Ruth: A Glimmer Of Hope
In part one of this devotional series, we explored God's divine plan to restore His people. A look at the life of Joseph reminded us that nothing happens without God's knowledge. Jeremiah 29:11 assures us of this truth – because God's plans for us are good, whatever happens, will ultimately also be for our good. If you have not read part one, I encourage you to do so now because it will set the stage for the next five days.
As we continue to look at loss and restoration in this final part of the series, it is important to understand that challenges are an inevitable part of life. Making peace with this frees us from the resentment that often accompanies loss. The other important thing to remember is that the enemy often amplifies our losses by isolating us and insisting that we are the only ones to go through tough times. We must recognize that as a lie, and him as the father of lies.
Now that we understand that let's look at how to choose hope when navigating loss. Ruth serves as a great example.
As a reminder, when we meet Ruth, she is a young widow mourning the deaths of several family members. She is doing her best to be strong enough to also support her mother-in-law, Naomi. Sound familiar? Many of us are no strangers to having to navigate personal pain while we try to be strong for others. When faced with an ultimatum of whether to stay or desert Naomi and pursue a second chance at life, Ruth decides to stay in an act of the highest devotion and loyalty. As if that is not noteworthy enough, what she says after is what we focus on today.
"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God."
Those are Ruth's words in Ruth 1:16 (NIV). It is a statement of loyalty, honor, conversion, and hope. It is the protest of someone who is immovable despite her circumstances because her hope is in something else – something bigger. You and I have the same choice.
If you are taking notes, the first thing to write down about the restoration process is that it starts with choosing to hope. As we'll see over the next few days, by choosing to hope, Ruth changes the trajectory of her life and legacy. When we are at a crossroads or rock bottom, the enemy would love nothing more than for us to panic, walk away scared, or forsake our relationships and commitment. In those moments, God is calling us to do the opposite. He is calling us to stand still and see His deliverance. Is it always easy? No, but hope is always worth it.
Father, I admit that it is difficult to choose hope in my own strength. I thank you that your Word reminds me that when I am weak, you are strong. Right now, I need your grace and strength. I believe that you are the same God yesterday, today, and forever. As you've met others before, I pray that you will also meet me at my point of need.