The Way God Heals a Heart’s Ache
1 Samuel 1 & 2
DATE: 5 Aug, 2007 AM
I. Introduction (Luke 4:17,18)
A. Have you ever had a “head” ache? Migraines?
B. Thankfully there are remedies for them
C. Even more thankfully, there is a remedy for “heart” ache
D. This is a message about two things this morning:
1. The hurting heart
2. And the effect of prayer on our problems
E. There is not a person in this room whose heart at sometime or another doesn’t ache, and break because of disappointments, and sin, and failures
F. I’m so glad, that our Lord has a way of healing that feeling!
A. The Fact of Heartaches (1Sam 1:1-8)
1. Hannah’s heart was aching (1Sam 1:1-8) – it was hurt, broken, wounded
2. The Bible has a lot to say about heartaches.
a. Our hearts were born messed up (Jeremiah 17:9; 16:12; Mark 7:21,22) – but beyond that… there are several things that mess with our hearts
b. Heartaches are caused by:
1) Disappointments in life (Job 17:11)
2) Distresses in all the troubles (Ps 25:17; 38:8)
3) Invisible Wounds that we carry (Psalm 109:22)
4) Pride (Proverbs 5:12)
5) Covetousness (Eccl 1:13,14)
6) Misunderstanding God’s ways of doing things (John 16:6)
7) Unbelief (Hebrews 3:12) – unable to trust God more than your feelings
c. Our Hearts are NOT immune to hurts and weaknesses (Ps 22:14)
d. As a matter of fact, heartaches are basically, the result of my feelings and my expectations being “run over” by real life – heartaches are what we are left with after life is through with us!
3. Nothing Hannah’s husband could do could fix her heart (1:8)
a. God, on purpose puts us into impossible situations so that NOBODY can do anything about it
b. But so that only HE can…
c. If we trust Him enough to allow Him to fix our heart! That’s the hard part!
B. The Purpose of Heartaches (1:9-17)
1. Obviously the devil LOVES to hurt us where it really hurts (1:6) – in the core of our being – our hearts!
a. If the devil discourages us, he wins – that’s why propaganda is such a powerful weapon in war – it is intended to demoralise the enemy so that they won’t fight so well, or maybe even will just give up!
b. If the devil gets us mad at God, or at the preacher, or at the world, he wins as well! Anger never helps win a fight, and yet most of our fights are with anger!
c. If the devil just gets us to drop our shield of faith (our shield of confidence in God), he will pound us with fiery darts ALL directed at our heart!
d. HEY! If the devil can just START hurting your heart, he will NEVER let up! He will never say, it is enough – not until you are dead!
e. Obviously, the devil loves to hurt us at our heart doesn’t he?
2. But God uses heartaches like a surgeon uses a scalpel – and you need to trust that truth!
a. Sin has a big part in causing our heartaches – a spiritual result of sin is sorrow (Lev 26:14-16)
b. But only by trials and afflictions comes change at the heart level (Job 23:16)!
c. Therefore, heartaches are spiritual indicators of troubles in my heart - problems that God wants to fix! Thank God!
3. Here, Hannah could have done any or all of the following:
a. Gotten mad at her husband – “how could he be so insensitive?!”
b. Gotten mad at God – “where is God, and why is He doing this to me?”
c. Gotten mad at herself – “I am just a failure!”
d. Gotten mad at her adversary – she could have tried to poison the person who was aggravating her every day!
4. But instead, she gets alone, and prays – the most powerful act a human can do is pray to an all loving, all merciful, all powerful, all knowing God! Should could have wasted her time complaining to others, but instead her battle is going to be fought on her knees (1Sam 1:16)
a. J. C. Ryle, a great bishop of the Anglican church who also lived in the nineteenth century, said, "I have come to the conclusion that the great majority of professing Christians do not pray at all." He also said, "Prayer will either consume sin or sin will choke prayer."
b. So she prays! And it is not a prepared prayer, or a memorized prayer, or a prayer to a saint, or to Mary, but unto the God of everything!
