Answered Prayer: A Renewed Hope

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 1:19-20 (NIV)
Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”

1 Samuel 1:19-20 (MSG)
Up before dawn, they worshiped God and returned home to Ramah. Elkanah slept with Hannah his wife, and God began making the necessary arrangements in response to what she had asked. Before the year was out, Hannah had conceived and given birth to a son. She named him Samuel, explaining, “I asked God for him.”
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“The family got up early the next morning, worshiped before the Lord, and returned to their home in Ramah. Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her [prayer]. It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.” -AMPLIFIED

Yesterday we saw Hannah leave Eli’s presence with a renewed hope. She had poured out her heart to Jehovah and she had shared her burden with Eli. Eli’s parting words to her were, “Go, don’t worry about this anymore, and may the True God of Israel fulfill the petition you have made to Him.” -1 Samuel 1:17 (VOICE)

We are told that Hannah left the Tabernacle and her whole countenance was changed. No longer was she sad; in fact, her face was shining. This fact alone is a good sign that her view on life had received a good boost of assurance and expectation. Now she was going to be looking for the Good Lord to do great things for her.

The Voice Version gives us this info in their footnote on this passage:
“The story of Samuel begins quietly, not with a great warrior coming onto the scene, but with the faithful prayer of a woman who wants to be a mother. The underlying message of the books of Samuel is, as in many other places in the Bible, that faith and trust in God are more important than any trust we place in human beings—even powerful human beings. Hannah’s prayers for a child, her absolute faith in God’s plan, and her willingness to be a part of it however she can, resonate as the kings and warriors begin to enter the stage. Without her faith, there can be no story.” (VOICE)

We find the whole family getting up early, worshiping God at the Tabernacle one final time and then heading home. Scripture tells us that in God’s timing He about the answer to Hannah’s prayer. Elkanah slept with Hannah and she conceived. We are told that before that year was out that Hannah gave birth to a son and she named him Samuel; for she had asked God for him. His name actually means “Requested of God” or even “God’s heart”.

God answered Hannah’s prayer! Her hope in Him had not been misplaced. This is a reminder to us all that hope in the Lord is never misplaced, misguided, or foolish. It is just the opposite; hope is faith, trust, confidence, and an expectancy in a God that will never fail you. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

Even in those tough times of life, when all we want to do is give up, (don’t do it!) we can count on God. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this, “Therefore we do not lose heart.” -2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) The author Catherine Marshall reminds us to this, “God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope.”

The great, but humble Corrie Ten Boom, a woman who lived through the worst of the terrors of WWII and was in a concentration camp could still say after all she endured, “Joy runs deeper than despair.” There is always  hope in God.

Let us remember that this life is not all a child of God has, but we have a living hope, We have an inheritance in Jesus Christ. We have an eternity to look forward to with our Heavenly Father! “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” -1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)

Hold on to your hope! “Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.” -Psalm 31:24 (MSG)

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to never give up. Let my hope, trust, and faith in you be strong. When things look impossible to me, just as they did to Hannah, help me to remember that You are the One who does the impossible. When it seems that everything around me is in chaos and I am confused; still my heart and my mind. Let me focus on who you are and what you are able to do in my life. I am holding on to you! You are my Hope and my Song!

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