REFUSE TO STOP WHERE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE STOPS YOU
This is your Friend and Minister, Dr. Joshua Uhiara, bringing you healing word
from the Master, a program of the Master’s Vessel Ministry which lets you know
that Jesus loves you as you are, but loves you so much that He will not leave you
as you are.
Friends, I want to speak today on, Refuse to Stop where Circumstance Stops You.
Refuse to stop where circumstance stops you
And it is a discussion we are going to draw from 1 Samuel 1 – in fact the entire chapter, and even part of chapter 2. Given the length of our text, I am not going to read it, but we would be referring to or reading specific portions as we go along.
Father, we want to commit this time of our study to you. Again, we are asking that You would grant me utterance, and help my friends to comprehend what You would share with us today. Make us receptive, dear Lord…in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
Permit me to start this message with a catalogue of stops which circumstance placed on an American who lived long ago: a man who however, refused to stop where adverse circumstances stopped him. This man, as I said, long ago, in 1831, lost his job; in 1832, he was defeated, when he ran for the legislature in his state of Illinois; in 1833, he failed in business, and filed for bankruptcy; in 1835, the woman he loved so much died; and the following year, he had nervous breakdown; in 1838, he was defeated when he ran for Illinois House speakership; in 1843, he was defeated when he ran for nomination for US Congress; in 1848, he lost renomination; in 1849, he was rejected for land officer position; in 1854, he was defeated when he ran for US Senate; again in 1856 he was defeated when he ran for nomination for vice president of the United States; in 1858 again he was defeated when he ran for US Senate. When will this man stop where circumstance stops him? But in 1861, he was elected the 16th President of the United States of America. This man is Abraham Lincoln. If Lincoln has stopped where his circumstances tried to stop him he would not have been used by God to stop that evil slavery in the United States. But he refused to stop where circumstance stopped him.
Friend, refuse to stop where your circumstance wants you to stop. From our text, we find three things, that circumstance is blind, it does not discriminate; secondly, that circumstance, though blind, is not deaf; and thirdly, circumstance, because it is not deaf, will hear the voice of God, and will move out of the way.
Circumstance is blind; it does not discriminate. It can stop anyone anywhere any time. In our scripture, in 1 Samuel 1, Elkanah had two wives: Peninnah and Hannah; but circumstance indiscriminately stopped Hannah, even though she was the one the husband loved more, as we see in 1 Samuel 1:4-5.
1 Samuel 1:4-5
4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb.
Let me read v.v6 and v.v7
1 Samuel 1:6-7
6 And her rival also provoked her severely [that’s, Peninnah], to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.
The circumstance of barrenness stopped Hannah from having a child. But you would say, our text says that it was the Lord who closed her womb. That’s right – from the standpoint of the sovereignty of God: you can argue that point. From that standpoint her barrenness could be attributed to God, but from the human standpoint, we speak of the circumstance of her bareness. Moreover, Peninnah’s arrival exploited Hannah’s unfortunate circumstances, and created another circumstance on top of that: constant ridicule which stopped Hannah from experiencing peace of mind and happiness. We say that in verses 6 and 7.
What is the circumstance of your life, friend? Has it stopped you in any way? Every unfavorable circumstance is a circumstance that seeks to stop us – circumstances that has perhaps stopped you from being a Christian. Why are you not a Christian? Why haven’t you given your life to Christ? You’re just: a church man, church woman. Or is your circumstance…has prevented you from becoming a committed Christian, or is it circumstance that is preventing you from becoming a father or a mother. Or if you are a father or a mother, is it a circumstance that is preventing you from becoming a good father or a good mother? Is it a circumstance that is preventing you from becoming a good son or a good daughter? Or is it a circumstance that is preventing you from accomplishing your goal in life: your academic goal, your marital goal? You’ve been counting your age, up till now nothing has happened. What is this circumstance? Is it a circumstance that is preventing you from having a successful business? Is it a circumstance that is preventing you from having a happy and fulfilled life? Perhaps to add to these someone has used your circumstance to make life miserable for you. Refuse, friend, to stop where the circumstance of your life wants you to stop. Circumstance may be blind, but it is not deaf. In our text, 1 Samuel 1, from verse 10 – 18, we find that circumstance though blind, is not deaf.
Hannah refused to stop where her circumstances tried to stop her, by resorting to God who had the power to address her circumstance in the language that her circumstance understood. Hannah here teaches us one or two lessons on the effective prayer. Effective prayer! Effective prayer from the text – from Hannah’s experience, is the product of the soul’s deep desire – deep sincere desire; for in 1 Samuel 1: 10, we read:
1 Samuel 1:10, 15
10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.
15 But Hannah answered and said [to the man of God Eli], “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink [because the accused her of being drunk], but have poured out my soul before the Lord.
Effective prayer is the product of soul’s sincere desire. Effective prayer may be uttered or unexpressed. She was not speaking, but her lips were moving. It could be the falling of a tear. She was weeping all the time. It could be a sigh. It could be the raising up of hands to heaven to God who sees what no man can see. Effective prayer could be the motion of unseen fire that vibrates in the heart. It could be a language only God understands and translates into a language that our circumstance will understand: for God translated the language of this poor woman’s prayer into a language that her circumstance understood; because we are going to see shortly what happened.
I have said all that to say that the way to refuse to stop where circumstance stops you or wants you to stop is to take your circumstance to God in prayer. But do we know what prayer really is? And do we know how to pray? A number of Christians today believe that prayer is first a matter of mechanics, a matter of formula rather than an intimate heart-to-heart conversation with a loving heavenly Father: do it this way, do it that way, read this thing that I have written – 1 to 150, and God will answer your prayer.
Secondly, some Christians think that effective prayer is a proxy affair in which someone else who happens to be “closer to God” makes loud incantations or declarations on their behalf to which they say a loud AMEN!. Loud amens that reach the heavens but never reaches heaven. These beloveth ones are ignorant. They are ignorant of what the scripture says in 1 Peter 2:9.
1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
That is for you, if you are a believer. O that we would have the wisdom and insight of the early disciples of the Lord who went to him and said, Lord, teach us to pray, O that we would have the wisdom to know that prayer is being reverend before God and simply surrendering ourselves and our circumstances to Him.
For this woman Hannah it simply meant, O Lord of host, look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me. Simple but powerful.
Finally, circumstance has ears.it hears the voice of God and moves out of the way. That is the rest of the story, for we see in the rest of the story that Hannah became pregnant and had a son, and he named him Samuel. But she went even beyond where circumstances wanted her to stop. She went far beyond that point, because we see that Hannah eventually, in 2 Samuel, in chapter 2, she had 6 other children: four of them boys, two, girls; because her God, who knew her circumstance, understood the language of her simple prayer, spoke to that circumstance and it gave way.
What circumstance or circumstances are trying to stop you from reaching your goal in life, friend? What circumstance or circumstances are trying to stop you from becoming what God created you to be? What circumstance is sentencing you to a life of misery? Take them to the Lord in prayer, and see these circumstances move out of your way, in Jesus Name. Amen!
Father, thank You for this word. I’m praying, O God, for my friends in radioland; as many as are facing circumstances that are stopping them from becoming what you would have them be or sentencing them to lives of misery, I command these circumstances to move out of the way; and teach them, O God, to come to You in simple humble heart-felt prayer, and You would hear them. And those who do not know You yet, Spirit of God, reveal Jesus to them, that they may know the secret of overcoming circumstances that would want to stop them. Thank You, Father...we pray in Jesus Name. Amen!