1) Her bitterness has not gone away yet
2) She is still grieved
3) Her heart is still aching
4) But she knows she just HAS to spend time with her heavenly Father – why? See Ps 73:26
c. And look at HOW she prays (this is the message for us):
1) She prays Honestly - open, truthful, exposed before God (1Sam 1:10,13; Ps 84:2).
a) From her heart – that thing that was aching, was doing the praying – even though it was filled with all the feeling she felt (only the Holy Spirit could make sense of them all, and could order them up before God – aren’t you glad?!)
b) With Good Sorrows (Eccl 7:3) – sometimes over sins, most of the time just over troubles
2) She prays Earnestly – seeking an answer from God (Lk 22:44) – with fervency – she is even fasting (took her lack of desire to eat and turned it into a fast). She heard that God answers prayer, and says, If you will REALLY (indeed) answer this prayer, then this is my request…
3) She prays Specifically (1Sam 1:11). Asks for one thing – not just “children” in general, but one little boy child – had one focus!
4) She prays Sacrificially (1Sam 1:11) – she admits that what God gives, God owns! So she vows that whatever God gives her will belong to Him, not to her! Oh that all that we asked would be for His glory and honour and praise!
5) She prayed Continually – she determined to pray until she knew God had heard her and was going to act on her behalf (1:12)
6) She prayed Embarrassingly – others didn’t understand (1:13,14)
7) She prayed Confidently (1:15,16) – she is not ashamed of relying on the Lord, and casting all her care upon HIM!
8) She prayed Completely (1:17,18) – she prayed enough to know:
a) That God heard her (1John 5:14,15)
b) That God would keep HIS promise to take care of her need
c) That God’s answer would be right – He would answer her need in HIS way, and in HIS time.
5. The Power of Prayer - Look at the Effect of that time of prayer (1:18-20)
a. She started loving those now whom she could not be around before
b. She got back to worshipping God (1Sam 1:19; 2:1)
c. She got back to normal life – got close to her husband and started back living normally again!
d. Time in real prayer will make our homes a bit of heaven
e. Prayer will make church time together sweet
f. Prayer will change our outlook and our attitudes, guaranteed!
III. Application – Instructions for us
A. We are living in dangerous times in this country—times that lull us into a sense of complacency and false security. There is no war or plague; we have a vibrant economy; and there is adequate health care for all people. Why should anyone pray when there is no perceived need? Like the church of Laodicea, we tell ourselves, "We are rich; we have need of nothing." Self-sufficient people do not pray.
B. Prayer is the spiritual breathing of God’s children. Everyone who is a child of God will naturally cry, "Abba, Father". Such people will especially pray fervently when they find themselves in need.
C. The truth is, we are a needy people. To the church of Laodicea the Lord Jesus said, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." It is our lack of perception of reality that gives us this idea that we are self-sufficient. But Jesus Christ himself told us, "Without me ye can do nothing," and James counsels us, "Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray." David says in Psalm 18, "In my distress I called upon the Lord; and cried unto my God."
D. Folks, PRAYER is our power. Turning to God, and leaning heavily on Him!
E. Because it brings back to our Good Shepherd (Matthew 9:36; John 10:7-11,14,27-29) – and it allows Him to do the job of a Shepherd – to treat a hurting sheep!
1. Pouring in oil (Psalm 23)
2. Binding up the broken hearted (Luke 4:17,18)
3. Comforting them as He leads them and feeds them and loves them!
F. Some Sobering Questions:
1. How long has it been since you have had a SAMUEL in your life? An answer to prayer?
2. How much time do you waste during a trial by NOT spending it in prayer?
3. How well do you really pray?
4. How much does your prayer time affect your heart and even your face?
A. We have an awesome example here of the power of prayer for each of us
B. We live in needy times – more heart troubles than ever!
C. We have the urgent need for some SAMUELS, some ANSWERS to our needs
D. Let’s stop here and admit to God we have missed so many opportunities to pray and get encouraged by the Lord instead of our circumstances
E. Some in here have never once come to God as a sinner, in need of the free gift of eternal life, of forgiveness, of the new birth
F. Some of you pray as rarely as you smile!
G. May we get burdened about our powerlessness because of our prayerlessness
H. And may we see a lot of healing of a load of heartaches in our lives!
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork