Hannah calls upon God

Hannah was a tortured woman, who was ridiculed by her husband’s other wife. She suffered one of the great disgraces of her time, she was barren. Her rival, Peninnah, had many sons and daughters and often took the opportunity to ridicule her. Why do some feel the need to elevate themselves by putting down others? Hannah had no other recourse but to end her days in tears and would even go without eating. The bible makes it clear that she suffered this abuse for years. (1 Samuel 1:1-7) There are times when we too suffer under hardships for years. We may even begin to doubt God.

Since the bible doesn’t say, it is possible that Hannah had previously not presented this most horrific problem to our Lord. How sad when we believers do not trust in God to care for our needs. Finally after years Hannah is seen praying to God in supplication. She is heartbroken and can’t take it anymore. (1 Samuel 1:10) This is the moment when we are all forced to turn to God. God never fails. He hears her prayers and many months later she gives birth to one of Israel’s greatest men, Samuel. Hannah was faithful to God and dedicated Samuel to His service. (1 Samuel 1:27-28) He became the High Priest, a judge, a prophet, and anointer of kings; the only man recorded to hold all four positions. Not a single criticism would be written of this great man.

Suffering for years under hardships is unfortunately part of the human experience but it is awesome to know that God is faithful, and if we call upon Him he will answer. Hannah, in addition may have failed to come to God quickly with her plea. We must not wait to call upon God. The reasons for this failure may be multiple. Sometime we may believe that we are not important to God or perhaps it is our pride that causes us to carry our burden alone. But God is faithful and is overjoyed to see his people turn to Him in faith. Do not wait to present your condition to the Lord; believe in Him who can do all things.

 

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God doesn’t work like Federal Express

Federal Express DC-10-30F; N313FE, April 1990&...

Federal Express DC-10-30F; N313FE, April 1990/AAG (Photo credit: Aero Icarus)

Federal express is an awesome service. They can urgent deliver, same day deliver, overnight, deliver in 2 nights, deliver in 5 days and include delivery commitment. They can deliver on a specific day and even deliver at a specific time. Imagine if God worked liked federal express. Then we could put in our orders and choose the day the time and sit back and relax. When the day and hour would come, we would have it. All the anxiety, all the waiting and wondering, and all the doubt would be gone. Unfortunately God does not work like that. He has his own delivery system, angels included. He sure is capable of handling urgent deliveries but he can even do better than same day delivery. God can do instant delivery and He is definitely committed every time. However sometimes God’s delivery date is nowhere near ours and that’s when all the trouble begins. We forget that God is not a delivery service that we can hire at 9.99 a service or 15.99 a service or at any price. We can’t tell God when, where or how. He makes the final decision. Sarah was one customer that had not read the fine print.

Sarah was 89 years old when she was hearing again that she was going to have a baby.(Genesis 17:15-18, Genesis 21:1-7) First problem was her age and the second problem was that she had never had a baby. When God makes a promise sometimes it’s hard to believe or accept. Other times we get so anxious we want to see those promises delivered over night or even the same day. Unfortunately God is not federal express. He is not about to rush an order just to make us happy.Sarah decided to rush things and gave God some help. She presented Hagar her servant as a surrogate mother. (Genesis 16:1-2) Fast forward some years and we find Sarah insecure and jealous. Regrettably Sarah makes the harsh decision to send her away with her son and little else. God in his mercy provides for them.(Genesis 21:8-21) But what of the devastation of being cast out from your home, and Ishmael forever separated from his father, because Sarah decided to help God.

Even when we know God has something for us we have to seek His guidance and wait for His direction. God will surely show us when and how to take action. In Sarah’s case God only required that she wait. If we don’t want to wait we can still use Federal Express, but last time I checked miracles were not on their list of services.

You might also like Verses on Faith

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Anger and a Senseless murder!

