SERMON SERIES:

BUILDING BLOCKS OF GRATITUDE: HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL

10/24/2021



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All of us struggle with feeling grateful from time to time. Yet, when we find a greater sense of gratitude it has a positive impact upon our health, our relationships, and our outlook on life. How can we become more grateful? Our new sermon series is Building Blocks of Gratitude and the title of the first sermon in this series is Half Empty or Half Full? It is the age-old question, “Is the glass half empty or Half Full” Your answer may say a lot more about your attitude and your outlook than it does about the glass. If the glass is half empty then it expresses loss, need, and negativity. If the glass is half full then it expresses satisfaction, contentment, and positivity. At times, the problem with life is that it drains us and leaves us feeling empty. We are currently almost two years into the world pandemic of COVID-19. Is it almost over or will it go on indefinitely? Where will we find the courage to confront this pandemic till it reaches its conclusion? We turn to 1 Samuel 1:7-18. This is the story of Hannah the mother of Samuel. She was not able to have a child and this left her feeling discouraged, empty, and shameful. Year after year as her family went to celebrate at the temple in Shiloh she was taunted and shamed, rather than finding worship and wholeness. She was miserable and drained! In this moment everything would change! Her life, her future, and her family would be transformed. She moved from being completely empty to a fullness she could only imagine! These words also give us some direction for the times in our lives when we are empty and we wonder if God can help us. Hannah reminds us that God not only can help us but God is ready to help us! As you read 1 Samuel 1:7-18, it is our sincere prayer that you will sense being filled with a hope that will change how you see yourself and the world around you! 1 Samuel 1:7-18: 7 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. 8 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? 9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head. 12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine. Not so, my lord, Hannah replied, I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.17 Eli answered, Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him. 18 She said, May your servant find favor in your eyes Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. (NIV)