VIDEO “Thank You” Bible Style: Hannah – Hannah’s prayer

“Thank You” Bible Style: Hannah

My heart rejoices in the Lord. 1 Samuel 2:1

In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul said, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord” (3:1). He also wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (4:4) These are the only times that phrase occurs in the New Testament. Paul, who loved his “books” and “parchments” was quoting from the prayer of an Old Testament hero—Hannah. In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah was distraught beyond comfort, being tormented by her circumstances. Going to the tabernacle in Shiloh, Hannah earnestly prayed over her situation, and God graciously answered. In chapter 2, she composed a rich hymn of thanksgiving, which began with the words Paul later used to encourage the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord.”

Hannah teaches us that our expressions of joyful thanksgiving reverberate through history. When we exhibit a thankful attitude, it’s transmitted to others; through them it reaches even more people. Our attitudes are passed down through the generations. If we’re angry or depressed or sullen or anxious, our children will absorb those attitudes. But when we approach life with a joyful spirit of thanksgiving, it leaves a lasting legacy.

So rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say: Rejoice!

Joy is the serious business of Heaven.  C. S. Lewis


Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 2) – by Ismael Sanchez Torreguitart

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Thanksgiving All Year Round

 

Being grateful is good for you. It’s good for your health. Even recent studies at Columbia and Yale found that belief in God can make your brain healthier.

Writing for liveinthenow.com  (11/14/18), Diana Manos notes:

“For generations, people have always had a general sense that belief in God could somehow have a positive impact on one’s health, but now there is scientific evidence to support that.”

She adds:

“An article published over on Medical News Today, titled ‘What religion does to your brain,’ says the relatively new scientific area of neurotheology—or the study of the neuroscience of theological belief—has made some surprising recent discoveries that show religious beliefs and activities can help a person live a longer, healthier life.”

This is not surprising to me; study after study has shown that there are health benefits to regular church-going. If you want to add years to your life, go to church regularly. Applied Christianity (for example, being forgiven and forgiving others) often results in all sorts of benefits—in addition to the joy of knowing Jesus Christ and trusting Him for eternal life.

One of the components of committed spirituality is practicing gratitude. An “attitude of gratitude” sounds just like a platitude. But it’s actually good for you. The Pilgrims were onto something in setting aside a day (in their case, in 1621, three days) for thanking God. And, of course, thanksgiving is something good to practice year round, not just once a year.

But ingratitude runs deep in the human heart. Have you heard the joke about the lady and her small son at the beach? Suddenly a big wave comes and washes over them. As it recedes, she discovers her son is gone. She cries out to God, “Oh please, I’ll do anything. I’ll go to church. I’ll give up smoking. Anything, just give me back my son.” Then another big wave comes, and her little boy is safely brought back. She looks at him, then she looks up to heaven and complains, “Where’s his hat?”

My mom used to always say:

As a rule, a man’s a fool;

When it’s hot, he wants it cool.

When it’s cool, he wants it hot—

Always wanting what is not.

Shakespeare’s King Lear has this line about ingratitude: “sharper than a serpent’s tooth is an ungrateful child.”

While ingratitude comes natural to us (and often it is the norm; people will find nitpicky things to complain about even in a paradise), it’s also true that some people can find ways to be grateful, even in difficult circumstances.

Recently I went online to look at psychological studies on the impact of gratitude. Joshua Rask at the University of Calgary wrote: “Theory and research have shown that gratitude interventions have positive outcomes on measures of well-being.” “Gratitude interventions”? That means choosing to say thanks, even if you’re inclined to be ungrateful.

Radio preacher Chuck Swindoll once said, Life is 10 percent circumstances, 90 percent how we react to those circumstances.

We can’t control the stimulus, but we can control the response.

Ben Franklin once said:

“Content[ment] makes poor men rich; Discontent[ment] makes rich Men poor.”

