How many in here tonight have ever been through a season of affliction?
My guess is everyone here tonight. Amen?
We've all been through times of testing and trials,
A time when you thought that nothing was going to work out.
You felt alone in your struggle,
Broken down, Down trodden, Beaten down,
Well, it's good to see you here tonight because that must mean that somebody stepped in,
And made some changes in your circumstances,
And that somebody must have been Jesus, Amen?
Because I seen the way you was praising Him for it tonight.
I know because he who is forgiven much is thankful for much,
He who has been delivered, truly delivered, from much,
Is going to praise Him with all they have. Amen?
See, Seasons of affliction are common to all,
Jesus said that there would be testing and trials,
He said that tribulation would come,
He didn't sugar coat it, He didn't try to shield you from the truth, Amen?
He said troubles gonna come but be of good cheer,
I have already overcome it.
When you're going through it know that it's only for a season,
Because I am The Overcomer,
I am your victory, Focus on me. Amen?
See, only a true child of God,
Only a new creature in Christ Jesus,
Can walk through that season of affliction
And know that His grace is sufficient,
Only those who are trusting in His provision,
And walking by faith that He is the overcomer of every situation in their lives,
Are going to see miracles worked for them even in this desperate time,
Wonders will be wrought for them even in the worst of times. Amen?
How many in here tonight know that it's on that cloudy day,
It's on that same day of the storm,
That the rainbow of His Promise is most easily seen,
It's after the rain that the seed bears fruit,
Heb 12:11 says...after the chastening comes the fruit of righteousness. (paraphrase)
It was when the Children of Israel were wondering through the desert,
When they were going through that season of affliction,
Walking through that destitute land,
It was then that they saw the glory of God's goodness,
Because He reached down into their circumstance,
And provided for His children,
He became their provision in their time of need,
When they were hungry He fed them with manna from Heaven,
When they were thirsty He gave them water from the rock,
He gave them cloud cover by day,
And a fire to light their way in the darkness,
He was their provision!!!!
His grace was then and still is all sufficient for the believer,
God in His infinite grace and power is able to do exceedingly,
abundantly above all that you can think or ask,
No matter what the day or the hour,
The time or the season we need to be walking in the abundance of God's grace,
And the only way to walk in His Grace and His power,
Is to walk by faith and not by sight,
It's a faith walk,
In order to see God's grace manifest in your life,
The measure of faith must be their also,
Grace and Faith walk hand in hand,
When you activate your faith in God,
You activate the Grace of God,
See God's Grace has already been extended to all of mankind,
But it's by faith we obtain it,
By faith we become more than conquerers,
We become recipients of all that His Word promises, Amen?
Well now I want to get into His word,
And as we read the story of the widow's oil,
Let's see first hand how grace and faith work together,
To make us prosperous in every area of our lives,
Read: 2Ki 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. 2Ki 4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. 2Ki 4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 2Ki 4:4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 2Ki 4:5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. 2Ki 4:6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. 2Ki 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
b) Destitution Confessed...
How many know that this woman was in trouble?
She was going through some trials, Amen?
She was walking in that season of affliction!
The Bible says that her husband was dead,
And he left her and her two sons living in the land of lack!
The bills were stacked up to the ceiling,
And the bill collectors were calling,
And they were saying if you don't pay up were going to
Take your two sons into slavery,
Her two sons Who were the only physical hope for her future,
Her two sons who were her only living family,
Were about to be taken away from her,
They were about to be sold into slavery,
And she cried unto the man of God!
See there was nothing that the law could do
By the enactment of the law, a creditor was entitled to claim the person and children of the insolvent debtor, and compel them to serve him as bondmen till the year of jubilee should set them free.
There was nothing that she could do!
She was down for the count!
She was hopeless in and of herself!
Oh, but she knew a man!
A man who's name meant God is my Salvation!
She knew a man who knew a God who was able
To exceed her expectations.
