We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Phillip Woody.
1 Samuel 1:9-11
9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
Real perseverance is birthed through tears. Defined, it means, “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” But why is this such a crucial ingredient in the kingdom of God?
Hannah was one of two wives to her husband Elkanah. She was favored by him though she could not have children while Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, could… and did. This favor made Peninnah jealous. Her jealousy led her to relentless taunting of Hannah who wanted nothing else but to have a son of her own. This taunting went on for years. Once a year Elkanah, with his family, would journey a long distance to the temple to worship. There, Hannah would experience the deepest abuse at the mouth of Peninnah and greatest disappointment, believing that each year this might be the one that God answered her prayer.
One year, after sneaking away to the sanctuary, “crushed in soul,” (one version of the scripture says) Hannah pleaded again with God and made the promise to God that if he would give her a son she would give him back to God, setting him aside for the Lord’s service to the temple once he was of age. Long story short- God granted her request.
Why does the Lord often wait until we are “crushed in soul?” Perhaps the perseverance isn’t about getting what we want, but getting on page with what God wants, that includes our joy but extends beyond our joy to others. Samuel was the son she birthed. She raised him and as promised gave him to the temple. Samuel was the prophet that the Lord used to be his voice for an entire Nation.
Hannah raised Samuel different because of the waiting. It was Hannah’s perseverance that birthed not just Samuel but new purpose. She was no longer a normal Mom but a Mom raising a son set aside for the Lord.
What if your perseverance was about birthing something new in you. Most often it is. Purpose isn’t birthed out of easy times, rather it is birthed out of a soul surrendered (crushed) to the Lord.
Is there a longing in your life that still remains unfulfilled? What if that longing wasn’t wrong, but just wasn’t fully right yet. You have two options, quit, or you could persevere. But perseverance isn’t just gritting your teeth. Perseverance is prayer asking the Lord what purpose he may have with this longing within you. The future opens when our longings begin to be reshaped by the Lord’s work in our lives through perseverance.
Jesus give me the kind of perseverance that sees longing through your eyes and not just my own. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This week ask the Lord what about the longing he might want to give you new insight about. What might your longing in the hands of the Lord might be for hat is bigger than you. Ask him to reveal that and hen preserver in prayer for it.
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