Bible Study for November 2002:
DIVINE RESOURCES FOR LIFE'S DIFFICULTIES
There are times in life when we are beset with pains, difficulties and crisis. We need divine resources to cope at such times. Life is not all rosy, there are bumps along the way. When we face famine and live in difficult circumstances, when our fortunes are desecrated by others, destroyed because of envy and jealousy and enemies place obstacles in our front because of hatred, God can give us divine resources to outlast the opposition and eventually succeed. We can obtain grace to help in times of need and recoup strength to traverse lifeís rough passages. Patience, Perseverance and Praise are the divine resources that God has earmarked for our overcoming in lifeís difficulties, triumphing in baffling circumstances and succeeding in lifeís barren landscapes.
PATIENCE (Genesis 26:1-6, 12-24, 27)
Job 2:9,10; Ezekiel. 14:14, 20; James 5:11; Luke 21:19; Romans 5:3, 4; 8:25; 15:4, 5; 2 Corinthians. 6:4; 12:12; Col. 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10; 1 Tim. 6:11; Hebrews 6:12; 10:36; 12:1; James 1:3, 4; Revelation. 2:1-5; Ps. 33:20; 37:7; 46:1; Isaiah 25:9; 26:8; 33:2; Acts 1:4; Gen. 49:18.
The Lord prospered Isaac and he maintained it by patience. Patience is the exhibition of a meek, quiet and unresisting spirit in not resisting opposition. Material prosperity is often thrown away in litigation when it might be preserved by submission. When Abimelech requested Isaac to leave the town of Gevar, he left. When the Philistines filled up his fatherís wells, he quietly dug them out again. When the herdmen of Gevar fought with his shepherds about a well, he simply gave it up, named it Esek meaning contention and strife; he went ahead to dig another which they strove for also, he simply gave this up too and named it Sinah meaning hatred and opposition; he dug a third one over which there was no dispute and for that he consequently named Rehoboth meaning breadths and enlargements. Remember the patience of Job and the end of the Lord!
PERSEVERANCE (Genesis 26:12-24, 27)
Genesis. 41:51, 52, 46-49; Galatians. 6:9; 1 Corinthians. 15:58; Proverbs. 12:24, 27; 13:4; 15:19; 18:9; 19:15, 24; 20:4; 21:5, 17, 25; 22:13, 29; 24:10; Philippians 3:13, 14; Nehemiah 4:21-23; 6:1-4; Genesis. 32:26-30.
There is only one royal road to material prosperity Ė diligence and devotion. Isaac was diligent and persevering in sowing, weeding and harvesting, in selecting pasture grounds and digging wells for his sheep. Godís promises of prosperity are not meant to make us lazy, complacent and idle but to spur us into industrious labour and active service. God will fill the mouth of the preacher, but he must still study to show himself approved unto God! (Psalm 81:10; 2 Tim. 2:15.). Isaac was not discouraged by the opposition of his neighbours, but, while peacefully suffering opposition, he steadily applied himself to his work and diligently attended to his career. Isaacís life is an illustration of that quiet, determined, and unwearied application which often contributed more to success in life than brilliant abilities.
PRAISE (Genesis 26:22, 25, 28)
Genesis. 39:1-4; 20-23; 40:7, 23; 41:51, 52; Acts 4:21-24; 5:40, 41; 16:22-26; Philippians 4:4, 6; 2 Corinthians. 6:10; Habakkuk. 3:17-19; Hebrews. 10:34; 1 Peter. 4:12, 13; Psalm 95:1-7; 96:1-4; 98:1-9; 100:1-5.
There is power in praise. Material prosperity ought to arouse heartís gratitude to God. Isaac made a grateful recognition of Godís hand in putting an end to the irritation, annoyance, hatred and opposition of his neighbours, and giving him at last a comfortable settlement at Rehoboth, an enlarged opportunity and enough room for expansion, peace and quiet at Rehoboth. How we ought to remember that it is Godís grace that affords us quiet neighbourhoods to reside in, easy circumstances to live in, and hopeful futures to trust in and prosperity to enjoy. It is befitting for us to acknowledge that grace that does so much for us. Paul and Silas sang praises in the prison! Davidís life was tumultuous but it was saturated with praise!
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