The Best is Yet to Come – Starting Over After Tragedy

(Message 1) There’s hope even in our deepest loss if we allow God into our tragedy. The story of Ruth is one of hope that begins with a commitment to faithfulness and to following the one true God. Join us for our first message, “The Best is Yet to Come – Starting Over After Tragedy”. #GCTheBestIsYetToCome

Elimelech – “My God is King”
Naomi – “Sweet or Pleasant”
Mahlon – “Sick”
Kilian – “Dying”

 

How do we start over?

  • Cry out to God
  • Stare at His blessings, not our expectations

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Key Scripture:

Ruth 1:1-5 (NLT)

1 In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there. 3 Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4 The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.

Ruth 1:6-13 (NLT)

 6 Then Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah. 8 But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back to your mothers’ homes. And may the Lord reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage.” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept. 10 “No,” they said. “We want to go with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi replied, “Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up to be your husbands? 12 No, my daughters, return to your parents’ homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what? 13 Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters! Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord himself has raised his fist against me.”

Ruth 1:14-17 (NLT)

14 And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. 15 “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • Share a time when things didn’t go the way you planned.  For example, a bankrupt business, a failed marriage, the unexpected death of a loved one…How did it affect your relationship with God?

Start sharing. These questions are to help get your group thinking and to create openness.

  • Read Ruth 1:1-5.  Why did Elimelech and Naomi take their family to Moab?  What were the spiritual impacts of leaving his home in Bethlehem and going to Moab?  Would you have done it?
  • Read Ruth 1:6-13.  Why did Ruth try to talk her daughters-in-law out of returning to Israel with her?  What did Naomi mean by the phrase, “the Lord himself has raised his fist against me?”  What would you have done in Orpah’s or Ruth’s position?
  • Read Ruth 1:14-17.  Why was Ruth so committed to her mother-in-law?  What do her words say about her faith in God?
  • Ruth’s words are often quoted at weddings.  Could you say those words to your spouse today.  If not, what’s keeping you from it?
  • Read Ruth 1:18-22.  The author of Ruth painted a sad picture of Naomi’s life and her mental state.  What subtle message was he giving in verse 22?
  • Naomi maintained her faith in the sovereignty of God.  Why is that so important in the midst of suffering and tragedy?
  • Pastor Troy quoted a counselor who said, “An angry relationship with God is better than none at all.”  Discuss that statement.
  • Why is it so important to stare at God’s blessings instead of our expectations?  What are you staring at, thinking about and talking about right now in this season of your life?

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Make a list of the blessings in your life.

Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.

  • Ask God to help you to be drawn closer to Him, so you can feel His presence through any pain and that he helps you to keep your eyes on the blessings in your life.

Start digging. For further study.

Speaker

Troy Knight

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