Much Reason to Exult

“‘For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.’ And he worshiped the Lord there.”

“Hannah prayed and said,

‘My heart exults in the Lord;
    my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
    because I rejoice in your salvation.

‘There is none holy like the Lord:
    for there is none besides you;
    there is no rock like our God.

Talk no more so very proudly,
    let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
    and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
    but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
    but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven
...
The Lord kills and brings to life;
    he brings down… and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
    he brings low and he exalts…
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
    and on them he has set the world.

‘He will guard the feet of his faithful ones..,
    for not by might shall a man prevail.
..
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
    he will give strength to his king
    and exalt the horn of his anointed.’” 1 Samuel 1:27-28; 2:1-10

Barren Hannah knew that it was the Lord who opened her womb. How else could she and Elkanah have conceived and borne Samuel? How else could she have experienced this joy of motherhood had not He intervened and done what was humanly impossible? All the deep lessons of suffering and cultural shame, of longing and trusting in prayer, of releasing idols to absolute and whole affection for Him, of the Lord’s personal, comforting, and intimate presence, God used to magnify His character and increase her worship of Him. Through these she understood and could exalt God’s majesty, goodness, and power. He alone was sovereign, the immovable Rock, the giver of life. (1 Samuel 1:1-6,10-11; Job 12:10)

As fickle humans, we tend to praise God easily when circumstances fall into place with our desired plans. But come delay or difficulty, in haughty swagger we question and castigate Him. What if we accepted our waiting as the vehicle to the fruit of patience, our trials as the method by which we learn to trust God’s strength? What if we did not cease praying until we were at full peace with His answers? What if we persevered to understand and know His ways firsthand, how He stabilizes our faith, shapes our desires, raises up and brings low according to His strategy for His glory and our good? We would exult much, because He is infinitely worthy!

Even in unmet dreams and relational pain, God is good, faithful, and trustworthy. When work, financial, or physical challenges seem impossible, God is able to make His grace abound. We have much reason to exult! When will we make this a regular rhythm of our days? (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Worthy Lord, fill my mind with You and my lips with rejoicing all the day. Permeate my attitude and expression to reflect Your glory, and my hours with songs of praise.

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