Need Some Encouragement?

There is someone who needs an encouraging word at this very moment. Life has beaten you up quite badly. You feel weary. You are hurt, disappointed…quite frankly – you’re tired. At times, you have been at the brink of despair.

Each of us, at various points in life, have gone through painful situations. Someone after just a year or two of marriage, has had a spouse walk out. Another person has had a young child die of cancer. Someone is struggling financially. Yet, someone else has had to endure watching a dear relative making poor decisions which result in heartache.

Whatever your situation, as I told someone earlier today, push through, press on…do not give up. Galatians 6 v. 9 says, ” And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” And of course, only he who feels it knows it, but the reality is humans sometimes fail us. Situations present themselves that test your will power…your faith…your resilience. The vicissitudes of life might sometimes make you feel like you’re drowning or perhaps you are suffocating beneath the rubble. The situation might have you on the brink of collapse, but keep on keeping on. Hang on, even if just by a thread – HANG ON!

I encourage you to pray your way through. In fact, pray the Word. I remember a situation I went through about 15 years ago; it felt like a death. I was literally in mourning. I was so low that it affected me physically. Evenings were the saddest time for me. There was just something about watching the setting of the sun and lowering of its rays from my window that saddened me. Perhaps it was the approach of darkness and the quietness…stillness of the night that I preferred to not experience. I couldn’t wait for mornings; they signaled a new start…a new beginning…sunshine…another attempt to muster some strength.

The ONE text I came across that resonated with me at that time and gave me great comfort was Psalm 147 v. 3, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Even to this day, I could never forget how that ONE text was what I held on to. I repeated that in every prayer, reminding God of His promise. I clung to it with everything I had. I spoke it. I prayed it. And eventually it came to past. I encourage you to pray yourself through. Again, pray the Word. God’s Word is true.

Remember, God tells you in 1 Peter 5 v. 7 to “(Cast) all your care upon him; for he careth for you. He further encourages us through Philippians 4 verses 7 and 8 to, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Yes, God is saying, not to worry. It’s easier said than done, but either we worry and carry the load or give Him the burden and trust the process that ALL – not some – things are working together for our good (Romans 8 v. 28). We have a choice. And yes, something good is going to come out of this situation for you. Believe.

I pray God’s peace over your life and your situation in the name of Jesus. Give it to Him. He wants to carry that burden. May you experience God’s peace today in the name of Jesus.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Preparing to Receive!


You wouldn’t believe some of the things I have done in faith. There are some things, if I share, I would be labelled desperate or crazy! Nevertheless, I am of the firm belief in preparing for what I’ve prayed for. The Word says in Psalm 84 v 11 that God will not withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. I also once read that the highest form of faith is preparation.

In fact, I remember when my daughter was in her final semester of college and had to do independent study for a course because she was the only one requiring it at that time to graduate. We certainly had some road blocks including her application reportedly being lost at one point. However, like I told her, she was in that institution for too long! I said, “Dis ya last semester!” And I was serious!

In faith, I took out my old graduation rob that she was also to wear and I hung it in the front of the closet in an act of faith. I eyed that rob everyday as it hung front and centre outside the closet. I prayed in faith, taking the matter to the Lord with expectation that He would open the door. And with the help of the Lord, she got the independent study release aproved the FINAL day of registration. She literally ran onto the line, slipping in moments before the line was cut off. That May, she graduated and it was not luck! Thanks be to God!

I also had a dear friend of mine whom I was joining in prayer for a baby. I believe faith without works is dead, so what did I do? In faith, I went to the store and bought her a few baby items and had them wrapped. I told her to open it with her husband. They were both pleasantly surprised. It was simply an act of preparing for what we were praying for!

And no, God is no magician with some magic wand, but I believe in calling those things that be not as though they were (Romans 4 v 17) and walking by faith – not by sight (2 Corinthians 5 v 7).

You might ask, “What if God doesn’t grant the desire?” Well, ultimately He is sovereign and His will be done, but don’t let it be because you lacked the faith that He is more than able! Trust Him even when you can’t trace Him.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Six Lessons Hannah Taught Me

No matter how many times I study Hannah’s life over the years (1 Samuel 1 to 2 v 1-11 and 18-26), it always inspires me. Here is what I learned:

1) Take Your Desires and Problems to God

Hannah wanted a child badly. She craved, yearned…deeply wanted a baby. We learn in 1 Samuel 1 that this took a toll on her emotionally and physically to the point “she was in bitterness of soul…and wept sore” (10). She also confessed to being, “a woman of sorrowful spirit” (15) and described herself as being in “grief” (16). Interestingly, it was GOD who, “shut up her womb” (5). What exacerbated the matter, was that her husband’s other wife – who had children – provoked her to the point she did not eat and wept sorely. She considered being barren as “an affliction” (11).  Here we read descriptors that give vivid imagery of how deeply she desired a child! In fact, she “poured out (her) soul before the Lord” (15). She took it to the Lord in prayer. You too ought to take everything to God in prayer.

2) Be Specific with Requests

Hannah was quite bold to the point, she struck a bargain with God, in my opinion. She negotiated: You give me a male child and I will give him back to serve you all of his days. 

Honestly, I do not bargain with God, but I do admire how specific she was with her request for a son. I do believe because God already knows our hearts anyhow, as Christians, we can boldly approach His throne of grace, letting our requests be known unto Him, as encouraged by Paul. Be specific.

3) Believe the Word God has Given You

The priest, Eli, thought Hannah was drunk while in the temple as her lips were moving, but her words were not audible. However, Hannah shared that she was grieved and presenting her petition to God.

Eli told her, “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou has asked of him” (17). 

This so pleased Hannah, she ate and her countenance changed.

Clearly, she believed the word of the priest; how much more should we take God at His Word? He will do what He said He will do! Hallelujah!!

4) Worship While You Wait

Hannah and her husband rose early the next day and worshipped the Lord. THEN, when they returned to their house, she and her husband were intimate and “the Lord remembered her” (19).

I love the fact that she had such faith in the word of the priest – whose word was ultimately from God – that she worshipped even before there was physical evidence of conception. She believed and acted upon that belief.

I encourage you to worship God in faith, as you wait for the promise, whether the promise of that baby, the promise of your husband, your wife, that house, job…the promise of God opening that door for you…the promise of healing.

I once read that the posture of holding our hands out to the Lord while we wait for what we desire, is the same posture of worship. Worship while you wait.

5) Pay Your Vows 

Solomon tells us, it is better to NOT vow than to vow and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5 v 5). Whenever we vow, we MUST keep our end of it, whether vows made on our wedding day or a vow to God Almighty. 

Hannah kept her vow to God. When her son, Samuel was weaned, she took him to the temple to serve the Lord with Eli, seemingly only seeing him once a year when she and her husband visited to offer the yearly sacrifice.

6) God does the Exceeding Abundantly

Hannah requested ONE son, but I believe because of her faith AND her faithfulness, God honoured her. He opened the flood gates of heaven and poured out a blessing upon Hannah, giving her THREE more sons and TWO daughters.  LOOKA GOD!!!! (one of my FAVOURITE sayings!) He showed up and showed out! The exceeding abundantly above what we can ever ask or think GOD!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Isn’t it beautiful when we can receive so many lessons from one story in God’s Word??!! Remember, the God of Hannah, is the SAME God yesterday…today…forever!!!!

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah