2011 Theme: MAKE GOD GREATER!
“But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her….In her bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.” 1 Samuel 1:5-6,10 NIV
Frustration Produces Fruit: You have probably experienced plenty of barren seasons. Many of you are in a season of past due promises and hanging onto hope right now. It is amazing how GOD our Creator orchestrates events in our lives that will position us in a posture of prayer. Sometimes we think or would rather believe it is the enemy who is causing hectic situations in our lives. In the story that birthed the great prophet Samuel, the Word says that it was not the enemy but GOD who made Hannah barren. Her husband’s least favorite wife, Peninnah, who was also her enemy was blessed with children. Every day Peninnah reminded Hannah that she was a barren woman, causing her to become bitter and frustrated. It is one thing to have to live with distant dreams and repeated failures, but to do it in front of your enemies and they have knowledge of what your deepest desire is can be extremely painful. You have the choice to remain in the same state you are in and traditional say ‘this must be GOD’s will’ and accept it. Or your frustration can motivate you to move.
“Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him’…Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the LORD for him” (17,19-20).
Spiritual Manifestation: Hannah chose to allow her frustration and bitterness to produce fruit. GOD did not curse Hannah by making her barren. He knew what her desire was because He was the one who gave it to her. GOD allowed Hannah to be barren and go through all the agony with her enemy Peninnah, so that she would be moved to prayer. Hannah could have allowed herself to handle the situation differently as we often do. When you are being attacked, there is no need to pray for GOD to move your enemy because there is a reason He has allowed them to be in position in the first place. Whatever you are expecting GOD to produce during this season, the fact that the heat has been turned up means that your birthing season is getting closer. There is not enough of room for your ‘baby’ to remain inside of you as just a dream, hope or even fantasy any more and it is causing you to be frustrated. In order for it to be reality it has to be manifested. Had Hannah not become bitter about her situation and frustrated, she probably would have remained content with her situation. Do something about what is causing you to be frustrated. Have you asked GOD? Will you choose to activate your faith and the power of prayer? Or will you allow the enemy to delay or even destroy your promised fruit? We already know the greatness that came from Samuel. Make GOD greater than your enemy, disappointments and frustrations. Allow GOD to produce the fruit that He intended for you! Make GOD greater!
With Love in the Spirit,
Evangelist SJ Hastings
Mental Health Tip: Anxiety occurs when worry and fear interfere with normal functioning and often causes panic attacks. Anxiety can be caused by mental conditions as well as external factors such as personal finances, marital problems, work conditions, etc. Anxiety is a common mental disorder affecting about 18% of adults. Anxiety disorder is treatable.