Last week, Pastor Travis shared with us that the story of Ruth is the Story of God and highlights the generous, giving, mission-driven heart of God the Father for his people. He reminded us that our hope is founded in the truth that God loves us, is with us, and is for us - and that because of that hope, our lives are changed from "suffering" to "blessing."
As we continue the story of Ruth, we begin to see a change in the narrative: Naomi is beginning to move past her bitterness and anger at God and Ruth is being blessed by Boaz beyond hope and expectation. In this message, Pastor Travis reminds us that the story of Ruth is the story of God: that we are "blessed to be a blessing" because our heavenly Father is a God who blesses. Travis reminds us that God loves us and has chosen us to be his family, and because God gave the ultimate blessing of his Son and Spirit, we are motivated to "faithful work, loving deeds, and hope that endures."
Last Sunday, Pastor Travis continued our teaching series, "Hope." Using the life story Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz, Travis defined three strategies that the Scriptures show us for dealing with uncertainty in those times when we are desperately waiting for God to show himself and work on our behalf. Travis reminded us that "our obstacle is God's opportunity" and encouraged us to trust that God's grace is greater than our distress. Finally, he challenged us to let hope change our perspective of how God is continually at work in our lives.
Last Sunday, Pastor Travis introduced our new teaching series, "Hope." Using the life story of Elimelech, Naomi, Orpah and Ruth, Travis taught on what it means to hold on to hope while living in the reality of hardship, pain, and distress. Suffering can be emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual and it often leads us to breaking points in our lives; sometimes, it breaks us completely. Travis then turned to the Scriptures to outline four responses to suffering and reminded us that hope is not about achieving our escape from suffering; hope is trusting and accepting that God loves us, is with us, and is for us. Because we know how much God loves us, even in our hard times, hope endures.