Excellence In Adversity
It's been said "the cream always rises to the top." What does this mean? It signifies that a good person or idea cannot go unnoticed for long. In the context of women, this phrase fits them too correctly. How many women do you know that have achieved greatness from obscurity? We see men climbing the latter of success with steps, but women have climbed the same latter, but without rungs. And the amazing feat that leaves us astounded is, they bring their loved ones with them.
I grew up with four beautiful sisters. I've seen them laugh; I've seen them cry. I watched them learn life lessons from their mother. I watched them overcome insurmountable challenges against them. I've seen and heard their determination to continue through ever obstacle they face. Someone once said, “courage is not the absence of fear, courage is action in the face of fear.” They may not know it, but they have encouraged me in many ways.
A brother never wants to see his sister’s struggle. I probably grew up a “mommas boy.” I saw my mother do some amazing things when the ground beneath her shook the family. But her perseverance and strength kept seven children from falling through the cracks of life. As it says in the word of God, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30).
Strong women have always inspired me. And even though I've failed them many times in my life, it’s amazing to witness their courage in times of adversity. There are many women in the Bible who faced harsh treatment and ridicule. They were continually held down under oppressive situations ruled by men. Here are just a few women you can be inspired and encouraged by reading their exploits and watching God protect and use their courage to teach blind hearted leaders of their day.
Shiphrah and Puah (Exodus 1:17:20)
Tamar- (Genesis 38:1-30)
Jehosheba- (2 Kings 11:2-3)
Huldah- (2 Kings 22:14)
Lydia- (Acts 16:14,15)
Priscilla- (Romans 16:3,4; Acts 18:3,26)
Phoebe- (Romans 16:1,2)
Mary and Martha- (Luke 10:38-42)
Anna- (Luke 2: 36-38)
Deborah- (Judges 4:4–5:31)
Abigail- (1 Samuel 25:1-38)
Miriam- (Numbers 12:1-16; Exodus 15:20-21)
Rahab- (Joshua 2:1-24; 6:22-25)
Jael- (Judges 4:17-22)
Ruth- (Ruth 1:6–4:16)
Emzara (Genesis 7:7; 8:18)
Which one of these women encourage you the most? Which ones are your favorites?
They were all brave, courageous, intelligent women who acted when others would not. They continue to this day to be great leaders, mediators, advisers, planners, and delegators. God chooses leaders by his standards, not ours.
*My favorite women in the Bible are the ones
who witnessed the resurrection of Jesus. It starts and ends with Mary Magdalene. She is the first to witness the risen Jesus in all four gospels. The Gospels of Luke and Matthew include other women as witnesses too (Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:10). The reason I love Mary Magdalene as my favorite woman in the Bible is, she was fully committed to her love for Jesus.
He delivered her from seven devils. When we use words like faithful, loyal, devoted, truehearted, and unswerving, it has her name by each one. The most powerful moment to me occurred when she went to the tomb after Jesus was crucified and ran to tell Peter and John. After the two men went to see Jesus was gone, they simply went back to their homes. However, notice what Mary Magdalene did? She stays there and starting weeping.
She loved him so much. If he had not risen from the dead, she probably would have been the one to care and take of his tomb the rest of her life. Her dedication to him was genuine. Notice how God saw this and rewarded her love for Jesus by having an audience with two angels. The story only gets better. After speaking with the angels, she turns around to speak with a man standing there. Right away the man was concerned about her tears.
She was having a one on conversation with Jesus and didn't even realize it was him. But Something happened that opened her heart to see him in the midst of her grief. He said the name "Mary." Imagine the powerful voice on earth speaking her name in the most loving personal way. Immediately Jesus told her "touch me not" (do not cling to me). Why do you suppose Jesus said this? I mean she had found the man of all men again. I suppose if Mary had things her way, she would have hogtied him and took him where nobody could find him.
The problem was, she did not understand the significance of the resurrection. If she had stayed with her the Holy Spirit would not have come. Many women have read the bumper sticker "real men love Jesus." But as a woman yourself, is there any other voice other than the voice of this man that could grab your entire being (the whole you) just from saying your name?
How many of you women out there have witnessed this kind of love? [During the time of Christ, women were not allowed to be witnesses in the legal sense. Their testimony was not considered credible. Yet, it is women who are recorded in the gospels as the first to see the risen Christ and proclaim him to the rest of the disciples.]
[These women were recorded in history as credible witnesses, in a time when men alone were considered trustworthy. This record has confused many over the years who assumed the disciples of Jesus made up the resurrection account.]
[There were many strong women in the Bible who depended on God more than themselves. Some had to lie to save others, and others broke tradition to do the right thing.]
Today, God empowers all women to be strong and hear his voice. He uses their actions and faithfulness to inspire and encourage others that follow them.
On this special day for mothers & ladies, may we remember what one women's son did for all who would give their children (gifts) to him. Jesus is the answer for all women who take care of these special gifts from God. Remember, God’s love for you is not based upon how well you manage the household, God’s love is based solely on his grace given to you through Jesus. You cannot make him love you more by trying to be perfect. And he will not love you less because you are imperfect.
Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. Will you allow him to speak your name like he did "Mary's?" (Revelation 3:20).
Ladies, may you be honored, served, and pampered this Mother’s Day!
💞 Happy Ladies & Mother's Day!
Other Scriptures: Titus 2:3-5; Proverbs 14:1; 1 Timothy 2:11-15; Proverbs 31:10-31
Pastor Todd Boxley
Worship Center Ministry