By Susanne Scheppmann
1 Samuel 2:1, “Then Hannah prayed and said: ‘My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.’ ” (NIV)
Often when life’s problems seem to overwhelm me, I tend to forget that God knows exactly what I am going through at any given moment and just how much he loves me. But when I read the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel my heart and soul become encouraged to know that I just need to seek God and he will be enough for all my needs.
It astonishes me that although Hannah was infertile and endured ridicule from her husband’s other wife that her heart, though broken, didn’t become permanently embittered. She continued in her faith in God. I admire Hannah and yearn to have a heart like hers.
So I ask myself, how did Hannah accomplish that amazing achievement?
If we look closely at what Scripture tells us, I believe there were four components to Hannah’s heart that enabled her to not only survive life’s difficulties, but to overcome them through victoriously.
First, Hannah realized that God saw her painful situation. Verse 10 in I Samuel reveals these words, And she, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly (NASB). Hannah, although greatly distressed sought the Lord for the answers to her problems.
Next Hannah prayed for an answer to her dilemma. I Samuel records the prayer of Hannah’s heart; … Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." (1 Samuel 1:11 NIV).
Thirdly, Hannah was a woman who kept her promises to God. As you read the following verse, remember that Samuel probably would have been around the precious age of three when Hannah fulfilled her promise.
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord." (1 Samuel 1:27-28 NIV).
Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for Hannah to release her most precious and priceless treasure, her son? She let loose her darling chubby-cheeked toddler because she was a woman who kept her vow, regardless of the new type heartache it created.
But God honored Hannah for keeping her promise. This next verse persuades my soul to trust God’s provisions for my life,
God was most especially kind to Hannah. She had three more sons and two daughters! The boy Samuel stayed at the sanctuary and grew up with God.
(1 Samuel 2:21 The Message.)
Finally, Hannah not only kept her vow, but also praised God for his faithfulness and goodness in her life. Listen to her prayer of praise.
I'm bursting with God-news!
I'm walking on air.
I'm laughing at my rivals.
I'm dancing my salvation.
Nothing and no one is holy like God,
no rock mountain like our God.
Don't dare talk pretentiously—
not a word of boasting, ever!
For God knows what's going on.
He takes the measure of everything that happens.
(1 Samuel 2:1-3 The Message)
So, as I review my life troubles, I want to react as Hannah did. I need to believe that:
- God sees my pain.
- God listens to my prayers.
- God honors a woman of promise.
- God deserves my praise.
I want a heart like Hannah’s prayer-filled heart. Don’t you?
Father, help me to obtain a heart like Hannah’s. Help me to realize you know all about the problems in my life and that you listen intently to my prayers. Teach me how to become not only a woman who keeps her promises, but also a woman of praise.
Set aside 15 minutes for prayer, and then ask the Father to help you in the various difficulties you are facing. Write down your prayers and the date. Review them frequently to see how and when the Father might answer your prayers. Then write a praise report next to your prayer request.
What are the major problems in my life right now?
Do I believe that God hears my prayers?
Can I praise God even when heartache envelopes me?
Romans 8:28, “That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (The Message)
Matthew 10:30, “He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head!” (The Message)
Hosea 11:4, “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (NIV)
© 2005 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.