Most of us through Sunday School or Bible study have heard about the story of Ruth, the woman who decided to leave everything behind and follow her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem after both of their husbands die. If you didn't know (and you probably didn't), one of my middle names is Ruth and the other day I decided to investigate about my namesake from the Bible and ended up learning three valuable lessons from her story that I'll share with you today.

1. Have faith even in hard times.

Ruth constantly had faith in God. Even after the death of her husband and having to move to a foreign town that was in the middle of a famine with her mother-in-law, she still trusted in God even though she had no idea what the future held. She had faith that he would continue to be there for her and would provide whatever she and Naomi needed.

Just like Ruth, we need to learn not to forsake God when times get hard. I know it's difficult to keep trusting in God when everything seems to be working against you, but remember the things he has done for you in the past and remember that He will not put you in a situation that you can't handle.

2. Don't allow your past to define your future.

Ruth lost her family when her husband died and because she has no children before he died, she was all alone except for her mother-in-law. Her decision to move to Bethlehem with Naomi must have been nerve-wracking because she was from Moab, a city the Israelites despised. Despite all this, she forged on and was able to start a new life with a new family

In the same way, we should not let what happened to us in the past define what we will do with our future. It's never too late to start over and choose a different path and although it may seem scary we, just like Ruth, have to have to confidence o try something new and exciting.

3. There is value in having good character.

Ruth was great character. She was a hard worker, loyal to her mother-in-law, and showed integrity in her relationship with Boaz. Although things were hard at first, it paid off when she finally got with Boaz and started a new family with him.

We also should develop our character and make sure that no one and no situation can ever compromise it because a good character is not something that can be bought or stolen.