Everyone faces difficulties in life. Not just bad hair days or especially crazy traffic days. Not just getting through the school line five minutes late only to learn that your little one forgot his book bag. The kind of days turned to months when everything has gone bad. You are overwhelmed and really feel like running away.
Not many of us have experienced as bad of a day as David did when he returned to his home in Ziklag after a journey and discovered that his enemies, the Amalekites, had destroyed or stolen everything that was important to him—and his own men turned against him. (See 1 Sam. 30) It looked as if God’s promises were null and void. It seemed that God had turned His back and hit the delete button on His promises.
As David sat among the ruins and devastation, he had a choice. He could allow anger and bitterness to win in his heart. He could sink into depression and let unbelief rule his life. Or he could stand and fight back. He chose the later and we can do the same.
How did he do it? How did he survive such loss and devastation? How did he have a “come back” story? We find the secret to David’s heart in verse 6.
Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
1 Sam. 30:6
David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. He encouraged himself. He sat in the counselor chair and told himself truth. I’m reminded of another verse in Psalm 42:11:
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
David did not give himself a self-talk session. He didn’t do the positive thinking routine. No he chose to focus on the LORD his God. Do you hear the personal relationship enjoyed by David?
After discussing this scripture with my group of Touching Hearts sisters, a lady shared with me of a painful weekend experience. Family had not kept their word and plans were dashed. Money wasted on party food, but no one showed up, called or canceled. She began to feel the disappointment and taste the hurt, but she quickly made a choice.
“This house will be a cathedral of praise. There will be no whining or self-pity here. We will praise the Lord and forgive. We will give love in this house.”
Everything turned as she chose to strengthen herself in the Lord.
I would imagine that David clinched his harp closely and began to sing songs of old that reminded Him of God’s faithfulness. Is it easy to worship in the storm? Not always, but David’s pattern was to always magnify the Lord.
We encourage ourselves in the Lord the same way:
* Worship Him even when you don’t feel like it
* Declare His word
* Recall all the times He has been faithful
* Remind yourself that God is a Promise Keeper
* Magnify the Lord not your circumstances
* Confess your trust in Him and refuse to let disappointment, fear, bitterness take root in your heart
* Express Gratitude
* (Add a few of your own)
Oh how we need this! Tell yourself the truth
Yet he did not waver through disbelief in the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. (Romans 4:20)
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Ps. 18:2)
Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD. (Ps. 31:24)