Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Has God ever given you a task that you felt unprepared to handle? If you are doing this bible study then the answer is probably, “Yes.” I am convinced that if anyone can relate to this concept, it’s a Teen Mom.
I recently emailed a 21-year-old girl who had been a teen mom. I asked her to recall the moment she found out that she was pregnant, and this was her reply:
- I [was] sitting in my bathroom thinking how in the world did this happen. How on earth was I going to have a baby. I didn’t even like kids. I thought about how could I ever afford a baby, or how was I ever going to love a baby as much as they need love. How was I going to raise a baby alone, I didn’t want to be a single teenage mom! I was so scared of telling my dad, if he would kick me out of the house or not. I was scared of being stuck with my daughters father for the rest of my life. I was scared about the judgment I would get and what my friends would think. I was scared of giving up my “party” life style. I was scared of having to grow up to fast. But most of all I was scared that I would fail at being a parent to this child.
Does this sound familiar?
How did you feel when you found out that you were pregnant? What kinds of things do you feel you lack as a mom? How do you feel unprepared? What are your biggest concerns? Did you ever feel like things were a bit unfair as you prepared for motherhood?
Reading and Questions
Read Judges 7:2-9, 16-21
In verse 2, why did God want to reduce Israel’s army?
It seems that, as humans, we have this mentality of, “you can never have too much of anything.” And yet here we read God saying, “You have too many men…” Do you think that maybe Gideon gave God a funny look? I do!
Gideon has been asked to attack a mighty army. By verse 8, he is left with merely 300 men and no weapons. How do you relate to Gideon right now? (spend some time on this question)
Sometimes we are stripped bare at the worst times. Going back to verse 2, God wanted to make sure that Israel wouldn’t think that they were saved by their own strength. In the same way, when we feel we are left with absolutely nothing and that there is no way life could go on, God uses this opportunity to come through for us. All we have to do is trust Him.
In verses 16-21, we see God defeat a massive force with a tiny army and what two weapons?
Let me tell you another story: In Mark chapter 6, Jesus is speaking to a crowd of 5000 men. As it gets late, Jesus is asked to feed the people but the only foods they find within the crowd are five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus prays, starts dividing the food, and the entire crowd is fed from this small collection of food. With almost nothing, God provided plenty. This story isn’t just a story. It isn’t a parable or a tale. It is a recording of a true event, where real people witnessed a real miracle.
God provides for people in whatever way he chooses. In Gideon’s story, we see that God solved his problems in an almost humorous way—their enemies ran from torches, trumpets and clay jars! In the report of Jesus and the 5000 people, a true miracle occurred. In both cases, God provided.
God came through for Israel. He saved them. He did it by His own power. As for my friend from the earlier email, God came through for her, too:
- I would say God delivered in so many ways for me. My father did not kick me out of my house. He didn’t talk to me at all but I had a roof over my head and food in my belly. [God] brought me closer with my sister who at the time just had a baby, so I got to learn and see that kids weren’t so bad. I found out that it was so easy to love a child and that all they want is your love and attention. That yes, there was a lot more to it but you could learn it all. God delivered a wonderful women into my life who stood by me. She made me feel as if I never were alone for anything. She was my mentor from [YoungLives]. She was there for me, even when I was in labor…She was there to hold my hand and reassure me that I could do it…She helped me after I accepted Christ into my life…She stood by me when I decided that I didn’t have to stay with my daughters father just because we had a kid together. She reassured me that I was doing the right things for myself and my daughter. Since he was not a follower of Christ and mocked me for being one….I think that [God] delivered a lot through [my mentor]. Some of my prayers [God] never answered, or as I say he said “No” to. But…I found a God fearing man who loves me and my daughter beyond belief. So do I feel like God helped me, YES!!! … It was a slow processes. As I would hand things over to him, he took control of my life. When I realized how much easier it was to do things with his strength instead of mine. Well that was the best thing he has ever did for me. He gave me his strength, his love and his grace.
Take a piece of paper. At the very top, write today’s memory verse. Pray to God for strength. Then, on the paper, list the things that are making life impossible right now. Next to each one, pray that God would provide for you. At the very end of the list, pray that God will give you the faith to believe that He will provide for you. Then, as God provides, make sure to give him all of the credit for those provisions.
Mark 8:1-21 Where has God provided for you in the past? Are you showing faith that he’ll provide for you in the future?
Matthew 6:25-34 Focus on verse 33. Make sure that you are seeking God daily, and he will provide what you need.