Faith Eternally Rewarded

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One of the things I remember the most about my Mom is her fierce belief that God had a plan for my life. There were times I struggled in my belief, but she was tenacious in her faith on my behalf. I’m here today doing what I do—which I love doing!—because of my Mom’s faith-filled, persistent prayers. So if I could give two words of encouragement to godly mothers who are praying for their kids it would be this: Don’t quit! 

In 2 Kings we meet a godly woman who very much wanted to be a mother. While she waited and prayed for an answer to this prayer, she kept ministering to others. One of the men who benefitted from her gracious hospitality was the prophet Elisha. Whenever the prophet would pass through Shunem, he would stay that this woman’s house, where she and her husband had prepared a room especially for him. 

It appears this Shunammite woman is married to a man much older than her. They are without a male heir, so if her husband dies she will lose everything—no property, no voice, no source of income. Clearly this has to be a concern for her, but she doesn’t mention this to Elisha when he asks how he can bless her for their care for him. Perhaps she had resigned herself to the thought that her barrenness was a hopeless situation, but Elisha told her that in a year’s time she would become pregnant with a son. She must have been disappointed before because she says, “Don’t mislead your servant,” as if saying, “Don’t get my hopes up again!” 

However, God does give this couple a son, and that little boy is dearly loved! At a very young age, this boy dies suddenly. This could have been a time that anger or depression could have been expected. But not with this woman! 

Remember when we looked at Psalm 42 last week? The psalmist was grateful for the experience he had in God’s presence, but now that there is a setback of some kind he is struggling with the “Where is your God?” taunt from his enemies. 

When God answers our prayer, the devil loves to whisper, “Lucky break. You didn’t really deserve this.” So if anything goes wrong he can lie again, “See, I told you so!” 

This is where we must not merely listen to those thoughts but talk back to them. Perhaps the Shunammite said something like, “You’re right, I didn’t deserve this or earn this gift of my son. This is a gift from God’s grace. God promised this son to me and I believe God will preserve what He gives.” 

Moms, you must cling to God tenaciously in faith-filled prayer! 

This godly mother shows us what tenacious faith looks like. She took her son into Elisha’s room, placing him on the prophet’s bed, and she quickly sends word to her husband that she is going to find Elisha. When her husband asks what is wrong, her faith-filled answer is, “It’s all right.” 

As she gets close to Elisha’s home, he sees her in the distance and sends his servant Gehazi to ask, “Is everything okay?” To which she gives the same faith-filled reply, “Everything is all right.” 

When she finally gets to Elisha, she grabs onto him and says words that must have gotten Elisha’s attention immediately: “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” These are the exact same words Elisha said to Elijah three times on the day Elijah was taken to heaven. Just as Elisha clung to the promise of God’s blessing, so did this mother (see 2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6). 

God did answer her prayer and raised her son back to life. But this wasn’t the end of the blessing. 

Remember that a widow without a son has no standing in the community. To be saved from a famine in Israel, this woman and her family lived for seven years in Philistia. While they were there, her husband died and squatters took over her property. 

But in God’s perfect foresight and timing, this woman and her miracle son walked into the king’s throne room just as Gehazi was telling the king about the miraculous resurrection Elisha prayed for. The king is so moved by this story that he doesn’t just restore her land, but he orders the squatters to pay back to her all of the income they earned from her land during the time she was away! 

Not just restoration, but blessings beyond imagining (see 2 Kings 8:1-6). 

We don’t know who wrote Psalm 116, but it very well could have been this boy who was raised to life. The opening verses talk about God’s deliverance from death, but then the psalm says, “I serve you just as my mother did” (v. 16). 

This woman’s tenacious faith resulted in immediate provision for her, a legacy of faith in her son, and a testimony that is still encouraging us 3000 years later! 

So let me repeat this to godly mothers who are praying for their families: Don’t quit! There are eternal testimonies and rewards coming that you cannot even perceive! 

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