Hannah’s song comes after answered prayer. Her praise of God springs from experiencing the reality of who God is and what he has done in changing her difficult circumstances.
Her joy is in the Lord, and exclusively so: it is the Lord and no-one else who has revealed himself in power in her life, and her praise is addressed to God alone.
She speaks of the Lord’s strength, his deliverance, his holiness, his protection.
Hannah’s story is about trusting God, and putting our faith in him, regardless of our circumstances.
God is unchangingly the same: God was all the things Hannah praised him for while she passed through difficulties. God didn’t just become these things when he answered her prayers.
In was as Hannah trusted in God’s unchanging nature, and prayed to him, that God answered and revealed himself to Hannah.
This is the great encouragement that Hannah gives to us, today, if we face difficult circumstances: to hold on to the truth of who God is and turn to him for help.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will read the story of Ruth together. In the book of Ruth, as in our own lives, it is not always clear where God is and what he is doing. But our inability to discern God’s presence and God’s purposes does not change the fact that God is there and at work.
Faith in God requires that we trust God is with us, and God is at work, even – perhaps especially – when we feel as though God is absent and inactive.
May we, like Hannah, look to God – believing he is present and at work in our circumstances, however good or bad they seem today – and trust that he hears and is answering our prayers.