in unfriendly surroundings.


NOTES

 

1.     OBEDIENCE AND TRUST IN GOD.

 

·       Carrying out God’s work involves executing challenging orders.

·       Understanding that you will be persecuted.

·       Being challenged to believe in the Provider and not just in the provision.

·       There will be no physical and emotional comfort.

 

2.     OBEDIENCE AND TRUST IN GOD IS PROTECTION

 

·       God promises care when sending you on a mission.

·       God fulfills the promise to feed and quench Elijah’s thirst.

·       Placing full trust in God leads to deeper levels of confidence.

 

 

3.     OBEDIENCE TO GOD WILL LEAD YOU TO PROFOUND EXPERIENCES.

 

·       God sends Elijah to be sustained by a needy widow.

·       Even in a new and seemingly more improbable environment to survive than the desert, God provides enough food for sustenance amid scarcity and persecution.

 

4.     OBEDIENCE TO GOD GENERATES MIRACLES THAT BLESS EVERYONE

 

·       God performs another miracle through Elijah in the face of food scarcity.

·       God resurrects the widow’s son.

·       Because of Elijah’s faith, the widow recognizes that God is with him.

 

 

5.     OUR STEADFAST POSTURE OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD PRODUCES MIRACLE AND RECOGNITION THAT GOD SPEAKS THROUGH US

 

·       Because of Elijah’s faith, the widow recognizes that God is with him.


EXPENDED NOTES

 

The prophet Elijah stands as one of the most intriguing and impactful figures in the Bible, used by God at a crucial moment in Israel’s history to resist a wicked king and bring revival to the land. Elijah’s ministry marked the beginning of the decline of Baal worship in Israel. His life was filled with turbulence, oscillating between decisive boldness and moments of fear and hesitation, followed by recovery.

 

Elijah, a prophet whose name means “My God is the Lord,” hailing from Tishbe in Gilead, makes a prominent entrance in 1 Kings 17:1, abruptly challenging Ahab, an evil king who ruled the northern kingdom from 874 to 853 B.C. Elijah prophesies a drought upon the land as a result of Ahab’s wickedness (1 Kings 17:1–7).

 

From the inception of his ministry, Elijah reveals that the life of a true believer is marked by challenging tasks in carrying out God’s work. God’s work is surrounded by persecution and requires a generation of faith to confront systems and nations corrupted by idolatry and immorality. However, simultaneously, Jesus tells us that we are blessed and rewarded when we observe His word, as described in Matthew 5:10-12: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” This verse highlights the blessedness and heavenly reward for those facing persecution for the sake of righteousness, connecting with the idea of difficult challenges in carrying out God’s work.

 

Therefore, it is crucial to understand Elijah, whose name means “My God is the Lord,” immediately challenging us to believe absolutely in the Provider of all our needs and not in a specific security or provision. Contrary to contemporary teachings, being with God means the absence of vanity, pride, physical, and emotional comfort. God works in this way in our lives to foster a deeper and more intimate relationship based on trust in His promise of care and eternity, as well as His powerful revelations from His throne.

 

By listening to His voice and placing our obedience and trust in God, we see His Word fulfilled through our lives, allowing His purposes to be accomplished. On the other hand, we will face difficulties offered by the world and its corruption, but we will prevail, especially concerning eternal life when we remain steadfast in God’s Word, as Jesus said in John 10:27-28: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

 

An example of this is when God instructs Elijah to hide near the brook of Cherith, where he is fed by ravens, fulfilling His promise of sustenance in the face of extreme adversity, as Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” This verse supports the idea that God, just as He cares for the birds of the air, also provides and sustains those who are in obedience and trust in Him, as exemplified in the story of Elijah being fed by ravens. This protection and provision are expressions of divine care for those who follow His will.

 

Another crucial point is that in our homes, communities, or ministries entrusted by God into our hands, you will often be called to remain silent, even when people are blaspheming against God or making personal attacks on your life. Speaking or prophesying is important in the entire process, but there will be times when God, to protect you, teach you, and work in your life, will command you to withdraw to some desert to refine and prepare you for greater challenges of relationship and faith.

 

This process of surrender, obviously, is not easy, as in the midst of the journey with God, you will feel discouragement, fatigue, a desire to give up, and at times, you may even feel thoughts of death. That’s why we must always stay connected with God through prayer and reading the Lord’s Word, so that the certainty about the PROVIDER never declines during your period of difficulty or when you are sheltered by God in a desert.

 

What we learn from the life of Elijah is that if GOD challenges you and sends you on a mission, HE WILL GUARD YOU, PROTECT YOU, AND SUSTAIN YOU as His promise in Matthew 6:33. And when we are challenged by God in obedience and understanding of what it really means to have a ministry, the Lord will always lead us to even more unlikely and profound experiences to generate more faith and learning.

 

In the text, God takes Elijah out of a desert that no longer produced water and had no food due to the drought he had prophesied earlier and sends him to the house of a widow who cared for a son alone, in need and under the oppression of the king and queen, as the Word itself and the historical context indicate.

 

Indeed, God sends Elijah to a place where the monarchy was hunting and killing prophets, making the environment even more unlikely for Elijah. However, the Word of God surprises us with Elijah’s willingness and his understanding of who is in charge of his life.

