1/22 Genesis 21:17

17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.

Once Isaac was weaned, the tension between Sarah and Hagar resurfaced. Hagar mockingly laughed at Isaac, and for Sarah, that was the last straw. She had Abraham send Hagar and her young son, Ishmael, away. It wasn't long before their water ran out and Hagar laid Ishmael under the shade of a bush and walked away so as not to see him die. Had she forgotten that His very name means "God hears"? And what about the promise that he would be a "wild donkey of a man"?

We often face the same trial a second time and find out if we really learned the lesson. She had a previous encounter with God and said, "I have seen the One that watches over me" (Genesis 16:13). But now that it appears her son is dying of thirst, does she believe it? Does our faith in what God has taught us override our apparent circumstances? The repeat of the test will teach us how weak or strong our faith really is. It reinforces the lesson. It teaches us to not lean on our own understanding, but rather to believe in God and the truth He has taught us.

Hagar heard the voice of the angel and then looked up and saw a well. She and her son were saved. God heard the voice of the boy. Was Hagar too angry with God to pray? How would the story have progressed had she in prayer reminded God of His promise to her and declared that she believed He heard their pleas for help? Have faith in God. Believe His Word. Don't let circumstances shake your faith. And when the test is repeated, remember what you learned before and practice it.

Prayer: LORD, you know how easily we are discouraged by circumstances in our lives. Help me to see how You are using them to increase my faith. Help me to remember what You have taught me and to apply it in these times of difficulty.