Beating Spirit Dampeners 3
1 Samuel 1:1-19
Message No. 0637 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
In the last two episodes, we looked at the stories of David and Job, and how dampened their spirits were when they were in trouble. One thing was common to both men: they believed God and held onto their faiths in Him. David encouraged himself in the Lord and Job declared to his ‘frenemies,’ “I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.” What an encouraging declaration!
Unfortunately, sorrow comes in different ways and from different directions. In the last days of Eli, the Bible says that there was a man of Ephraim, named Elkanah, who had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. While Peninnah had children, Hannah had none. As the two were rivals, Peninnah tormented Hannah with the fact that she had no children, so Hannah would weep and sorrow for days and years. The family went to Shiloh once a year to worship God and make sacrifices to Him. Elkanah gave portions of meat to Peninnah and her sons and daughters, but to Hannah he gave a double portion. Of course, this was not a solution to Hannah’s problem, so she sorrowed still.
One year, as the family finished eating and drinking on the annual visit to Shiloh, Hannah stood up and went to the house of the Lord to pray. She was in deep anguish and did not voice her prayer out but prayed only by opening her mouth. During this prayer, she asked God for a son and vowed to lend him unto the Lord all the days of his life. Old Eli first thought that she was drunk, but upon hearing her story, pronounced a priestly blessing on her. In 1 Samuel 1, verses 17 and 18:
Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
In this story we see a repeat of the faith that both David and Job had in the Lord. Hannah heard the declaration of Eli, the priest of the Lord, and the Bible says that she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. This faith in the Lord granting her request made Hannah to live in peace and led to the birth of Samuel, who, interestingly, was Eli’s replacement as priest of the Most High God.
If anyone declares that once you give your life to Christ all sorrows will be gone and you will face no challenges in life, the person has just told you a lie. Even Jesus Christ warned his disciples that they would have trouble in this world. The solution He proffered was to be of good cheer (in other words, hold onto your faith) because He had overcome the world. Bobby McFerrin may not have been a gospel singer, but his song ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ contained powerful truths. Part of the lyrics of the song says that in this life you’ll have some trouble and when you worry you make it double.
Telling anyone not to worry may sometimes be a mere academic exercise, but those who heed the warning do their souls some good. The way to deal with situations that dampen our spirits is to stay focused on God, the Author and Finisher of our faith. It might look to others like you are suffering and smiling, but what you are doing is holding onto the only Anchor which never fails. When Hannah heard Eli’s declaration, she went away and stopped worrying. Her prayer was answered. When Job held onto God by declaring his faith in Him, his prayers were answered. When David encouraged himself in the Lord by holding tightly onto His unfailing love and grace, his prayers were answered. When something happens and you are sorrowful, and your spirit is down, please hold onto the Lord. This is the best way to address the situation. May the God who never fails grant your petitions before Him in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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PLEASE ACT NOW: If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer: Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!