Perseverance isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes we persevere in bad habits or in behaviors that do not benefit us. Stubbornness, pride, anger, resentment, unforgiveness—all these bitter pills can poison our souls and lead to loss. Loss of what? Loss of joy, loss of peace, loss of relationship with God...
Reflect today on whether there is anything that is hindering your growth in Christ—perhaps a harmful habit or minor rebellion, a favorite resentment, or a spirit of resistance. Ask God to help you let go of whatever it is so that you may continue to grow in faith.
The inability to have a child brings pain to many today, and this was equally true in ancient times. In that context it was sometimes even worse, for Peninnah openly ridicules Hannah for being unable to conceive. But as a result of Hannah's desperate, heartfelt prayer, God blesses her with a son, Samuel, who will become a powerful prophet. Hannah then rejoices in a God who exalts the poor and needy. Hannah provides an example of the boldness with which we also can approach God now because of Christ’s sacrifice. The destruction of Jerusalem is the focus of the passage in Mark. Jesus here predicts the demolition of the Temple and the city, which the Romans executed in 70 ce.
Read 1 Samuel 1:4-20. How do you persist in prayer when your prayer seems unanswered for a long time?
Read 1 Samuel 2:1-10. How do you express your joy and thanks when God answers your prayer?
Read Hebrews 10:11-25. What helps you to persevere in the practice of your faith?
Read Mark 13:1-8. What signs make you anxious about the future? What helps you to hold on to hope?
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