Strengthen Yourself In The Lord
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 Samuel 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 latter 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 Samuel 30:6
Did you see it? David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. He encouraged himself. He sat in the counselor chair and told himself truth. He preached the sermon to himself. We see the same pattern 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 practice a positive thinking routine. No, he chose to focus on the LORD his God. He fixed His eyes on God.
Even if there is no one else in your corner cheering you on, you can strengthen yourself in the Lord. In the days we are living, this we must know. God is always near, strengthening us, encouraging us and enabling us. The enemy is also quick to rush in and snatch our hope. We turn our eyes to Jesus and strengthen ourselves in truth.
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.
How do we encourage ourselves in the Lord?
* Lift up your voice in praise
Sing songs of old; sing a new song to the Lord
Read His Word
Meditate on His Word
Declare His Word
Preach a sermon to yourself
Recall His Faithfulness
Remember God is a Promise Keeper
Magnify the Lord, not your circumstances
Expect God to show up
Confess your trust in Him and refuse to let disappointment, fear, unforgiveness or bitterness to take root in your heart
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.
Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.