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:19 

Although it is an old story it is not easy to forget.  Kayla barrowed money from her good friend Kamisha, a young lady who had just graduated from college, to buy pampers.   Later Kamisha found out that Kayla had spent the money on herself. Kamisha then demanded to be paid back, when Kayla did not pay her back an argument broke out. The argument would last several days via texting and facebook,  until the two women would confront each other in Kayla’s kitchen. According to one story Kamisha literally spilled the baby’s milk. Kayla lost control of herself and stabbed Kamisha with a knife. Although Kamisha was not killed instantly she died from the wounds while lying in a hospital bed. It was in August of 2013 that Kayla was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

It is one thing to say that anger and emotions can cause us to do regrettable things, however this was a criminal act.  We have another example from the Bible; when Moses saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite, in a fit of rage he killed him.  Moses was driven by emotions, and took action without thinking.  He was then forced to flee from his country, his home and his family.

In Psalm 37:8 we read “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” Paul in Ephesians 4:26, advises “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” Most acts of violence tend to take place between people who know each other and often know each other intimately. In some cases it is the plate flying across the room that was never meant to hit someone or the forceful shake we never thought could cause harm.  Often it is with regret that theses horrific events are remembered.

None of us are exempt. We are all capable of anger and intense emotions.  However we must be slow to act in these cases.  We must plan ahead; what prudent actions we can safely take. One of my favorites is to walk away and keep walking.  However that is not always an option.  Perhaps we must close our eyes and call upon our lord for strength before we weakly give into to our emotions. We will later realize that refraining from thoughtless actions has saved our family, our friendships, our lives and even our souls.

Try Verses on anger

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Super sale, a lesson in patience

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Genesis 21:5

The holiday season will be sneaking up on us and Christmas shopping has already begun. The smartest among us have already bought plenty of gifts and most of it on-line. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try some of us always land up buying some gifts late. But the worst is when we have to go in person to that local department store having that super sale at the last minute. Then we’re face to face with the longest lines we could possible imagine. Patience then is not only a virtue but a necessity. We have no other choice.

Waiting on God often feels the same way. Especially if you have an aggressive nature like myself. Abraham had to wait a whole lot longer than me and managed to keep his faith. He was called out from his comfortable home and taken on a journey that would take him over all of the Middle East, including Egypt, on the promise of being the father of many nations and inheriting the Promised Land.

The problem is that Abraham didn’t even have a son. He patiently waited until the ripe old age of 100, to finally receive the promised son through his wife Sarah. He did this while faithfully following God’s directions, worshiping Him and sincerely trying his best to live a righteousness life. There were wars, family conflicts, various trials and a whole lot of waiting. However Abraham received all that God had promised.

We too must often wait on God’s promises. He is faithful and his reward will be finer than the super sale at the local department store.

Wisdom from a leper

“Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Luke 5:12

He had most likely tried everything else and failed. He was deteriorating due to a horrendous disease, which attacked the flesh causing significant tissue loss, coupled with shortened or deformed fingers and toes. He must have had multiple skin lesions all over his body and face, and could have suffered a loss of his eyebrows, deformed nostrils, and thickened ear lobes.

He was an outcast, and most likely homeless and without friends or families. But he saw Jesus! He knew that Jesus had the power to heal him. Jesus had healed many others, raised the dead, and set many free from demonic possession. He knew he could set him free of this disease and allow him to live again. Just imagine the thoughts that were flying through his head. He would be able to reunite with family, friends and even perhaps return to his trade or profession. Jesus just needed to heal him. Should he demand to be healed? Should he expect it? He understood something we must all keep in mind. It wasn’t his will but the will of Christ that would determine the outcome.

Often we beat ourselves up when we don’t get what we want immediately. We figure we just need more faith. If I could ask with more faith, God has to give me all that I want. Is that true, could faith and prayer be that simple? Paul was the greatest evangelist the world had ever seen. A great man of faith, who saw a countless number of his prayers answered; but never saw the thorn in his flesh removed. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) God just wasn’t doing it! Jesus in teaching the “Our Father” tells his disciples to ask of God “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-13) We cannot twist the arm of God so that suddenly his bag of goodies is opened and poured out on us. Although, we must ask and expect to receive in faith, we want God to do his will.

