Hannah's song of praise to God became one of the first psalms. Before the "book" of Psalms was written, there were very few psalms available. Moses' song and Miriam's praise were perhaps the first. The word psalm means "a sacred song or hymn, notably used in worship and praise."
Let's look at Hannah's song:
This is an amazing song of praise! From a woman who did not take the "usual" way out of her troubles....the human, fleshly way. She did not do as Sarah, nor as Rachel, but she very simply poured out her heart to God, and in His timing, He heard and changed her life.
A worldly woman might have added to her song that she rejoiced in the "defeat" of her rival (Peninnah), or that she was no longer under any supposed reproach from God.
But no! Hannah points again and again to the Lord as her reason for exultation.
In verse one, we can see that she doesn't see strength in her own body -- but the deep, personal touch she had experienced from God made her heart sing within her. He was always at hand for her; He was her strength and her power.
After speaking of her joy in praise to God, she can speak of those who persecuted her, but without bitterness. Check out the end of verse one; it's OK to talk about our "enemies" when we are thinking about God's salvation, for the works of the flesh can't stay in our hearts when we are rejoicing in His salvation. There's no room there for bitterness or malice. Our eyes may glance at our enemies, but they rest and stay and focus on our God. The sarcasm of Peninnah, the misunderstanding from Eli, all of that was of no distress to Hannah -- God had taken His rightful position in Her life, and was her strength and her rock of refuge.
In the next few verses, she says that she sees God in everything that happens -- there is no chance or coincidence. She saw His hand in all that she viewed. Hannah had learned to submit to God, and then she learned to trust Him; now her soul was filled with rejoicing and glory. No wonder she sang this lovely song!
It may not seem so, when we are undergoing trials or persecution or sorrow, but God is eager to meet us and comfort us, just like He did Hannah. There is no one else who can support and encourage us as He can:
I saw a suggestion in one of the books that I consulted, that I thought was a good one: do you journal? Do you write down verses that inspire or comfort you, and do you note answers to prayer?
Whether we call it a "Praise book" or a "Remembrance Book" or a journal of some kind, it is a wonderful idea to find a pretty scrapbook or notebook and write down ways that God has answered our prayers. If you have a photo or a memento that reminds you of the person or situation that you have prayed about, tuck it inside. This is a wonderful way to build our faith in Him, and to form a habit of gratitude to Him. Instead of forgetting these blessings, have a tangible way to recall them! What an encouragement to us, to leaf through those pages and add to them.
What a wonderful way to glorify His name!
Just as Hannah did, let's praise Him for His faithfulness and His answers to prayer!