I haven't done a Scripture Saturday or Scripture Sunday post in a while, so I thought today would be a good opportunity to let you know what I learned in church.
Today we had Sanctity of Life Sunday at church. It is a Sunday each year where we take time to celebrate life. It is in January because the Roe vs Wade decision which legalized abortion happened in January. It is a Sunday I always enjoy. There are some sad aspects to it, like the statistics that Pastor Ritch shared. 50 million abortions have taken place since that decision. That amounts to about 3,000 abortions a day. It makes my heart grieve to think about it. But Pastor Ritch also gave me great encouragement today. He preached out of 1 Samuel. For those of you who don't know the story, Hannah is barren. She goes year after year (which means this is not a problem that was going away for her) to Shiloh to worship the Lord with her husband. Pastor Ritch talked about how this trip went from anguish to adoration for her and how we can also go from anguish to adoration in our own situations. There were several truths that he pointed out from the passage that really struck me in my own circumstances. Throughout the sermon, I found myself focusing on anguish I have experienced, since barrenness is not something I have gone through. But singleness is a struggle for me and there have been times that I have felt anguish because the Lord has not granted me this one request. 1 Samuel 1:5-6 says that Hannah's barrenness was from the Lord. Pastor Ritch expounded on this, saying that her barrenness was not a curse of punishment. That when God designs anguish for us, it is always in view of a future joy. ALWAYS. What a great word! Although, I must realize that the future joy may come in heaven, there is always a future joy that will far outweigh the present circumstance! The second point that Pastor Ritch made had to do with Hannah's actions and resulting peace. Hannah went to Shiloh and prayed to the Lord. She poured out her grieving heart to God. She expressed that if He gave her a child she would dedicate that child to the Lord. Before Hannah prayed, verse 7 says she was weeping and would not eat. After Hannah prayed, verse 18 says she went on her way and ate something and her face was no longer downcast. Hannah found peace in the midst of her grief. She found peace BEFORE she conceived a child. I do not have to wait to be married to have peace. Pastor Ritch's statement "Peace changes our hope, not our circumstances" was a huge blessing. Prayer refocuses our attention onto the Almighty, not on ourselves. The circumstance is no longer what drives us and motivates us and our feelings, but the hope we have in His future joy is what motivates us and our feelings. I praise God that He is my focus and not the earthly circumstances I face every day.
PS. For those of you who don't know the story, the Lord did open Hannah's womb and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And when she had weaned him, she dedicated him to the Lord at Shiloh and he lived there and became a priest. Hannah waited all those years for a son, and yet she was faithful to give him to the Lord just as she told God she would.
Five-week virtual Bible study—no homework!
1 week ago