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Joy

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“He (Elkanah) had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.” 1 Samuel 1:2 Hannah was set apart, but not in a way anyone would desire. Being barren during this era was a disgrace upon women and considered a divine judgment from God. Her society viewed her as an unfit wife and misunderstood her predicament as God’s disapproval rather than seeing the panoramic view of God’s master plan. “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only…

Jesus would have been a great Bible quizzer. He often repeated the words of Scripture. In fact, three of the gospel writers recorded Jesus referencing the same Old Testament passage, “Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” In the past, I’ve read and even spoken these words of Isaiah without realizing the significance of their original context. Prior to their declaration, the Lord disclosed His intention to do something that had previously been forbidden. He would allow eunuchs (“blemished” people) and strangers (non-Jews) the opportunity to worship among His people. With beautiful language the prophet…

Happiness is fleeting. As much as we’d all like to say we’re happy every single moment, that’s simply not the truth. So many things in life can toy with our emotions. Situations we face, people we encounter, news we hear about — all of these can uplift, discourage or frustrate us in a matter of moments. No matter how resilient or hardened you might be, the world will play — or has already played — with your emotions. That’s why it’s so important to anchor ourselves in something other than fleeting emotions. Obviously, emotions are good things God created within…