The Pain of Provocation

“Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’” – 1 Samuel 1:6-8 We learned yesterday that Hannah, who was married to a man named Elkanah, was unable to have children. Her pain was amplified by the fact that her husband had another wife named Penninah, and she seemed to have no problem getting pregnant. Despite the fact that Elkanah favored her and had a genuine love and affection for her, Hannah’s pain burned and led her to a place of agonizing jealousy. Even worse, Penninah

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How We Fight

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7 We should all aspire to fight the good fight and finish our race well, but in perilous times, many of us wonder how it’s possible. That said, I believe it bears stating that one of the foundational principles of the Christian faith is the manner in which we undertake our battles. Over the past few days, we’ve seen that the world’s system is brutal and beastly and that there is just One who has overcome it. The Son of Man ascended into Heaven and took authority over all the kingdoms of the earth, but he did it after He was bitten and smitten. In fact, He permitted Himself to be wounded by the devil — even to the point of physical death — so He could crush his head once

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