1 Samuel 1. Acts 27
‘In God we trust’ is the motto emblazoned on American coins and notes as a statement of faith since 1864. Whether people believe it or not they handle the currency constantly and the reminder is before them.
Today we read of 2 people who really did believe that they could trust God, the Lord of all creation, with their deepest need and with unshakable belief in His word.
Hannah came to God after years of derision from Peninnah, no doubt with feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. Elkanah’s human love was not sufficient to remove her deep pain. So she turned to God and He heard and answered her prayer.
Paul, in spite of the many opportunities for freedom, when appearing before, Governors Felix and Festus and King Aggrippa, moved towards Rome because he believed God’s word to him. You might remember back in chapter 23: 11 the Lord appeared to Paul in the barracks where he was being held for his safety,
‘Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.’
In today’s account we find the journey to Rome pressing on in spite of ship change, unpredictable winds, a raging storm and finally shipwreck.
Whether our prayers are answered as they were for Hannah – a miraculous response that God brought about and being exactly what Hannah longed for; or whether the answer carries with it difficulties and tests, or is a clear statement from God Himself as it was for Paul; or whether the answer is different from what we really wanted, do we pray and believe? Then, do we live out our side of the prayer as Hannah did by taking the boy back to serve in the temple as she had promised, or Paul, using the slow process to share the truth of God in unlikely places and with people he would not normally have had contact with or do we forget our promises?
Romans 15:13 is a great encouragement to trust God in all situations in this life as we saw Hannah and Paul doing today.
‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Peter and Elizabeth