"For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." — 2 Cor. 4:15

February 11, 2018

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:17

They had waited for what seemed like forever, and now, at last, Isaac was born to a very old Abraham and Sarah. This time when Sarah laughs, it is the kind of laughter that springs from a happy heart, for she is finally holding her long-awaited son.

And they all lived happily ever-after. Well, not exactly. Life has a lot of mess in it, doesn’t it? Abraham and Sarah soon found out that they were not immune to the kinds of conflicts we can all relate to.

The joy and happiness that the baby Isaac brought was short lasting. Remember that moment of weakness, when, tired of waiting, Sarah had urged Abraham to have a child through her Egyptian maidservant Hagar? With the arrival of Isaac, the presence of Ishmael now created a sad family dynamic. And Sarah made her demand.

“Get rid of that slave woman and her son,
for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
GENESIS 21:10

Abraham, of course, was very conflicted emotionally, for he loved Ishmael.

The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son.
GENESIS 21:11

Tragically, Hagar and Ishmael are sent off. Beautifully, though, God comes close to minister comfort and healing to the banished mother and son.

If that weren’t enough trouble, Abimelek reappears, disturbed over water rights, and the mundane day-to-day of living in this world needed to be negotiated.

Can you relate? Of course you can (insert your list of current challenges here…). Paul reminds us that our troubles – though very real – are light and momentary when compared to what they are achieving – an eternal weight of glory! It’s all a matter of perspective. And through it all, God is weaving a tapestry of his faithfulness in all the ups and downs of your life.

Categories: Sermon Prep (LM)