It is true that in addition to the numerous troubles by which we are deeply discouraged daily, there is almost no day on which some new pain or anxiety does not visit us. Charles Spurgeon said,
“Discouragement … creeps over my heart and makes me go with heaviness to my work … It is dreadfully weakening”.
But, what an encouragement to know that our God is never blind to our tears, never deaf to our prayers and never silent to our pain. Our thought for reflection this Thursday morning is, “Our God Enquires and Encourages Us When We Are Hopeless”.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there”
Abraham’s failure to care and provide for Hagar and Ishmael directly contrasts with God’s care and provision for them in the wilderness. And wilderness would have been the last place for them to expect any human assistance or help. Thus, at a time when Hagar was just expecting her son to die tragically due to lack of food and water, she heard a caring call from heaven.
1. God enquired with care and concern.
It is important to note here that the personal name Ishmael means “God hears” (Genesis 16:11). Thus, when Ishmael cried God heard and He immediately responded by asking, “What is the matter, Hagar?”. Just as the sobs of Hagar and the cry of Ishmael were not overlooked by God, our groaning and sorrowful sighs never go unnoticed by God. In a place where there was no one to speak a word of comfort to Hagar, God enquired with care. Are we often discouraged that there is no one in this world to enquire how we are and what we are going through?
2. God encouraged through words of comfort.
Hagar was afraid that the worst could happen to her son Ishmael in the wilderness. Knowing her mental state very well, the Angel from Heaven encouraged her by saying, “Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there”. The very purpose of those words was to drive away the fear and hopelessness from Hagar and give her a new confidence that God would help her. Are we afraid of what is going to happen in our family, at work place and in our life?
Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe says,
“When it seems as if God is far away, remind yourself that He is near. Nearness is not a matter of geography. God is everywhere. Nearness is likeness. The more we become like the Lord, the nearer He is to us”.
Did not our Lord Jesus Christ turn to His Father at times of discouragement and always found Him very near? Let us too, turn to Him and He will be near to us. The God who enquired Hagar with care and encouraged her through words of comfort when she was hopeless, enquires and encourages us too this morning, through His Word.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth"
Have a blessed day!