In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah is described as being “in bitterness of soul” because she constantly “wept sore” [1 Samuel 1:10, KJV], from the constant taunting from her rival at her inability to bear children. In fact, her predicament was emphasized twice in the Bible that “the Lord had shut up her womb” [1 Samuel 1:5 -6, KJV]. As to why this was the case we don’t know, but what we do know is that God definitely had a plan through that pain. Yet, her pain was so deep that she would constantly weep and not eat. This would go on for years till her husband asked her, “and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better than ten sons?” [1 Samuel 1:8, KJV].
Today, God is asking his church and body “am not I better than the jobs, husbands, wives, children, wealth, houses, cars etc you desire”? You may say, “you don’t understand. I have served God faithfully all these years ,yet I am in bitterness of soul from the constant taunting from the enemy and those around me because I don’t have a job, a husband, a wife, children, money, a car, a house etc”. I too have found myself saying the same thing until the Lord asked me “am not I better than that desire you have”? It was then that I realized that if God was truly my all in all, then even without having that desire fulfilled, I should not be in bitterness of soul but be joyful from contentment of my soul.
When we put things in perspective and recognize that God definitely has a plan and his Word is yea and amen, then we would be rest assured of his plans for our lives. In Hannah’s case, God needed to raise a new priest to replace Eli for the corruption in his house. God needed a Hannah to be in bitterness of soul who would be moved to vow a vow saying “O Lord of hosts, if thou will indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid but will give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life…” [1 Samuel 1:11, KJV]. Had Hannah’s womb been open before that time, we would not have known Samuel as we know of him today because perhaps his mother would not have given him unto the Lord all the days of his life. There is a plan for that pain and that challenge you are going through; that pain is tied to the future of generations and the souls of men.
Apostle Paul said that “I am content in little and in much” because he had learned to be complete in Christ. When he said “it is in him that we move and breathe and have our being” [Acts 17:28, KJV], he wasn’t being philosophical or idealist but was speaking from a place of deep confidence and assuredness of his life in Christ. Apostle Paul’s rap sheet included being beaten with 39 stripes on 5 occasions, being thrown into jail, shipwrecked, bitten by snake, deserted by trusted friends, hunted by former Jewish colleagues, insulted by the churches he labored in prayer to raise up etc [2 Corinthians 11:23-33, The MSG]. Yet he was not in bitterness of soul, but boldly declared that “Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us” [Romans 8:37, AMP].
What would make a man with such a rap sheet make such declarations? It was because he had came to know that the life he lived was no longer his but Christ living in him [Galatians 2:20]. He also knew that it was in Christ that that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were hid [Colossians 2:3] and that when he had wisdom and knowledge, riches and honor will follow suit. This was the secret Apostle Paul had through all those challenges and trials. For him, God was better than anything that he could ever desire because when He had Christ, he had it ALL.
So brethren, cheer because “since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” [Romans 8:32-35, 38, NLT].