Happy Mother’s Day! A Mother’s Day video was shown, thanking moms because: “We’d clearly be a mess without you!” Pastor Josiah honored moms, grandmas, and the women of Faith Chapel. We’ve seen your investment. Thank you for doing what only moms do – a look, a hug, something you’ve prepared. Bless you today. Thank you for being amazing!
In 1 Samuel 1:1, we read of Elkanah and his two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had 2 children, but Hannah had none. Though it is always a privilege to bear children, this was
especially true and important in past times, when children would eventually care for mom.
As we read in 1 Samuel, Elkanah and his wives traveled each year to Shiloh to worship and
sacrifice to the Lord. Peninnah would receive portions for the sacrifice for herself and her
children and Hannah only for herself. As hard as it was for her pain to be reinforced each year, Hannah went to worship the Lord with her family. All of us may deal with pain and hardship at times. Can you still worship God before your breakthrough shows up? Can you worship Him because he is good, even when your circumstances are not? Worship is not a “tip” or “gratuity”. We worship God regardless of our circumstances. Worship is not for us. It’s for Him.
Pastor Josiah stated that he had done this in the past, coming to worship, but thinking about
himself. Perhaps you have feelings that you are undeserving. Perhaps you have too much on
your mind after a crazy morning before church. If all you can focus on is your dysfunction, your eyes are in the wrong place. The enemy whispers to us to keep us looking at ourselves instead of on Him! Don’t stop coming to Jesus. Fix your eyes on Him. When it comes to worship, break up with yourself. You make it about Him and let Him make it about you. He encourages you and silences the voice of the enemy.
In 1 Samuel 1:6, Hannah is taunted by Peninnah. Peninnah pokes fun of Hannah because she is barren. The tabernacle became a monument for pride. Rather than feeling blessed and
worshipping, Peninnah became competitive. The competitive spirit has got to be driven out of the church. We should celebrate the gifts of others. There are places for competitiveness – Josiah mentioned board games as an example – but in life, we need to be competitive without a negative spirit. When we acknowledge other’s gifts and are inspired by them, it is a beautiful thing. In the body of Christ, see the gifts of each other, celebrate them and be inspired to be your best!
In 1 Samuel 1:9 Hannah went to pray. She brought her desperate cry to God, knowing God is
the solution and source of her healing. Instead of fighting against flesh and blood, she went to the Lord. When you are hurting, where do you go? Do you turn to friends, Facebook, or even trash talk another? In the midst of hurt and pain, we shouldn’t turn to gossip, alcohol or other sources, but to God. Don’t be mad at God for what man has done. As you cry out to God, he will work wonders in your mind and heart. The enemy is like the guy at college watching a fist fight, encouraging the fighters from the side lines. The enemy love to entice you, but God will take care of you. We just have to determine within ourselves to put into His hands what is already in ours.
Hannah pled to the Lord for a child, committing that child to the Lord. What if we held
everything we have as if it is all His – finances, marriage, relationships, kids, home, health, ALL? From the moment we accepted Jesus as Savior, for the rest of our lives, we should hold our hands open, knowing it is His, grateful and trusting God with it all.
The Lord broke Hannah’s barrenness after her journey, setting the stage to give back to God.
What things would God release in our lives, but He is just waiting for us to be ready to give back to Him when we get it? What blessings will God give us when we are ready to receive them? God, make me ready for all that you desire to do to me and through me.
God matures, grows and prunes us in each season. Can you imagine the potential in our church as God prepares each of us, young and old? When we realize this, we can look at our present moment or any season, as a tool for what God would do for good, even when the enemy meant for evil.
Hannah poured her heart out in sorrow. She did business with God. God met her and
something changed. “The Lord remembered her plea.” When her child was born, she named him Samuel, which means “heard from God”. Hannah never gave up. Her demeanor changed, her actions changed, and she got her breakthrough. She partnered with her spouse. There is often a natural partnership with a supernatural breakthrough. She put action behind her faith. We don’t know what became of the 2 children of Pininnah, but we know that Samuel became an incredible prophet and man of God. Hannah had to be ready. She was a mom with an open hand to trust God more than herself. She was ready to give back to the Lord. Like Hannah, we are vessels. Be prepared to give back to the Lord and give Him the glory.
God hears you. We may only have what we have for a time period. At any moment we may
have to release back to Him and trust Him, saying “this is yours, God. I will honor you and give back to you what you have entrusted to me.” Some of us are blessed financially. Some of us are blessed with wonderful families. How can you give back with your abilities, finances, and gifts?
Through Hannah’s story, we were reminded today that everything is Gods. We want to come in alignment with His will. Lord, make us ready and willing. In your perfect timing, release your blessings. We want to be ready. May we touch you God, that blessing will rise in the mighty name of Jesus.
In a final note, Pastor Josiah told of his family. When his mom passed away, many in his family didn’t know Jesus. At her service, the gospel was shared, seeds landed on good soil and were cultivated over time. Eventually 5 family members came to Jesus! Who in your family can you influence? Trust that God is working.
Written by Debby Jarrell