God has been leading me to study women of the Bible. Yesterday He took me to Mary, Mother of Jesus and today, He led me to Hannah.
As I read about Hannah again, Romans 12:12 came to me. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
I can relate to Hannah. Having battled infertility myself, I understood her struggle. The fact God brought her through infertility gave me hope on my journey. Today, I praise God for answering my prayers.
Like Mary, Hannah had a strength within her. She was married to Elkanah who had a second wife, Peninnah. Peninnah had no issues conceiving and liked to provoke Hannah because she couldn’t bear children. Hannah suffered a great deal from the provocation to the point she wept and wouldn’t eat.
Isn’t that just like the enemy, to beat us while we’re down?
Instead of retaliating toward Peninnah, Hannah prayed. When she went to the house of the Lord, Eli the Priest thought she was drunk because her lips were moving but her voice was silent. When confronted, Hannah said, “I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.”
All the anguish and grief stored inside her heart, she released to God in prayer. As she left, Eli said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” At that moment, Hannah’s outlook changed. She walked away from prayer, her face no longer downcast.
Hannah became hopeful.
God heard Hannah’s prayer and blessed her with a son which she named Samuel. His name meant “because I asked the Lord for him.” Back when Hannah prayed asking God to remember her, she vowed to dedicate her child to the Lord.
When God blessed her she didn’t fail to remember that vow and when Samuel was weaned, she took him to the house of the Lord to be raised by the Priest. “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.”
After Hannah was faithful to her vow, God blessed her with five more children.
Sometimes the battles we face are heartwrenching and fill us with anguish and grief. Sometimes we don’t understand, yet we trust God during the journey and grow our faith in the process. During these times, like Hannah, we can go to God in prayer and lay all these things at His feet, walking away with hope.
Let us never fail to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” God has a plan and purpose for every path he leads us down.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.