November 30, 2020
Winning Our Battles
And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut” (1 Samuel 1:11, NLT).
Friend to Friend
I remember my thoughts and emotions swirling with questions. Friendships that I treasured were falling apart. No matter how many meetings and conversations we had, reconciliation wasn’t happening. I prayed in anguish, asking God to help me see clearly. It wasn’t a physical war, but every day felt like an inner battle during that season. I needed to respond to the hurtful words and actions of others. Knowing when to initiate and engage and when to pull back and stay silent were a significant part of the process. I needed God to deliver me from the internal battle in my thoughts and emotions, as well as the external battle of conflict. Have you ever found yourself in some kind of “battle”?
In Today’s Truth from the book of 1 Samuel we find the first mention where God revealed Himself in Scripture as Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He is our strength in life’s battles. I love it that God revealed Himself as the commander-in-chief over His angel armies to a woman named Hannah. She was a woman in the Bible who knew a little something about fighting battles. She was unable to have children during a time in history when women were defined by their ability to bear sons.
To make matters worse, her husband had a second wife named Peninnah who did have children, and she tormented Hannah in her brokenness.
God revealed Himself to Hannah with the Hebrew term Yahweh Tsaba, which often was translated into the Greek term Lord Sabaoth. Tsaba means “that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host.”
Hannah found herself in a battle as she struggled against Peninnah. When Peninnah taunted and made fun of Hannah, we find the Hebrew word ra’am, which means “to thunder.” Peninnah thundered at Hannah, intensifying the storm that already raged in her heart because of her infertility.
We don’t have any record of Hannah retorting with an insult or fighting back. She could have told Peninnah that her husband loved her more or criticized Peninnah’s parenting. When someone hurts us, often our natural inclination is to hurt back. Instead, Hannah ran to the Lord. She prayed with such emotion that the priest thought she was drunk!
Hannah’s battle wasn’t against advancing armies but took place in her heart and home. She went alone to the Tabernacle and pleaded her case with the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Yahweh Sabaoth commands the angels and holds the stars in His hands. Hannah poured out her heart and believed by faith that she had been heard.
Sometimes the size and strength of our challenging circumstances can feel overwhelming. When we work through the logic and emotion, we don’t see how we can overcome our obstacles. It’s helpful to remember that often it’s a process that takes time.
As I battled my feelings and frustrations in friendships, everything didn’t work out overnight. Some battles are long and may not ever be fully reconciled. However, even though every relationship may not heal, our hearts always can. Our circumstances may or may not change, but our perspective always will when we take a posture of faith. Like Hannah, we can grow a bigger view of God as we behold Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Yahweh Sabaoth, You are the Lord over the angels. You know the storms I’m facing today. Help me to run to you instead of fighting back. Your power is greater than my mind can conceive. Help me to take every runaway thought captive. Protect me with Your armor and deliver me today.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What challenging situations have you been facing lately? As you think about any battles in your life recently or in the past, how have you responded? If you are in a battle right now—whether it be with people, finances, health, emotions, or some other difficulty—write a prayer to Yahweh Sabaoth asking Him to help you trust Him in the middle of it.
More from the Girlfriends
Want to know more about the names of God? Melissa has a new Bible study titled, The Names of God: His Character Revealed released in 2020. Check it out!
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