The life of Samuel, to me, is a marvellous demonstration of faithfulness. He remained faithful throughout his life Samuel grew up in the temple of God, he was dedicated to God by his mother who had been childless up until that point. He had grown and thrived under the guidance of Eli. Now he, Samuel is the prophet of Israel. He is the one people go to for divine insight and revelation and who encourages the whole nation to follow God.
We could think that Samuel has had it easy, you know, a sheltered life, after all he was brought up in a priests family. However, Samuel hasn't had it easy, firstly he had to live apart from his biological Mum and Dad and had grown up around the ungodly behaviour of Eli's sons. He had seen and experienced their waywardness but chosen not to partake in it. As he lived with him, I assume that Samuel must also of been present when Eli died (his sons died on the same day). The only family he'd really known left him in an instant. Samuel grew up knowing what the world was like outside the temple, yet he chose to stay within it. He had seen the lifestyle of Eli's sons and experienced heartache. Yet, throughout he has been faithful. He has a steadfastness that we rarely see. He followed God consistently. Even when he didn't want to.
When Saul was rejected as king (1 Samuel 15-16) Samuel was truly heartbroken. He mourned. He'd invested in Saul's life and was overwhelmed and distressed. Then God tells him to cut it out. What's Samuel's response? He doesn't moan or tell God he's being unreasonable, shake his fist at Him or ignore Him. Instead Samuel listens. He doesn't let his emotions keep getting in the way. He stops and listens to God. How incredible! He lays aside his own thoughts and feelings to continue to live faithfully. Despite his inner anguish he follows God. That's the sign of a faithful heart.
Samuel led a life of faithfulness to God, but it's not easy. He's been through some hardship, he has known suffering, but throughout he has known God's presence and provision. He has known God's voice and he is willing to obey it. This is what makes him a marvellous man of God.
We should learn to model Samuel. He clearly relied on the stability of God's track record. God is always faithful, he always has a plan and he always does what is best. We might not like it or understand it, but God is good and we can trust him. Samuel had seen; life, death, celebration, disappointment, rejection and transformation. His life, like yours and mine had its ups and downs. He got through it by serving and honouring God above himself, above his experiences and feelings, do you do the same?