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May 29, 2017

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My Heart Rejoices in the Lord

"And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoices in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation." 1 Samuel 2:1

The strength of our faith depends upon the object of our faith. Our focus is so often directed to the wrong object. When God manifests His mercy to us in some measure, our general response is focused on the gift rather than the giver. We rejoice over how wonderful His provision is, and we get caught up in the excitement of having our needs met, and knowing the direction in life we should take, or the decision we have made. All of our focus is centered in what He has done. It is wonderful to see God answer prayer, meet our needs, and give direction in our lives. But even more, how imperative it is for us to abound in praise and thanksgiving to the GIVER HIMSELF, and to recognize the source of our strength, and the supplier of our need.

David was very conscious of this, having been continually assaulted by his enemies. He writes in Psalm 124: "If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive." Oh, to live in an attitude of praise and thanksgiving because of the mercy God manifests to us. It is "because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." David says, "Let my mouth be filled with thy praise, and with thy honor all the day."

We find this in Hannah, who had suffered much for not being able to bear a child to Elkanah, her husband. Piercing words, ridicule, and unkind behavior by Peninnah, Elkanah's other wife, brought much sorrow to Hannah. She makes a vow to the Lord, that if He would grant her a son, she would dedicate him to the service of the sanctuary and let him be a Nazarite from his birth. God grants her a son, and as soon as he is weaned, Hannah takes him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, and there "lent him unto the Lord" for the remainder of his days. His name was Samuel, whom God greatly used for His glory.

It's beautiful to see her response when she surrenders him to God. She burst forth in song and praise. The whole focus of what God had done is centered in adoration and magnifying the Lord (1 Samuel 2:1-10). In these verses of thanksgiving, Hannah speaks of the power and holiness of God, His wisdom and equity, His divine providence, and the purpose of His grace. Through her faith, she exemplifies the power of prayer, the perseverance of a believer, and the blessedness of a life lived in the "reality of faith in God." Exceedingly heavy were the trials of Hannah, but what holy joy they were turned into at last. She was filled with unspeakable praise, as she glorified the Lord for His faithfulness in giving to her Samuel, whom she faithfully gave back to God in keeping with her covenant with God. It was the same with Abraham. When God told him to take "his only son, the son whom he loved, and offer him as a sacrifice," HE OBEYED. So Hannah proved her undivided love to God, offered her son as a living sacrifice to God, the focus of her life and the praise of her heart!

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php=1&row=&date=


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