Sermon on October 30 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: 1 Samuel 1
Disappointments are real. Ask Elijah or as here Hannah.
Does God care – and especially in the disappointments of life?
When you are living with disappointment
1. DON’T FRET – DESPAIR IS PART OF THE PUZZLE! (v 1 – 8 )
- God’s plan uses what we would not
In Hannah’s day, wives who could not have children were seen as losers. Some of God’s best work was done through disappointment (eg Sarah, Rachel and Elizabeth).Many key figures in God’s big plan of redemption (Isaac, Joseph, Samuel and John the Baptist) were born through initial despair.
- Our extremity is always God’s opportunity
Our disappointments can be the soil from which God shows His power.
‘When His people are without strength, without resources, without hope, without human gimmicks- then He loves to stretch forth His hand from heaven.’
(Dale Ralph Davis)
2. DON’T GIVE UP – FAITH DOESN’T LET GO! (v 9 – 18)
- Hannah’s faith clings to God, not others
When you hit rock-bottom, do you blame, manipulate – or take it to the Lord?
- Hannah’s faith focuses on God, not self
Hannah has the same world-view as David, when he stood before Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
What God is to Hannah in the nitty-gritty of life, the living God – He is to her in her pain.
- Hannah’s faith is practiced, not put-on
When all is laid before the Lord, get up and live! Cuddling up to our disappointments is as much idolatry, as worshipping money or gadgets.
‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you’ (1 Peter 5:7)
3. DON’T HANG ON – GIVE YOUR DREAM TO GOD! (v 19 – 28)
- God will give you only what is best for His kingdom
Are we willing to trust the Lord to withhold what we may want, so we can be all He wants?
- God wants all you have, for all that He will yet do
Remember! Better to have God with disappointment than have no God and a wasted life. God may deliver you from disappointment, but not before He makes you glad in Him – so you can live to make others glad in Him too.
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. What are the ‘impossible’ situations in your life? How would Hannah’s story of barrenness encourage you?
2. Sometimes despair may be the prelude to a mighty work of God. Can you think of other situations in the Bible where we see this? In your own experience?
3. Is it possible to cuddle up to our disappointments and despair? Why is that dangerous? What are some ways we can prevent this?
4. What is your greatest concern for your children, nieces and nephews and grandchildren? Fame, prosperity or godliness?
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Simon Smith