5.31.15 | Rev. Darin Pesnell | Genesis 16
We have all experienced disappointment in our lives. The pain of disappointment is particularly painful because we have hoped for something that didn’t happen. The question in our text is how do you walk with God in times of profound and painful disappointment? Two points
Dealing with disappointment with our own resources
Abram and Sarai are promised children; nothing happens, disappointment sets in.
Different ways of dealing with disappointment:
Cease from hoping: that way you’ll never be disappointed.
Seek what you want outside of God’s means. Sarai did this with Hagar.
a) This is what idolatry is all about: desiring even good things, and trying to get them outside of God’s will and means.
b) Sarai was willing to sacrifice the sacredness of her marriage to get what she wanted.
DIG DEEPER: Are you pursuing something outside of God’s means or will (marriage, possessions, etc.)? The end result is pain and bitterness.
Abram, like Adam, listens to the voice of his wife. Takes Hagar, she bears child. Result: grief as Sarah treats Hagar harshly.
Hagar flees toward Egypt.
The proper way: seek what you want within God’s will and by His appointed means.
DIG DEEPER: Does what you desire conform to God’s Word?
Dealing with disappointment by turning to the Lord
God tells Hagar to return to Sarai and submit. Hagar is encouraged and worships because she knows God will take care of her.
God will bless her with a son (v. 12) who will be a wild donkey – he would be free, not a servant like Hagar.
Verse 13 – Hagar calls God the God of seeing. This is God’s answer to disappointment: He promises to look after, care for, and be with His people.
Psalm 23:4 - God is with us in the midst even of the valley of death.
Jesus is Immanuel – God with us (Matt 1:23).
We must turn to the Lord and wait on Him. C.S. Lewis said, “I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do enter your room, you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.”
John 1:45-51 - Jesus tells Nathanael he saw him under the tree–impossible for Jesus to have known that, thus Nathaniel says that Jesus is the Son of God. The point: Jesus is the God who sees you. He knows you.
If you struggling with disappointment, examine yourself to see if you are seeking things outside of God’s will and appointed means. If so, repent. Turn to the Lord and wait on Him. Fix your eyes on Jesus, who is the God of seeing who came to give His life on the cross and rise from the dead so that we could receive His promises which far outweigh any of the things the world has to offer.