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Session 1

When hope seems unattainable

Read: 1 Samuel 1:1-18

Hannah was loved by her husband, but her longing was for a child. Hannah kept seeing her prayer being fulfilled for others around her. When would it be her turn?

Your desire may not be for a child like Hannah, but we all find ourselves longing for something — a better job, a happy marriage, a second chance in life. Longings are universal. Often, the Lord plants these yearnings in our hearts such as the desire to be a mom. It is important we also grasp that the Lord may also be the only one who can fulfill the desires within us.

We want our desires to be fulfilled, and we want them fulfilled in what we view as an appropriate time frame. When that doesn’t happen, we feel frustrated, isolated, ignored, and misunderstood. Hannah felt each of these. Hannah’s own husband, Elkanah, didn’t even understand her weeping. He loved her. Wasn’t that enough?

Prayer doesn’t always bring an immediate resolution, but it always brings immediate relief.

Others may not understand your hope and your hurt, but what is worse is when people see your weeping as weakness and use it against you. 1 Samuel 1:6-7 says Hannah’s rival “kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.”

When longings go unmet, what can we do? The answer lies in Philippians 4:6, “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Prayer doesn’t always bring an immediate resolution, but it always brings immediate relief.

After Hannah wept and poured her problems out before God, her situation hadn't changed but her heart had (1 Samuel 1:8). Hannah had hope for the first time in a long time, because her hope was in the Lord.

The same is true for us when we take our fears, our troubles, and our longings to the Lord. Our prayers might not change our situations immediately, but they always change us.

Reflect:

  • What are you longing for? Have you presented your longing to the Lord?

1

When hope seems unattainable

When hope seems unattainable

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2

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

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3

Miracles are more than moments

Miracles are more than moments

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4

But God, I don’t want to

But God, I don’t want to

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5

Only God can judge me

Only God can judge me

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6

How do I know if God’s calling me?

How do I know if God’s calling me?

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7

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

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8

Kill your idol, before it kills you

Kill your idol, before it kills you

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9

Repentance is more than being sorry

Repentance is more than being sorry

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10

How to walk forward in faith

How to walk forward in faith

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11

Do you blend in?

Do you blend in?

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12

Coincidence? I think not.

Coincidence? I think not.

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13

You can be forever changed

You can be forever changed

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14

When what god asks feels impossible

When what god asks feels impossible

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15

Not all anger is sinful

Not all anger is sinful

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16

It’s not too late to change

It’s not too late to change

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17

When impatience wins

When impatience wins

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18

Who can you count on?

Who can you count on?

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19

Bite your tongue

Bite your tongue

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20

“But God, what if I did this?”

“But God, what if I did this?”

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21

No more excuses

No more excuses

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22

You can’t unsee this

You can’t unsee this

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23

I don’t want to be here anymore

I don’t want to be here anymore

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24

The long road to an overnight success

The long road to an overnight success

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25

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

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26

The danger of jealousy

The danger of jealousy

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27

Why do my motives even matter?

Why do my motives even matter?

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28

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

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29

How to choose between competing loyalties

How to choose between competing loyalties

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30

How to have joy in hard times

How to have joy in hard times

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31

I never thought I’d do that

I never thought I’d do that

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32

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

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33

When you want revenge

When you want revenge

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34

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

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35

When revenge kills

When revenge kills

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36

How to prevent regret

How to prevent regret

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37

Between a rock and a hard place?

Between a rock and a hard place?

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38

How to get your next big thing

How to get your next big thing

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39

What happens when your plans fall apart?

What happens when your plans fall apart?

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40

Who to blame when things go wrong

Who to blame when things go wrong

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41

Disobedience always has consequences

Disobedience always has consequences

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