I marvel at St. Paul who could say, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” Yeah, Paul, that’s easy for you to say. Oh, wait. This is the same St. Paul who was flogged many times. He was stoned one day and left for dead. He was shipwrecked. He had to contend with robbers and wild animals. And yet he could say we should be grateful through it all. Amazing.

Paul found his happiness, as do I and millions of Christians, through faith in Jesus Christ. The Savior and Lord loved us so much that He took on the punishment that we deserve for our sins. Finding true forgiveness from God, not because we’re good, but because Jesus died in our place, is often the first step toward a grateful heart.

Newsweek magazine a few years ago noted:

“Dozens of studies have shown that when people actively take the time to list the things they are grateful for, they feel better mentally and physically than participants who haven’t done the same.”

So if things are going badly for you, or so it seems, practice a “gratitude intervention.” List 100 things you thank God for. Change your attitude, and you often change the circumstances.

Like the Pilgrims, we do well to practice gratitude to God, and not just at Thanksgiving time, but all year round. Just as belief in God can be good for your brain, Thanksgiving can be good for your health—that is, if you don’t eat too much.

A devout soul once prayed so long ago—and I echo his prayer—God, you’ve given me so many things. Please give me one more thing—a grateful heart.

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Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is an on-air host/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 30 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback)   djkm.org  @newcombejerry      http://www.jerrynewcombe.com

https://barbwire.com/thanksgiving-all-year-round/

God Gives, Gives, and keeps on Giving

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called. (1 Timothy 6:12)

We ought to spend more time remembering the blessings and the benefits God is continually giving us while we are alive—before we leave this vale of tears!

He gives us forgiveness—so we are to live for Him as forgiven sinners.

He gives us eternal life. This is not just a future reality—our life in Him is a present bestowment.

He gives us sonship: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God!” In this relationship there are many other gifts we receive from God, and if we do not possess them it is because we are not God’s children in faith!

We ask God to help us, to meet some need, to do something for us—and the Lord mercifully does it. I consider these the little and the trifling things, yet we make a great deal of them. But they are really the passing things compared to the great present benefactions of forgiveness, reinstatement in favor with God, sonship and eternal life!

 

Dayspring from on High

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us.” (Luke 1:78) 

This is an unusual, but beautiful, name of the coming Savior given Him by Zacharias when he was “filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied” (Luke 1:67). In that same prophecy, Zacharias also called that coming one “the Highest” and “the Lord” who would “give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins” (vv. 76-77). Just six months later, Jesus was born.

The Greek word here translated “dayspring” is so translated only this one time. It refers to the metaphorical spring from which the sun springs forth each day, and so is usually translated simply as “the east.” It is interesting that it is used three times in connection with the story of the wise men “from the east” who saw “his star in the east,” and then, when they reached Bethlehem once again, “the star, which they saw in the east,” led them to the one who was Himself “the dayspring” (Matthew 2:1-2, 9).

There is one other sunrise appropriately presaged here. Many years later, the women who had tearfully watched the Lord being crucified and buried came to His sepulcher to anoint Him with sweet spices “at the rising of the sun” (Mark 16:2) immediately after He had risen from the dead. Here a closely related word is the word translated “rising.”

There is another great sunrise coming, as promised in the last chapter of the Old Testament. “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2). He who is Himself “the light of the world” (John 8:12) will someday even replace the sun in the new Jerusalem. There will never be another sunrise after that, for “there shall be no night there . . . neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light” (Revelation 22:5). HMM

Without shedding of blood is no remission

Hebrews 9:15-28

Hebrews 9:15

It was absolutely needful that guilt should be atoned for, and, therefore, Jesus became a mediator. Nothing short of this could secure the eternal inheritance for those who are called. Take away the atonement and you have robbed our Lord of his greatest reason for being a mediator at all. We love and live upon the truth of his atoning death.

