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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sermon - Can We Expect a Miracle?

Pastor Shim Habte's sermon from June 10, 2012.

2 Kings 4:18-37

We’re continuing the story of the Shunammite woman. Elisha had promised this unnamed woman, the wife of an aging husband, a son. As Elisha said, they had a baby boy, and the boy grew. One day while out in the field with his father, his head suddenly began to hurt. His father ordered a servant to carry the boy to his mother, and he died in her arms. She took him up to the bed Elisha slept in when he stayed there. Then she and a servant took a donkey and went to Mt. Carmel to find the prophet.
When Elisha saw her coming, he sent Gehazi, his servant, to see why she traveled the twenty miles from Shunam to Mt. Carmel. When Elisha found out her son had died, he sent Gehazi ahead with his staff and told the servant to put the staff on the boy’s face. When Elisha got there, he prayed, and God brought the child back to life.

Some people think God just created the world, wound it up, and left it to run, that we cannot expect him to intervene. The Bible teaches that God cares and invites us to call on him. For example, Psalm 50:15, “Call upon me on the day of trouble and I will answer you.” Jesus said ask and it shall be given to you, (Matthew7:7,) along with many other scriptures.

People who think we are just body and soul, the physical plus that element that makes us alive. Do not see the spiritual aspect of a person. As spirit beings in a human body we are endowed by our creator to communicate with him as it is evidenced in the story of the Shunammite woman and Elisha.

The Shunammite woman’s life turned to joy and laughter when she had a baby boy. Then it turned to sorrow and tears when he died. Then it turned back to joy and laughter when he was returned to her after she sought God’s help through his servant Elisha.

Our lives are a little like that. Some days we have joy and laughter, and some days we have sorrow and tears. Do we ever wake up in the morning and ask for trouble? No, but trouble comes anyway. Can we expect God to do a miracle? Should we not pray because we do not always escape the troubles? Why do we pray? Are we heard?

If you never pray, who do you turn to? Did she despair or hope or both? Did she have faith? She put the dead child in her place of hope and walked forward in faith. Is anything too hard for God?

Faith is a little like a seed. We plant it, water it, and hope it grows. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it does not. That’s why we plant more than one seed. Why is one person we pray for healed and another not? We don’t know, but we continue to pray.

The one thing we can know is that God loves us. When our load gets too heavy, we can take it to the cross. When God says “Yes,” we thank Him. When He says, “No,” we can still thank Him and trust in His wisdom to bring good from even the bad times.

When Job was going through all his pain and misery, his wife told him to curse God and die. Job called her a foolish woman, that God gives and God takes away. God remains faithful. Do we?
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