Sabbath School Summary
By Elder Dr Masimba Mavaza
Memory Text: “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27, NKJV).
The definition of faith in the book of Hebrews is always challeng-ing. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1, NIV). How can we be sure about what we do not see? Yet, this is exactly what Moses illustrates in our memory verse: “He persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27, NIV).
It is even more challenging to realize that we are called to see “him who is invisible” not simply when times are good but especially when everything is going wrong. For this we need faith, a Christlike faith that must be shaped by the truth about God and God’s kingdom. The truth about our Father’s goodness, the power in the name of Jesus, the power of the Resurrection, and the compassion of God are essential truths that will enable us to stand strong when we are in the crucible and may be tempted to doubt everything.
The Week at a Glance: What truths about God can help sustain us through even the worst situations?
SABBATH: True faith is only easy to those who haven’t tried it. It is a steady belief in something unseen (Heb. 11:1). How can we be sure about what we do not see? Moses trusted in God Who is invisible (Heb. 11:27). To be able to endure trials (crucibles) of this world, we need to cultivate a Christlike faith. A faith shaped by truth in God’s love, power & resurrection power casts away any hints of doubts.
SUNDAY: Doubt in God originates from two main thoughts. First, if God is good, He won’t allow any bad thing to happen to us. Second, our experience clashes with our beliefs; if a thing feels good then it is good. Hence, we’re angry when we can’t have it. The solution to all doubts about God is allowing the truth about His love to have a more powerful impact on us than doubts (Rom. 8:28-39). He gave us Jesus.
MONDAY: What is so special about the name of Jesus that we always add on to the end of our prayers? He promised His disciples when He was about to ascend to heaven that if they ask (pray for) anything in His name, they’ll have it. We can be sure that the whole of heaven is at work for our good when we pray in Jesus’ name (John 14:1-14). We may not see angels but our pleas are sent to God to fulfill them.
TUESDAY: Jesus did great works while on earth, but greater works shall He do for us today if we believe in His Resurrection power. His life, death, & resurrection paid the penalty of our sins, assured us of eternal life, & drew us back to God. But much more than that is that the Resurrection placed Jesus at the right hand of God in a locus of power & authority. It gave Him the power to rule (Eph. 1:18-23).
WEDNESDAY: “Do not be anxious about anything?” The truth is that we often worry more than we pray. Some have a mounted plague that reads; “why pray when you can worry?” Apostle Peter who had his fair share of worry admonished us to “cast” our anxieties on God (1 Pet. 5:7; Ps. 55:22, Matt. 6:25-33). When our lives get tied up, God can untie the knots. He cares & can transform any situation.
THURSDAY: When those you know seem indifferent to you, it can be sad. But to think that your Maker (God) does not know or care about you can be most worrying. To the Judaeans exiled in Babylon, God did not seem to care about them. They were not seeing any proof of His words of cheer (Isa. 40:27-31). Similarly, in the book of Esther, we don’t even find God’s name. But He was there to save (Rev. 13:15).
FRIDAY: When you pray to God, do not doubt. So long as you go to God with a humble spirit, ready to learn, & take Him at His word, believe that He’ll bless you. His Holy Spirit is a real, true, & actual guide Who can teach us to do the will of God. Some men seem afraid to trust in God. In doubting, they dishonor Him. Our part after we have prayed is to believe. Faith grows in times of doubts & trials.
—Ellen G. White, “In the Days of Queen Esther,” pp. 598–606, in Prophets and Kings, Manuscript Releases, vol. 6, p. 225, & Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 555.
God’s response to prayer- while the power of God may come with dramatic effect, as when Jesus calmed the storm, it also may come in quietness, unnoticed, as when the power of God sustained Jesus in Gethsemane. Something dramatic may not suddenly happen, but that doesn’t mean that God is not at work for us.
Faith & Feeling- Feelings are essential part of what it means to be a human being. Sadly, our feelings are often misled in a sin-sick world. We live by faith & not feelings (the sense of touch, smell, sight, hearing & taste). But Faith is not blind. Faith gives us the right feelings.
God’s generosity- It is evident in the death of Christ. He gave us His only Son to die for us.
SUNDAY- Our Father’s Extravagance
MONDAY- In the Name of Jesus
TUESDAY- The Power of the Resurrection
WEDNESDAY- To Carry All Our Worry
THURSDAY- Still Faithful When God Cannot Be Seen
📌 As a class, talk about the kinds of things we believe in that we do not see, things that we know are real yet are beyond our sight. How can this help us understand what it means to see “Him who is invisible”?
📌 Discuss the final question found at the end of Wednesday’s study. How often do we find ourselves in that situation? What can we do that will better enable us to trust that the Lord’s way is the best, even if it’s not what we want?
📌 If “faith grows strong by coming in conflict with doubts and opposing influences” and this leads to something extremely valuable, “of more value than the most costly jewels,” how should this shape the way we look at such conflicts?
📌 Most of us have seen people, even fellow Christians, in situations in which, at least from our perspective, the outcome was horrible. The worst thing we imagined happened, despite the prayers and best efforts. How do we understand this in light of what we have been studying?