Hebrews 9:16

Or it may be understood that a covenant is not of force till the victim is slain to ratify it with blood. In either sense the death of Jesus was necessary to secure to us the blessings of the gospel

Hebrews 9:18-21

Blood was seen on all sides under the law, it was vital to its teachings. The blood of Jesus is the very life of the gospel; a ministry without the blood of Jesus in it is dead and worthless.

Hebrews 9:22

This solemn truth needs to be well learned and remembered. Nothing can cleanse us but the blood of Jesus. Sacraments, prayers, repentances are all useless as a substitute for faith in the blood.

Hebrews 9:23

The blood of bulls would suffice to purge the types, but the realities must have a richer sacrifice to cleanse them.

Hebrews 9:24-26

Once has Jesus offered sacrifice, and only once. All attempts to offer him again, as the priests pretend to do in the mass, are blasphemous, and are an insinuation that the one offering was not sufficient. As for us, let us rest on the once offered atonement, and in humble faith know that we are fully accepted.

Hebrews 9:27, 28

shall he appear the second time without sin or without a sin-offering

Every man’s death day is his doomsday, all is settled then. So Jesus, when he died, finished his atoning work, and nothing remains for him but to come a second time, no more to die, to take his great reward.

 

O Christ, what burdens bow’d thy head!

Our load was laid on thee:

Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead,

To bear all ill for me.

 

Death and the curse were in our cup,

O Christ, ’twas full for thee!

But thou hast drained the last dark drop,

‘Tis empty now for me.

 

Jehovah lifted up his rod,

O Christ, it fell on thee!

Thou wast sore stricken of thy God;

There’s not one stroke for me.

 

For me, Lord Jesus, thou hast died,

And I have died in thee;

Thou’rt risen; my bands are all untied;

And now thou liv’st in me.

 

Obstacles to Obedience

2 Kings 5:11-17

Obedience is a powerful action that can unleash God’s glory in ways beyond our imagination. Yet obeying is often difficult because our desires are being put to the test. Sometimes we’re afraid that by doing what the Lord says, we’ll end up losing what’s important to us. But choosing not to obey may actually cost us the very thing we desire most.

In yesterday’s reading, three obstacles initially kept Naaman from following God’s instructions—and almost prevented his miraculous healing.

1. Pride. As a high-ranking official, Naaman feared obeying would cost him his dignity. Conversely, his servants had the wisdom to see pride was robbing him of life. How often do we balk at doing what God says, for fear of looking foolish?

2. Self-centered expectations. Naaman was furious when his very specific expectations weren’t met. We, too, often get angry at the Lord when He doesn’t comply with our demands. But if we really want His perfect will, we absolutely must “let” Him do things His way.

3. Unbelief. Because Naaman’s faith extended only to his own vision of how he’d be healed, he initially didn’t see how obeying would cure his leprosy. It took the faith of his servants to help him see the truth: that obedience was key to unlocking God’s answer to his greatest need.

The call to obey often uncovers strongholds from which the Lord wants to free us. When we choose to respond in faith, He reveals Himself to us in a new way that strengthens our trust in Him—because ultimately, our greatest need is to know Him better.

Mountains Turned to Plains

“Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” Zech. 4:7

At this hour a mountain of difficulty, distress, or necessity, may be in our way, and natural reason sees no path over it, or through it, or round it. Let faith come in, and straightway the mountain disappears and becomes a plain. But faith must first hear the word of the Lord — “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” This grand truth is a prime necessity for meeting the insurmountable trials of life.

I see that I can do nothing, and that all reliance on man is vanity. “Not by might.” I see that no visible means can be relied on, but the force is in the invisible Spirit. God alone must work, and men and means must be nothing accounted of. If it be so, that the Almighty God takes up the concerns of His people, then great mountains are nothing. He can remove worlds as boys toss balls about, or drive them with their foot. This power He can lend to me. If the Lord bids me move an Alp I can do it through His name. It may be a great mountain, but even before my feebleness it shall become a plain; for the Lord hath said it. What can I be afraid of with God on my side?