And she didn't have any thing to offer but her faith and a pot of oil.
And she cried out in faith to be delivered from bondage,
She cried out in faith for the freedom of her sons,
And His Grace was offered to her.
c) Grace Offered...
The Bible says that Elisha asked her "What shall I do for thee?"
Elisha, as God's representative opened up the windows of heavenly blessing,
He said ask what you will,
And when you ask believe that you'll receive,
And it shall be done!
He said speak those things that aren't so as though they were. Amen?
He made her an offer that she couldn't refuse!
He made her an offer of a grace that was sufficient for all of her needs.
All because she cried out in faith.
Elisha said well lady what do you have in your house.
What's your bank account looking like?
What are you bringing to the table?
What he was saying is Where's your seed.
He was saying every harvest starts with a seed.
She said All I have is this Pot of oil.
All I have is this one seed.
But Elisha said it don't matter if that's all you got.
Just sow it in faith!
It don't matter if all you're working with is a widow's might,
The God that I serve owns cattle on a thousand hills, Amen?
Poverty is no obstacle in the presence of an almighty God,
Poverty is just a name but the God of my salvation has the name above all names.
Psa 81:10 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Open your mouth and ask of me a blessing and see if I don't bless you! Amen?
d) Preparation needed...
2Ki 4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow...vessels....empty vessels..borrow not a few.
He was saying you're not yet ready to receive this blessing.
You need to make some preparation to receive God's blessing.
You need to have greater expectations!
When you ask for something you need to ask in faith believing!!!
And having an expectation that it's going to happen!
And not only is it going to take place.
It's going to be far greater than you can imagine!!!
Elisha told her to go and borrow vessels,
And not just a few, Amen.
What he was saying is right now you don't have room in your present state,
To receive all of what God's got for you,
He was saying get ready for the windows of heaven to open up,
And poor you out a blessing that you won't even be able to comprehend,
A blessing that you can't even contain,
e) Faith Rewarded....
2Ki 4:5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
This Widow was going through a great crisis in her life, Amen?
It was a tough time in her life,
A season of affliction.
But the bible says that she shut the door to the world,
her and her sons ventured into the presence of God alone,
They shut out the problems,
And entered into his presence to claim His promises by faith,
See, when you truly make up your mind to shut the door,
And to prove God,
When you take Him up on His offer,
There will take place a mighty outpouring of the oil of the Holy Spirit,
See, the widow couldn't make the oil,
No more than you or I can manufacture the grace of God,
But she could hold the vessel for it to flow out of,
Just like you can be the vessel for it to flow into,
Her faith was rewarded because every empty vessel was filled amen!
Verse six says....There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
As long as there was an empty vessel and the faith
to use the gift of God There was no lack,
And as long as we are willing vessels,
With the faith to move the grace of God,
We'll never experience the harshness of that season of affliction,
Because we'll know that He has already over come it,
f) Deliverance Accomplished...
2Ki 4:7 ...Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt,....
With the money from the oil she was able to meet all the claims of her creditor's,
She and her sons had been saved by grace through faith,
They had broken the law by not paying their debts,
And through that law they were now facing bondage,
But they were set free by their faith in an on time God, Amen!
Just like you and I, who were condemned by the law,
Are set free by the shed blood of Jesus!!!!
We're set free by His amazing Grace,
g) Provision Made...
The widow set out seeking deliverance from a financial hardship,
And the end result was that God provided her every need and then some. Amen?
Elisha said... And live thou and thy children of the rest.
The same oil that saved them from debt and slavery,
was also to sustain them day by day,
He blessed them over and above what they asked,
God gave them tomorrow's blessing today because of their right now faith,
During passover the Children of Israel were not only saved by the blood,
of the lamb on the door post,
But they were sustained by feasting on the lamb,
They received a double blessing,
Exceeding abundantly above all that they could think or ask,
Christ came not only to redeem us from the law, but to satisfy us daily,