19 Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, “Is this Naomi?”20 But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty, has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
We are teaching on hope this month, as I began to search the scriptures I came thought about Naomi. For us to have hope renewed, restored and or have hope period we have to take a look at where hope was lost. I always find that God speaks to the places in me that require His presence. Those places where God challenges me and my answer is "Lord, I want to, but I don't have it." That usually starts a very uncomfortable searching of my heart and not understanding why He would ask me to do something I feel I can't do.
Naomi - she was a wife a mother and a mother in law she lived in Jerusalem with her husband and 2 sons. There was a famine in the land that drove them into Moab. Her sons took Moabitess wives, and they all lived there where there were food and water. Then tragedy struck Naomi lost her husband and sometime later her sons. Her life was full, and she was full of joy, life was pleasant. Naomi was empty, lost her whole family and was left with her sons' wives that she could not take care of. She encouraged them to go and return to their families so that they could be taken care of and perhaps remarry. Ruth decided to stay with Naomi, and they went home to Jerusalem after word came that God was once again providing and the famine was over.
Emptiness made her bitter, her identity was wholly tied into being a wife, and mother. Naomi's name means pleasant the bitterness came from her circumstances it was not who she was. This makes me ask the question what do I hope in? Are my hopes tied up in what is happening around me? Or in the Lord? We lose ourselves as women in our secondary identities and forget that primarily we are daughters of the Most High God. The Lord called Naomi pleasant, he knitted that hope and promise in her soul before she was in her mother's womb.
Hebrews 11:1 New King James Version
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
What we hope in affects what we believe in, hope produces faith. Plainly I am saying we cannot allow ourselves to forget that God is our hope. When your hope is wrapped up in who you are rather than who He is you cannot see possibility in impossible situations. Truth is, God will sometimes empty us out, and that pain can be unbearable.
What we hope in cannot be things that are temporal. Naomi determined that due to her circumstances that all was lost and there was no hope for her. She could not see the spirit of the God hovering over the emptiness getting ready to speak a new beginning into existence. We serve a God who is not governed by our situation, we ought to find our hope in Him. He can do all things but fail.
Jeremiah 32:17 New King James Version
17 ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.
Shift your hope- set your eyes on God and His limitless power. Naomi saw hope in Ruth marrying Boaz, and yet that was not the real purpose of God's plan. Boaz (Jew) married Ruth(Gentile), and the bore a son Obed, Obed begat Jesse and Jess begat David - The King, of the House of Judah. Jesus came from the bloodline of David - He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Jesus is our eternal hope, and that hope will produce faith in our emptiness. That hope produces the kind of faith that provokes God to perform miracles!
Whatever your situation is if you find yourself drowning in despair and hopelessness shift your focus toward your hope eternal. There is nothing too hard for God, and His glory is revealed in our emptiness.
Spend time in prayer and allow the Lord to heal your pain and bear your burdens.
God wants to show you that there is hope in Him for everything you endure in life. You are in His hands submit your hopelessness and exchange it for hope eternal.