 

According to God’s promise, Elijah meets the widow in a neighboring country, and through his obedience, God provides enough food for Elijah, the widow, and her son. Miraculously, the widow’s flour bin and oil jar never run out (1 Kings 17:8–16).

 

As a powerful lesson for our lives, this passage teaches us that our trust is not in a specific country, money, our talents, or any other provision on Earth. The true miracle happens when we believe exclusively in God’s will and His purposes for our lives, as stated in John 14:12: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.” And also, in Matthew 6:10: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Thus, in the context of the text, the widow would be blessed only by Elijah’s faith, but the Word of God reveals that she also needed to believe and obey before a man who spoke the things of God. Obviously, the difficulties were many, and her faith was certainly shaken, living amid oppression, and surely, as God sees the heart of that woman, He decided to answer that prayer.

 

On that occasion, Elijah told the woman not to fear and that she should prepare the food and bring the first portion to him. For her, it was an act of great faith, as there was no food for her or her son, and the inconsistent situation promoted by oppression generated doubts, fears, and daily wounds, similar to what anyone could face, even living by faith. Our structure, after all, has a body with emotions and intellectual rationality that suffers from the environment and traumas, making it difficult to see what God really has for our lives.

 

In conclusion, what we can understand from this text is that when activated by genuine faith, the people around us, even if they do not believe in the miracle in times of difficulty, feel secure or inspired to do what is necessary for the miracle to happen. And, of course, for our learning, we understand that only through Elijah’s act of obedience did God perform the miracle of the multiplication of flour and oil, satisfying hunger and thirst for everyone for a long time.

 

God commands us not to focus on the turmoil of life in this world, as we have a strong inclination to shift our focus from the Lord and become discouraged. God demonstrates His power through mighty works and judgments, such as wind, fire, and earthquakes, but He also relates to us intimately and personally, as in the silent whisper. Ultimately, He tends to our physical needs, encourages us to examine our thoughts and behaviors, instructs us on how to proceed, and assures us that we will never be alone. In other words, when we pay attention to God’s voice and obey His Word, we can find encouragement, victory, and reward.

 

Elijah struggled with his typical human weaknesses but was mightily used by God because he was certain that surrendering his life to God and His purposes was greater, as Jesus teaches us in Matthew 10:39: “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” It’s worth adding that even in the life of a servant approved by God, situations can arise that are even more complex, pulling us out of a possible comfort zone and showing us that for God, there are no boundaries to His power and willingness to work miracles in our lives. In other words, losing our life to the world will make us find God in every moment and every detail.

 

This is precisely what we read as the story progresses in 1 Kings 17:17. The widow’s son becomes ill and dies. Immediately, the widow blames Elijah for her son’s death and, within her understanding, attributes an injustice to Elijah and recalls a hidden sin up to that moment. The way Elijah reacts is surprising. He remains silent in the face of falsehoods because he understands what Jesus said in Luke 18:27: “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” So, Elijah isolates himself with the child and cries out to God for a miracle. God hears Elijah’s cry and grants that the widow’s son be resurrected.

 

Because of Elijah’s faith, the widow finally recognizes that God was with him. We cannot judge her for this, after all, as mentioned earlier, she was emotionally shaken by the oppressive context, seeing many prophets die, and her situation not changing until that moment. Moreover, the entire backdrop of difficulties was promoted by kings who worshiped Baal, generating a real and imminent fear of death.

 

In conclusion, we learn another powerful lesson: often, it’s not what we preach that will make a difference, but our silent attitude without complaining, that is, believing and having genuine faith that will cause God to open the heavens and perform miracles directly from His throne, whether during the desert or to resurrect whatever is needed, from dreams to the life of someone we love.


PRACTICAL APPLICATION IN OUR MINISTERIAL AND PERSONAL LIFE

WHY SHOULD WE TRUST IN GOD?

 

 

What do we learn from Elijah? Well, Elijah from the Bible is considered an example of obedience, faith, and true love, as Jesus stated in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” Due to his courageous response, both in moral matters and in obedience to God’s call, along with his unwavering confidence in adverse situations and his commitment to follow the instructions of the only Lord, he caught God’s attention to be summoned for even more challenging tasks.

 

Just as the name Elijah means “My God is the Lord,” we are challenged to believe absolutely in the Provider of all our needs and not in specific provision or our own strength if we want to fulfill our calling with excellence, according to God’s will, guided by Jesus in Matthew 6:33 (NIV): “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

 

Elijah demonstrated obedience by proclaiming God’s message, faced the predicted drought, stood firm in principles, and did not yield to cultural pressures with distorted values, challenging the influence of idols like Baal, which resulted in hatred and persecution, as the Bible tells us in Matthew 10:22 and John 15:18-20.

 

In conclusion, our final reflection is that if we want to be successful in our life and ministry, we should not doubt because it saddens the Lord, as stated in His Word in Matthew 14:31: “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’”

 

Yes, we should move forward without fear, without doubt, and with great faith, like Elijah, who trusted and sought to live according to God’s will in all areas and moments of his life, ultimately deepening his relationship with God, even when he felt depressed.

Elijah clearly understood what John 16:33 says: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

WHY SHOULD WE TRUST IN GOD LIKE ELIJAH?

Simply because He has overcome the world!

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