At Wit’s End

SERIES:  Ridiculous Faith

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 13 – 19, 2020

Are you standing at “Wits End Corner” Christian, with troubled brow’

Are you thinking of what is before you, And all you are bearing now’

Does all the world seem against you, And you in the battle alone’

Remember at Wits End Corner Is where God’s power is shown.

Wit’s end means. . .

  • to be very upset, or at the limits of one’s emotional or mental limitations.
  • so worried and tired because of your problems that you cannot think of any more ways of solving them; you don’t know what to do next.
  • you don’t know which direction to take. . .which road to travel.
  • We are at our wit’s end when we have. . .
  • More month than money
  • More bills than dollar bills
  • Can’t make ends meet
  • Standing at a crossroad and don’t know whether to go left or right

1 Kings 17:17-18 (NLT)

17   Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died.

18   Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”

I. From Joy to Sorrow

A.  Complaining – Fault Finding

 She thought Elijah was being. . .

  • Harsh
  • Hardhearted
  • Hurtful

B. Confession

Her sin(s) were. . .

  • Undisclosed
  • Undenied
  • Undiscovered

Numbers 32:23 (KJV) –But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.

Job 11:6b (MSG) – But you can be sure of this, you haven’t gotten half of what you deserve.

Jeremiah 16:17 (NCV) – I see everything they do. They cannot hide from me the things they do; their sin is not hidden from my eyes.

Point to Ponder: the widow must have felt that the rug had been pulled out from under her more than once – first the drought, then her husband died, and now her son!  Have you ever felt that God has pulled the rug out from under you?  

Luke 15:26-30 (NLT) – 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ 28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

Point to Ponder: The widow questioned “what do you have against me?”  She felt that he and his God had been unfair to her.  Have you ever felt that way. . .felt that God has been unfair?

Point to Ponder: How did you respond when you did everything you could do, but it didn’t seem to be enough?

1 Kings 17:19-20 (NIV)

19   “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.

20   Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”  

II. God, I Don’t Understand (v. 19-20)

A. Concern

B. Confusion

1) Why God?

2) What are you doing God?

Point to Ponder: Have you ever been confused – wondering why or what God is doing? Or even wondering – “God, where are you?”

Point to Ponder: Wait a minute! Did Elijah question God?   But. . .I was told, and you were told, we were led to believe that we can’t question God! Can, or can’t you question God???

Consider these believers. . .

Habakkuk 1 (NIV) 1 The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received. 2 How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? 3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.

Luke 1:18-20 (NLT) – 18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” 19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”

Luke 1:34-35 (NLT)34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”  35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.

Point to Ponder: Is God being unfair to Habakkuk? To Zechariah? To Mary?

Point to Ponder:  Is there a difference in questioning God and asking God a question? Explain your answer.

1 Kings 17:21 (NIV) – Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”

III. Turning To God  

A. Crying Out  

  • To fail to pray is to eventually fail in everything else
  • To limit our prayer life is to limit our abilities, our influence, our effectiveness
  • Faith no matter how strong is never complete without prayer!

Psalm 34:6 (GNT) – The helpless call to him, and he answers; he saves them from all their troubles.

Matthew 6:6 (ESV) – But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV) – You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Isaiah 65:24 (NIV) – Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

B. Stretching Out 

  • In hope                                                                                   
  • In the unbelievable ability of God
  • In faith – Ridiculous Faith!

1 Kings 17:22-24  (NIV)

22   The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.

23   Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” 

24   Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

God rewards Ridiculous Faith!

IV. Faith honors God and God honors faith!

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

When you are at your wit’s end. . .remember

Are you standing at “Wits End Corner” Then you’re just in the very spot.

To learn the wondrous resources Of Him who faileth not!

No doubt to a brighter pathway Your footsteps will soon be moved

But only at Wits End Corner Is the God who is able, “proved.”

Antoinette Wilson

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                     Thank God for the ability seek guidance, admit failures, beg forgiveness, submit cares for both self and others through the wonderful, yet powerful, medium of prayer, especially when at wit’s end.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:       When you know someone is experiencing a tough time, be prepared to assist in anyway possible so that God gets the glory from that situation.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:            Thank God for the corner that Christ opted to place himself in so that we would not have to experience the same corner of death but have the ultimate eternal life.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:            Our consistent giving allows the work of the Kingdom to be furthered.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:            When at wit’s end, seek God in all you do.

NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: Fighting Fire with Faith

SERIES:          Ridiculous Faith

NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT:  Daniel 3:14-25; Exodus 20:4-5; 1 Chronicles 29:12; Jude 24; Romans 8:28; Isaiah 43:2; Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5; Matthew 28:20; Matthew 18:20

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