Barefoot Devotions, The How To Series

How To Overcome Discouragement & Disappointment

In our lives, we are bound to walk through trials from circumstances and experience rivals that provoke us and lead to disappointment and discouragement.  If we do not deal with these emotions in a Christ-like manner, then our emotions have the potential to spread deeper into our soul causing more destruction. The story of Hannah is one of my favorite stories in the Bible because through her actions we can see a proper course of action that defeated her problems and her emotions.

1 Samuel 1-8, NIV

1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.

 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. 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?”

In this passage, we can see that Hannah lived in a dysfunctional family and was greatly grieved by her barrenness.  Not only was she in a situation that brought on great embarrassment for her husband but Peninnah provoked her until she wept and would not eat.

Although Hannah was greatly loved by her husband, she could not be consoled by him.  When our heart burns with such a relentless longing for something in our lives or we are having to live out circumstances that cause disappointment or great weeping, we do not see anything or anyone except for this one thing we are seeking.  The saddest part is when that we are overcome by our emotions and we miss the plan Jesus has in store for us because our eyes are set elsewhere.  When this happens, we allow the root of bitterness to sink into our heart and grow roots that lead to resentment, hate, and negative attitudes.  As this root begins to grow, we question God’s sovereignty and love for us when we are experiencing trials, relationship problems, and a longing for something that hasn’t been given to us yet.  Emotions are powerful and unless we learn to control them, they will control us.

1 Samuel 10-18, NIV

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.”

15 “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.

Hannah’s prayer to us demonstrates the necessity of being raw and honest with God about the way we are feeling – the ugly, the bad, and the mad.  She poured everything that was inside of her out before the LORD.  When we take our emotions and thoughts before God, He will show us His view on our problems and how to correctly proceed in our actions.  We see that after Hannah was weeping greatly before the LORD, she left her problems there, resumed her life, and her face was no longer downcast.

We can see the drastic change of Hannah’s attitude due to her praying and the importance of taking everything to God in prayer especially when the first sign of disappointment sets in. By following the steps below we can learn how to handle these situations:

  1. Honestly pray to God and bring your problem before Him.
  2. LEAVE your problems with God. Walk away and live your life for Him.
  3. Know that God is Sovereign and His will for your life is perfect.
  4. Praise and Worship Him through the trials.
  5. Receive encouragement and support from Christ-minded friends and mentors.


Hannah eventually receives her son from God who is named Samuel. He was the last judge of Israel and the first priest and prophet to serve during the time of a king.  Samuel’s characteristics were the best examples of what a good judge should be, and he governed the people by God’s word and not by his own will.  He was pivotal in Israel’s history since he was the first to anoint the king and usher in the Davidic line.

We can trust Jesus with the desires and longings of our hearts and all of our hurts and disappointments. God’s timing is perfectly purposeful.


Personal Reflection

What do you do when you don’t receive the desire that causes a deep longing within?

How can you learn to take everything to the LORD in prayer?

Do you have a hard time leaving your problems after you have talked to  God about them?

If so, what steps will you take to overcome carrying your burdens yourself?


With all my love and encouragement,

Hannah Boyd

Barefoot Devotions

The Three P’s

Have you ever wondered how you actually study The Bible and live like you’re supposed to? How to get a fulfilled life that Christ wants you to have?  I have and I’ll be honest, it’s something I struggled with for the longest time. Now, I am no pro but I can tell you what works for me.

I know the big book with crazy words like thou, art, thee, ye, and shalt can throw you off and be intimidating and that’s okay! We will discuss this and break any feelings of intimidation in this Guide To Living The Life You Were Called.  Make sure you have a quiet place,  preferred Bible in the translation of your choice, a commentary, a journal and pen. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

The Three P’s – A Guide To Living The Life You Were Called

First and foremost, the first P is PRAYING. It is absolutely necessary to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you in your studies. Without Him, we will not even begin to understand anything about that big book called the Bible. The stories will seem crazy and cause you to ask yourself, “ummm okay, did that really happen?” or “What did I even get from this?” I was always taught that the Bible is our guide to life, every answer to our problems and heartaches are in this book. There is a story that has similar parallels to situations you may be facing. There is a person from the past that has felt the exact same way as you might be feeling right now. The stories allow us to see the outcome and how God provided right on time.  It is the living and breathing word of God – we need the breath of the Holy Spirit to unlock His words for us. It’s the key to this book. 

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12

Things to pray for before you start:

  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you on where to start, some might pick a book or a topic to study. Sometimes I just open my Bible and wherever I land, I read it! You’d be surprised that you might just find exactly what you were looking for.
  • Before you begin reading, talk to God about what’s going on in your life, be open and ask for forgiveness of anything that may block you from hearing from Him. Pray that God will speak to you through His word and reveal to you what you need to learn.
  • Go ahead and thank Him for what it is He is going to do for you during your time with Him.

This is a very important step as it keeps us in communication with God and through out your studies and you will need to keep the lines open with Him. You might find yourself asking Him to help you with something you may not be understanding.

The Second P is for Pondering. We need to slowly read The Bible and ponder on the words we are reading. Read a sentence or passage over and over and ponder on God’s word. Just close your eyes, say the verses and let it seep into your heart. God also likes for us to just to be still and know He is God.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How does this apply to me?
  • What does it tell/show me about God?
  • How does God feel about this?
  • How can I use this passage to better live my life?

Continuously pondering on His word and allowing yourself to feel what God feels or the desires He is conveying though His word. These practices will help you keep your eyes focused on Him.  Even when you are not reading The Bible, you can still ponder on the time spent with the Lord and pray with Him about as you continue your day.  In return, you will grow spiritually and in your relationship with Him. You will be more confident in His love for you and His plan for your life.

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. – Proverbs 4:20-22

Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. Psalm 119:27

The Third P is for Practicing and applying God’s Word to your daily walk with Christ. Did He show you something in your life that needs to change? Work on changing it! It may not be easy but through Him, it is possible. We must always strive to do better with our lives and live the way He has called us to. Practicing is simply doing your part to live a Godly life. It is important to focus our minds on the good things of God, not the things of the world. Memorize scripture and hide into your heat so that you may not sing against God (Psalm 119:11).  The more time you spend with God, the easier this part becomes. You will taste His goodness and desire more of Him. With all of these steps combined, you are on the right path to living the life you were called to live.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. – Philippians 4:8

 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. -Philippians 4:9

I hope you enjoyed this blog and you will live the life you were called to live. I have been Praying / Practicing / Pondering and know that on this journey God is shaping me into who I need to be to get me to the life I was called to live. He will do the same for you! Please let me know of any tips you may have, I’d love to hear what works for you.


Hannah B.