July 2023 Bible Study: Acknowledging God’s Sovereignty

By Lt. Helen Reyes
Executive Administrative Assistant – Women’s Department
Del Oro Division

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “wait? Rush hour traffic, waiting in line from a popular shave ice store, waiting for test score perhaps, or waiting for an expectant child.” The word “wait” is used in the Bible which means “to look forward to.”

I am sharing my daughter-in-law’s personal experience in waiting; read below.

I tend to be a very anxious person.  When I want or “need” something, I’m not one to sit and patiently wait for it.  I always feel that I must seek it and obtain whatever it is as fast as I’m able to. 
In high school, a great friend of mine gave me a copy of his book of prayers.  It was a little blue book that was titled “Pieta” and on the cover was Michelangelo’s Pieta statue depicting Mary holding Jesus in her arms, close to her heart.  My friend’s hope was that I’d find solace and peace in the prayers found within that tiny booklet. 

Since then, that little book has been my talisman of a sort and it’s something I keep close with me.  In it, I have a tiny sheet of paper that lists all my prayer requests and as I peruse through that little book and pray, I’m reminded to lift my supplications to God and to pray for others as well.  It’s been about 20 years since I’ve received that book and that list has gone through many changes.  Through the years, I’ve prayed to God for guidance through college so that I could make my parents proud; I’ve prayed for my marriage, and I prayed to God for the gift of my rainbow baby after suffering a loss.  I prayed and I continue to pray.  I review my list of supplications from time to time and much of what I’ve prayed for has been answered, many of which have been beyond my wildest expectations.    
As I reflect on this now, I’m reminded of the cover of my little booklet of Michelangelo’s Pieta.  Michelangelo’s masterpiece symbolizes peace and hope.  That statue on the cover is fitting then, in that when I take those quiet moments to pray, I’m filled with God’s peace and faith in His perfect timing.  That, while I am anxious and always eager, God already has a plan in store for me and most, if not all, of what I’ve prayed for has been answered.  All that’s needed is a little bit of patience, a little bit of hope, and complete faith in God’s promise. 

In Genesis, we find that Sarai needed patience, a lot of hope and complete faith in God.

Read Genesis 11:27-32.
The writer introduces his readers to the early life of Sarai. What do you learn about Sarai from these verses?

Using the following verses (Genesis 17:15,16, Genesis 11:30) write a short description of Sarai.

Read Genesis 16:1-6.

Verse 16:1-3 How does this verse speak to you about Sarai’s decision who gave Hagar to Abram as a substitute wife? Discuss her idea and the emotions she might have experienced.

In verse 3 Sarai took matters into her own hands by giving Hagar to Abram. Due to Sarai’s lack of faith came a series of problems. What happens when we take over for God? Time was the greatest test for Abram and Sarai’s willingness to work in their lives. Sometimes we too must simply wait.

Verse 16:5 Although Sarai arranged for Hagar to have child by Abram, she later blamed Abram for the results. It is often easier to strike out in frustration and accuse someone else than to admit an error and ask forgiveness. (Adam and Eve, the same thing in 3:12,13.)

Verse 16:6 To whom did Sarai took out her anger? Were her actions justified?
Review and re read the verses above, in what specific way does the testimony of Sarai minister to you?

Read Genesis 17:17-21.
What covenant did God give to Sarai and Abram? God changed Sarai and Abram’s name – what is it and what does it means? What changes in Sarah’s life after her name change?

Read Hebrews 11:11-12.
Sarah’s faith enabled her to be strengthened to conceive and deliver Isaac in her old age.

Read 1 Peter 3:1-7.
Sarah’s faith resulted in a changed life when it came to her relationship with her husband.

Tell Your Story: In what areas of your life have you learned greater trust of God? Describe one area more fully in the space below. Please consider sharing this with your ladies at your corps.

Think About It: Someone once said, “God’s plan is completely different from what you could ever imagine and much more glorious than you would ever expect.” Have you noticed this in your life? Is anything really too hard for the Lord?

In the Psalms we find a repository of prayers to God, many of them ask God for help. For example, consider these passages and notice the relationship between waiting on God and finding strength in God.

“Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Wait for the LORD!” Psalm 27:14

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” Psalm 31:24

“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5

Quiet patience is an important part of waiting, for it should drive us to hope in God.

Fear can be a helpful response to dangerous situations. But it can also be something that overwhelms us and takes our eyes off of Christ. No matter our situation, however, Scripture shows us that a part of waiting upon God involves avoiding being controlled by fear and worry. The remedy to our fears is God himself. 

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

Here we see the importance that a proper view of God plays in our practical lives. We need to acknowledge God as he is.

After reading and reviewing the study, take a few moments to pray for someone you know to hang in there and never give up. Our Lord God is never late – He is always on time, and He will never forsake you! Reach out for support from your corps officers, and other godly women around you. You are never alone! God loves you!

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