Holding Onto Our Hope
1 Samuel 1:1-18
Hope is the desire for something good coupled with the expectation that we will receive it. The stronger our desire, the greater will be both our hope and our tenacity to hold onto it. All of us have been tempted to give up when it seemed our longing would not be fulfilled. But if God has placed a hope in your heart, don't surrender it—He will see it done.
In the life of Hannah, we find evidence of hope-stealers and hope-promoters. Her circumstances were difficult—she had been barren for a long period, and her husband didn't seem to understand her pain. In addition, Peninnah criticized Hannah strenuously. Having no son was a disgrace in that culture, so the criticism led to further misery and hopelessness.
Hannah combated these hope-stealers with prayer, faith, and perseverance. In her desperate desire for a child, she prayed often, even through her tears. She never stopped believing that God could fulfill her hope, so she brought her desire to Him over and over.
She developed one other hope-promoter: Hannah came to God in a spirit of sacrifice. That is, she was willing to do whatever was necessary to make her hope a reality as long as both the desire and the sacrifice were legitimate in the eyes of God.
Hannah’s faithfulness was rewarded with a son. We are not always given the object of our desire, and sometimes we will be asked to redirect our hopes to that which God wants for us. But, once His hope is planted in your heart, cling to it as Hannah did.
Make sure you tune in for this week’s message from Dr. Stanley. For expanded studies and outlines of this week’s sermon, visit the In Touch Web site. http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/broadcasts/index_76108.html
Do your teenagers know about Teen Connection—the official teen outreach of In Touch? The latest interviews include Philip Yancey, Point of Grace, ZOEGirl and Rebecca St. James. Visit Teen Connection at www.teen-connection.info.