We do live in uncertain times. The news sound bites and stories are depressing: government scandal, adultery, violent protests, the Iraq war, messages from terrorists, bad economic forecasts and murders. It seems that bad news dominates the news. With 24 hour newscasts, the troubles of this country and the world are recapped every hour on the hour.
Yet, as we are saturated with all the bad news, what can we do in uncertain times? It might be good to consider three questions that lead to a hopeful perspective focused on God.
• What can I know for sure in this life?
• What should I do in the midst of life’s difficult circumstances?
• What can I hope for?
Hannah in the Old Testament was a good woman who loved. She had no children. Hannah prayed for years that she would conceive, but she never did. In those days, society believed that the inability to have children was God’s judgment on that individual. Also having children was necessary for help in old age if a woman’s husband was dead.
Yearly Hannah went to the temple and prayed that God would bless her with a child. After many years, she conceived. All along she had made a promise that if she had a son, she would give that son back to God.
Most people in tight situations make all sorts of promises to God and then when God grants those requests, they renege on their promises to him. But when Samuel was born, Hannah, when he was weaned, took him to the pastor Eli to live in the temple to be his helper.
How did Hannah deal with this difficult situation in her life? What did she know? She knew that she had an advocate, a God who cared for her and a God who heard the yearnings in the deepest recesses of her heart.
What can we know in these troubled times? By faith, we can go back to our spiritual roots and get our bearings. Hannah did. She knew what the steady source of balance was in her life. We all can go back to what we know is true.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:17: “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
Hannah faced a most difficult test, and she was rooted and grounded in her faith and that took over when everything was so bleak.
What can I do in the midst of life’s difficult circumstances? Things happen in life that we don’t understand. What can we do? Hannah turned to God by faith and prayed and hope took over. We can pray for our leaders in government, our president and all those in this world affected by oppressive governments and terrible conditions. We can turn to God through obedience, reading the Bible and prayer.
What happened as a result of Hannah’s prayers? Samuel grew up to be a mighty man of God. He became one of Israel’s greatest leaders who helped turned the country back to God. The result of one woman’s prayers was wide sweeping.
For what can I hope? God takes notice when we are obedient, when we study his word and he hears us when we pray. He offers us eternal life.
Even in the light of these difficult times, we can look to these questions for they have real answers.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: email@example.com