And sometimes, it’s the big things…
We’re sorry, Mr. Jones, we did everything we could. We just couldn’t save her in time.
Gee, Carol, we’d like to keep you on, but the board tells we have to downsize. I’m sure you’ll find something…
The fire just spread too fast, Mr. Smith. We weren’t able to save the house.
David knew all about discouragement. 1 Samuel 30 finds him and and his mighty men returning to Ziklag, and what they find is devastating – their wives and children have been captured and carried off by the Amalekites, and everything is burned to the ground. The men are so distraught that verse 4 says they wept aloud until they had no more strength to weep. Things were looking even worse for David – not only had he lost his family, but his men, in their grief, were about to stone him.
David could have given up. Who would blame him? From all appearances, he had lost everything. Family? Gone. Leadership (job)? In serious doubt. Possessions? A pile of rubble.
So what does David do, in the face of overwhelming odds? Verse 6 has the key: He encouraged himself in the Lord. Now, we’re not talking about some pie in the sky, ‘Keep your chin up’ kind of platitude. David pressed in, and the verses that follow outline the Secret of Encouragement:
- David surrendered to the will of God. Verse 7 tells us that the first thing David did was go to God. He didn’t come up with some fix-it scheme, or make his plan and then ‘ask God to bless it.’ David knew that God had every answer he needed.
- David found his strength in the Lord. God’s answer was plain: ’Pursue. Overtake. Recover all.’ When some of his men grew weary and gave up, David held fast to God’s direction. And he pressed on.
- David trusted God to do the rest. David knew that without God, victory was all but impossible. But with God’s promise planted in his heart, he could push on with confidence in God’s ability to bring it to pass.
Maybe you feel like you just returned to your own Ziklag today – like everything is falling down around you. Maybe encouragement is a little hard to come by. Don’t give up. Let me say it again: Don’t give up. In the middle of your situation, you can hear the voice of God… surrender to His direction, and trust that His plan is ALWAYS to bring us to a place of victory. God will always give us the strength to obey, no matter how weak we feel. When God brings us to it, He takes responsibility to bring our surrendered lives through it. We are more than conquerors when we remember WHO and WHOSE we are in Christ!
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ -Philippians 4:6-7