Lesson Six | Devotion #6: Hannah
Holly Wells | Assistant to Lead Pastor Jim Combs
“She continued praying before the Lord…” (1 Samuel 1:12)
I love that the Bible is written about people like you and me who are facing all sorts of life challenges and circumstances. Within the pages of Scripture, we can identify with many who are working out their faith with fear and trembling (or sometimes we see a lack of it). We learn about those who have failed through sin, we identify our sin, and we learn how we can receive the forgiveness and redemption offered through Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17; Romans 3:10, 23; 10:9-10; 1 John 1:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1). We are encouraged to press on to a higher calling and to lay aside any sin that ensnares us so that we may run our race with endurance as we look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Philippians 2:12; 3:14; Hebrews 12:1-2). Throughout the pages of the Bible, we read of endless accounts proving, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV). The bottom line is the Bible is as relevant and relatable today as it was during the dates of its writing. How awesome is God to give us such a timeless gift?
As I dug into the story of Hannah which is found in 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2, many parallels from this Old Testament story are very evident to present day. Although Hannah did not belong to the genealogical line of Jesus, her prayer to dedicate her son, Samuel, to the Lord was a prophetic song to the Messiah. She lived during a time of great spiritual darkness, yet she stood out as a ray of light through her faith and perseverance as she cherished the messianic hope and held the great expectation of His promise to come. Today, we live in a time that is spiritually cold and where society pushes compromise and tolerance of all things, but true followers of Jesus Christ will hold to biblical truths and principles with great anticipation for His promise to return (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Jesus Christ has always been the One to offer life-saving faith whether during the days of the Old Testament all the way through the present day, and for Hannah she sought Him with an unwavering faith-filled heart.
Hannah’s life demonstrates a deep faith for her coming Savior but also great spiritual commitment, prayerfulness, patience, submission, and motherly love. Through her prayer life, we see her passion and fervency for heavenly things, not earthly things. Her desire to have a son was not for the purpose of self-gratification but rather to give her life to him so that she may give him back to the Lord. Therefore, it was to the Lord that she pleaded. Even through her disappointment and heartache, she remained faithful to Him. In fact, through her frustrations Hannah drew closer to Lord, persisting in prayer, rather than turning away from Him. Hannah had a steadfast faith; she stayed with Him through a broken heart and tear-filled prayers. She allowed her trials to make her a woman of prayer and exemplified what it meant to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Finally, as Hannah brought her petition for a son to the Lord, she was content to leave it with Him. Hannah trusted God to sustain her; she laid her troubles before the Lord with full confidence and assurance He would answer her according to what was best for her.
As we look at the life of Hannah and the virtues she modeled – her fervent faith, her persistent prayer, her unwavering trust, and the cherished hope of her coming Savior – we can be exhorted and encouraged by her example as a Christ follower despite conditions, life, or the world around us may bring. Each of us will experience desires that may not be fulfilled and circumstances that will cause pain. However, the life of Hannah is a true testament that God knows our story from beginning to end, He has a purpose through it all, and trust in the Lord will never be misplaced.