Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, be strong and of a good courage.”
Joshua 1: 5, 6
“God gives us a future, daring us to go into dreams and dangers on a path unknown. We will face tomorrow in the Spirit’s power, we will let God change us, for new life starts now.
We must leave behind us sins of yesterday, for God’s new beginning is a better way. Fear and doubt and habit must not hold us back: God gives hope and insight, and the strength we lack.”
Elizabeth J. Smith
Today’s Study Text:
“Talk no more so very proudly; let not arrogance go forth from your mouth, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, and those who stumbled are girded with strength…The Lord slays and makes alive: He brings down to Sheol and raises up…He brings low and He lifts up. He raises up the poor out of the dust and lifts up the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with nobles and inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and He has set the world upon them…for by strength shall no (woman) prevail.”
I Samuel 2: 3-9
What Our Prayers Reveal About Us
“God is in Charge” -- Part V
“Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. God’s sovereignty has ever appeared to me, a great part of His glory. It has often been my delight to approach God, and adore Him as a sovereign God.”
What does it mean to me to say, “God is sovereign?”
In my everyday life, how does knowing my heavenly Father is “sovereign” affect the way I live and the decisions I make?
“To say that God is sovereign is to say that His power is superior to every other form or expression of power.”
“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice.”
Psalm 97: 1
During the past few days, we have looked at what Hannah’s prayer life tells us about her spiritual life, especially her relationship with her heavenly Father.
The joy we find expressed in Hannah’s outpouring to her Father came from having God as the central core of her being. It was from this center where Hannah, whose voice was once released to speak, “the joy of the Lord.” Once Hannah began to rejoice in the Lord, she used her voice for praise – not to harm or hurt anyone. From strength to strength, her life grew in service for her Father. The reason Hannah was able to have a strong testimony for God was because He was the foundation of her life, the Rock of her salvation just as He is yours and mine.
Through the knowledge Hannah gained from experiencing the tender love and care of her Father, we find her prayer continues as she shares the wisdom she had learned from daily association with a Father who gave her strength and who was and is able to keep our lives, each one of us, in the palm of his hand.
In Hannah’s prayer, there is a phrase that is just too beautiful to pass over. At first, her words almost sound like a passage you would expect to find in the Psalms. Here is the realization of God’s rulership and sovereignty that Hannah came to understand: “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and He has set the world upon them” (I Samuel 2: 8).
Recently I was watching a special regarding some of the ancient buildings constructed in Greece and Italy. Inevitably, one historian or another would say, “Without these pillars, the entire facility would come crashing down.”
How interesting that in her prayer life Hannah referred to God’s being at the “centre” of her life. God was the pillar of her life and then later it was as though she were saying, “Not only is my Father the pillar of my life, holding everything together, but He is the pillar of the universe. The entire world is in His control.”
We could learn a lot from these wise words of Hannah for so often when we look around and see one calamity after another; when nation after nation is in chaos; when war is more prevalent than peace – we can still say with Hannah, “My God is my pillar. He is my core. And He holds the universe in balance every moment of every day.” How grateful we can be to know this truth!
Hannah’s prayer life, for you and me, is like a magnifying glass which in large, bold letters highlights the message of a deeply spiritual life. The words of Margaret Mary Alacoque could easily be the words exhibited throughout Hannah’s life: “I need nothing but God.” What a legacy to leave to her family and all those whose lives she touched down through history.
“O God, You are the light of the minds that know You, the life of the souls that love You, and the strength of the wills that serve You.”
“O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive You, intelligence to understand You, diligence to seek You, patience to wait for You, eyes to behold You, a heart to meditate upon You, and a life to proclaim You.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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