We take a lesson from Naomi in the book of Ruth to face the difficulties in life with strong faith that responds to God’s promises. As 2 Peter tells us, we need to supplement our faith with many other values (i.e. gifts of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23). We’re not always going to do the right thing or think of God’s faithfulness in our lives, but Naomi shows us that we can turn that bitterness to blessings by having a devoted heart to God–even if we momentarily waver.
Points of Discussion
- Blessed because of her love to others – children, daughters-in-law
- What bitterness leads us to focus on and why we need to turn to blessing quickly
- Ruth was very devoted to Naomi because of her character
- Looking out for Ruth and encouraged her to build a life with Boaz
- Strong in the valleys of her life to help and guide those around her, even though it wouldn’t have been expected of her.
- Ruth 1:13 – “No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.”
- Ruth 1:20-21: She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”
- Ruth 1:16-18: But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
- Ruth 2:11: But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before
- Ruth 2:20 – And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.”
Learning and growing through the trials
- 2 Peter 1:5-7 – For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
- Romans 5:3-5 – Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
- Armour of God – Ephesians 6:18 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Continue the Conversation
Going from feeling bitter to blessed can happen repeatedly over our lives, but with a faithful God we can also find the way to blessed. Share your thoughts on feeling blessed even when you’re circumstances may not seem like a blessing.