It is an awesome display of faith to desire God’s will in our lives. Often we do not know what God wants to do, but we must know that it is best for us. The leper ask “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” The response from Jesus “I am willing, Be clean!” (Luke 5:12, 13) He was healed immediately. It was the will of Christ.

Continue to ask in faith all the desires of your heart, but do not forget to ask God to perform his will in your life. He truly desires to bless you with good gifts, but there are times that what we want is not the best. What God wants will be even better!

Must have a plan!

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:3,4

We’re ready for a road trip.  The bags are packed, the car’s been checked and the GPS has been updated. We have a road map just in case, phone charges for the phone, the tablet and the laptop.  The reservations have been made and an extensive itinerary has been planned out.  We know all of the excursions we’re going on, all the sites we will see, including prices, addresses and any other entrance requirements.  We have a list of the best restaurants complete with menus and prices.  We are set. Except your other half wakes up with a fever of 104 and will be sick in bed all week with the flu.

“We need to have a plan.” We’ve heard it said a million times and many of us love to have them. We faithfully think things through ahead of time.  We investigate and we weigh the advantages of one strategy over another and come to an educated decision.  Feels good to know exactly how things are going to work out.  But then they don’t always work. Sometimes God has a different plan for us and His will surely work out.

Saul was a greatly educated member of the religious leaders of the day.  He was a highly respected citizen of Rome. He had a lot of power and he was on a mission. He was going to put an end to these fanatical followers of the way, also known as Christians. He was planning on locking them up, torturing them and killing them. Made perfect sense, they were a threat to the religious order of things and would surely be the demise of all he held near and dear, however, when he was on the road to Damascus God put an end to all his plans.

A light from heaven flashed about him and Saul was thrown to the ground. He would hear the voice of Jesus, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:3) Saul was left blind and was directed to go to Damascus and there a servant of Jesus, Ananias, would instruct Saul in the Christian way. Saul would become Paul, the greatest Apostle and evangelist the world has ever known. Definitely a change in plan!

Paul had a plan. God had a different plan. And God’s plan was better. When your plans don’t work out, don’t assume disaster, relax, breath, and consider that perhaps there is a greater power at work, God himself!

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Waiting for a Miracle

He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, John 11:43,44

Lazarus was on his death bed.  He was surrounded by loved ones, his sisters Mary and Martha, and concerned neighbors.  But nobody could do anything for him except send for Jesus.  It’s exactly what we would do! It’s the right thing to do.  When all else fails and we need a miracle we always turn to God. But Jesus didn’t come.  How could the Messiah act like this?  How could He be so inconsiderate? He actually delays and Lazarus dies.

How often we have felt like God is just taking His time.  Letting us suffer, ignoring our call for help.  However, Jesus had not forgotten.  He showed up 4 days later.  Not 4 days late. With Just a few words He raised Lazarus from the grave!  A multitude witnessed the glory of God.  Their faith made whole, strengthened by such a sight, watching a dead man come to life. Many would believe for the first time and be saved.  It was God’s perfect time and God’s perfect plan.

There are times when God wants us to wait. When we wait our faith is tested.   When we wait our trust in God can grow.  It’s God’s way of underlining these great moments in our lives, so that we might never forget. We need this, for we are like the disciples caught in a storm.  After they had seen the dead rise, thousands fed, the blind see and countless other miracles they still doubted. They awoke Jesus in desperation proclaiming, “We perish.”  Jesus awoke and with a few words calmed the storm. (Matthew 8:25,26) They had forgotten who was in their presence.

Jesus said “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) When we have been waiting a long time, for some much needed relief, it is easy to forget who is in our presence.  It seems like that problem is never going away.  We may feel hopeless, like Mary and Martha.  We feel like Jesus is just taking His sweet time or perhaps has gone on a trip. But we need to remember it’s His time and His will.  He will provide and it will be perfect and glorious. Until then we wait, for something great is just around the corner.  He has heard your cry.  He loves you, is faithful and will act mightily in your life.

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