Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Possibility of Peace

Mark 10:27 says “Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Living a life full of joy and void of pain may seem impossible to you today, as you consider all the difficult situations in your life, the hardships you have endured, the pain you have experienced, the struggles you are currently facing, or the looming hopelessness of the future - but, my friend, true joy and peace are within your reach, if you are reaching out to the right place for help. Peace is a matter of the heart.

One very important truth to remember is this - God could change your circumstances at any time, if He chose to do so, but consider this - is it possible, that maybe God is more interested in changing YOU through your circumstances, than changing your circumstances?

There are countless stories in The Bible of people who faced great adversity, and stress, but who persevered in Christ, and came out for the better. One of those people was Hannah, in the book of 1 Samuel, chapter one. Elkanah had two wives - one was Hannah, and the other was Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not, because she had been unable to get pregnant.

1 Samuel 1:6-7 says “And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.”

Hannah was tormented year after year not only because of her own personal shame of being barren, but because of the great persecution that was bestowed upon her by her husband’s other wife. The day came when she had had all she could take - ever been there? I know I have.

Hannah went to the place of worship as was the custom, just as she had done year after year, but this year, something was different. Hannah was at the end of her rope. She tried to be faithful, she had prayed for a child, but still to no avail, so she now found herself in a place of complete despair. She said as noted in1 Samuel 1:11, that “ she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me.”

She was desperate to know that God saw her, and that He saw the pain she was in. She was at wits end, and as a result, she dropped to her knees, and poured her entire heart out to God.

Yes, Hannah had prayed about this problem before, probably hundreds of times, for years, but God had still not answered her prayers yet. However, on this particular day she was desperate for God’s intervention. She was so absolutely desperate and heart- broken, that she not only prayed, but she praying loudly, enthusiastically, desperately, and excitedly, so much so, that onlookers thought that she was drunk with wine.

When Eli questioned her behavior, she answered by saying, "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief." God then spoke through Eli, and he said to Hannah, (vs 17) "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."

Hannah had great faith, even though she endured the adversity and torment from her co-wife for years. Can you imagine the type of stress that she had to endure, to keep her mouth shut and not complain about her husband’s other wife, the one who had bore him children; the one she had to live with; the one she had to succumb to every day of her life as she pleaded every second for God to remove her pain.

Hannah’s faith was the answer to her stress. Her faith, despite her stressful and heartbreaking situation, resulted in God working on her behalf.

1 Samuel 1:19-20 says Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."

A key point from this verse that is crucial to our own faith walk is “that the Lord remembered her.”

He remembered the faithful woman who had continued to love Him and worship Him, despite her circumstances. He remembered the faithful woman who had sought His help, faithfully, with perseverance, and called to Him for help, without giving up or losing hope. He remembered the woman who knew that her only hope for a solution to her problem was the One who had created her.

Remember God during your difficult times, and He will remember you. Sometimes God shows u up the biggest, when we are the most desperate for Him. As our desperationf or Him grows, we will begin to see Him at work. And when the time is right, His peace and promises will become a reality in your life as well.

Peace may seem impossible, in light of the difficulties of life, but with Christ, all things are possible.

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Anonymous said...

Sweet Blessings Tracie,

Oh girl....

The words are just not here with me....God has me speechless.

"One very important truth to remember is this-God could change your circumstances at any time, if he chose to do so, but consider this-is it possible, that maybe God is more interested in changing YOU through your circumstances, than changing your circumstances?"

I can be a witness to this.

Peace is now in My heart...

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Wow Tracie, the story of Hannah is an encouragement while waiting on God to get us through!

Yesterday, I wrote on my blog (and linked you devo from yesterday to it)about something a friend told me once: "Do not delay the blessing God wants to give you by waiting." Those words remind me to wait on His best even in my pain.

You are such a blessing! Thank you Tracie.

Lee Ann

Anonymous said...

Bless you for writing this beautiful message. I can totally relate to this entire message and I am sure many other women can too.
The part that stood out to me was when you wrote about God changing us through our circumstance. As I read this I was thinking about how it seems God changes the actual circumstance when I finally have been changed by the circumstance.
I'm not very familiar with the story of Hannah, but the story you provided as an example illustrated exactly how God has worked in my life. I will certainly go back and read her story.
God works in different ways in my life as He does in everyone else's life. Thank God for his truth in the word. Thank God for how He works in our lives. Thank you for reminding us of how he works!

Joyful said...

Tracie, thank you, thank you for this reminder tonight.

Praying Hannah's prayer. Lord, remember me.

They say that the condition for a great miracle is an impossibility. (Quote from Faith Like Potatoes)

I love that perfect peace is a possibility,