Message From Matt | April 13, 2018

When your past looks better than your present!  
It is a fact that there are people in this world that have had horrific things happen to them in their past!  Whether it was abuse of some kind or the death of  loved ones, the past is not

always something that we look back on with a lot of happy feelings!

However, there is another segment of people that could say that their past was the complete opposite of that.  They can point to their childhood and feel blessed that they had parents that loved each other and loved them.  They can look back and see their own joy of marriage, parenthood, having the dream job and money in the bank! The promise of a bright future was sure to happen for them…but then, something happened!

For some, it was a divorce! For others, it was the career that “went south”! Still, for some, it is the loss of someone special in their life!  

The reality is the roller coaster of joys and pains in life hits everyone and some of the pains are very extreme!

Look at Naomi in the
Book of Ruth
.  I am sure that Naomi began her life with some promise.  After all, she was married and had two boys (having boys was a sign of fulfillment in that culture).  Even if her husband would pass away before she did, she would have her boys that would take care of her.   

Then disasters took place…

A famine caused the family to leave their home and move to a foreign land (
1:1).  Her husband died (1:3).  Her boys married foreign wives and 10 years later they died (1:4-5
).  Her situation was bleak and she said…

“The hand of the Lord is gone out against me.” – 1:13

“Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” – 1:20

“Why then call me Naomi…the Almighty hath afflicted me? – 1:21

“I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty:” – 1:21

Without a doubt Naomi would have loved to have her past back!  To have her husband, boys and the security they provided back in her life.  But she didn’t have those things!   Naomi was left in a foreign land with two daughters- in-law and made to provide for them.  She knew that if she was going to survive, she had to go back to her hometown! 

You probably know what happened next so I will condense the rest of it.  One daughter-in-law (Orpah) stayed in Moab, and the other daughter-in-law (Ruth) went with her.  Naomi reached her hometown, broken, empty and with not much hope for a future!  Maybe that is how you are feeling today!  I hope not, but I understand how we can often get depressed by not having what we used to have and what we don’t have now! 

If that is you, let me give you some hope!

Naomi did not die empty, broken and lonely!  Quite the opposite in fact!  She went back home with an awesome daughter-in-law and was redeemed by a relative!  Although her present situation looked terrible, God had already planned her comeback!  She needed help and it came in the form of a redeemer!

If you are struggling today, don’t lose hope!  Don’t throw in the towel!  Don’t give into the lies of the devil that you are washed up!  Just look towards your Redeemer!  The One that gives you hope through every situation!  The One that will never leave you!  The One that has gone through His own sufferings on this earth, but by the power of God raised from the dead!  

Even if your present situation is not looking good – keep on looking towards Jesus!