Are you tired? Have the trials and tribulations of life brought you to such a point in your Christian walk that you’re ready to give up? If this is your condition, you’re now reading an encouraging word from the Lord. “The Perfect Sacrifice” is about an Old Testament Bible character by the name of Hannah. Hannah was dealing with a trial that had brought her to her wits’ end; but Hannah’s faith held to the faithfulness of God.
The results were an abundant blessing as she reaped the rewards for fainting not (Galatians 6:9).
This seven part series of devotions will be a great encouragement (despite the adversity you may now be facing), as you choose to continue to press forward in your walk with the Lord.
The Christian life is abundant, but it was never promised to be without tribulations in a fallen world. Though the storms of life may rage, we can always have the assurance of the peace of God – if we choose to yield our hearts and minds to God. In doing so, we will experience the triumph Hannah discovers as she offers up The Perfect Sacrifice.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalms 51:1)
“But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.” (1 Samuel 1:5)
“And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.” (1 Samuel 1:6)
“Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah…” Elkanah had two wives. One was named Peninnah, and the other was Hannah. Peninnah had children, whereas Hannah did not. This situation that Hannah found herself in was a grievous burden. For Hannah desired greatly to bear children unto Elkanah, her husband. In the process of time, she would; but first the Lord had to get her heart ready for the direction He desired for her to take.
Notice how much Hannah was loved by Elkanah. Elkanah loved Hannah so much, that he gave her a “worthy” portion; whereas Peninnah and her children only received a portion.
God’s love for Hannah was great, as it is for the Church. We, as the Bride of Christ, have received a worthy portion of God’s love. It is unto this special age in which we live that we receive the indwelling Presence of God. Old Testament Israel had God the Spirit with them; but He lives in us and among us (John 14:17). As Elisha received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9); so it is with the Church.
Hannah was special to the Lord, but this didn’t mean she wouldn’t be greatly tested.
Although Hannah was greatly loved, the Lord had shut up her womb. This brought great agony to Hannah because of her desire to bear her husband a child. But for now, this was the will of the Lord. Many times we will not understand why God is sending us a certain trial, but we must nevertheless trust in the Lord. God could have been testing Hannah to see who she would turn to for help; or to see if Elkanah’s love for Hannah was sincere, despite her barren womb. Whatever the case, we must always trust Romans 8:28. God is working all things out for our good; and in the latter end, we will always come out on top.
Finally, I want us to recognize how Hannah’s adversary had taken advantage of the trial the Lord had sent Hannah. Although Hannah’s barren womb was of the Lord, her adversary had used her situation to try Hannah, and cause Hannah to fret, or be agitated and irritated.
The Book of James, chapter one, teaches us that trials are to build patience in our lives (James 1:2-4). This patience is built in us, by God, only when we respond to our trial in a positive manner. In other words, your trial can make you better or bitter. It was Hannah’s adversary’s goal to cause her to fret. And if we find ourselves in a trial, or in some tribulation, we shouldn’t allow the enemy to cheat us out of the spiritual blessing God is trying to build in us. We must see, through the eyes of faith, that our circumstances are God-sent. As we do so, we will find great peace in the midst of the storm.
Tribulations are hard to bear. I’ll be the first to admit it. But I have come to a spiritual growth that has led me to embrace these trials as the preparations for a great blessing. When we walk according to this rule, we will always find ourselves at the altar instead of murmuring and complaining.
Hannah’s tribulation led her to supplication, because she had a heart of faith. She pressed forward; and so will we if we have the eyes of faith.