“But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,” 1 Samuel 30:6b, NKJV
Distressed – yeah! Discouragement – you betcha! Disappointment – inevitable! Depressed – my middle name!
These were all things that David, the once proud warrior, was facing. Upon returning back to Ziklag, David found everything was lost. Not only had the city been raided and burned to the ground, but their families, their wives and children were now the captives of the enemy.
How devastating it must have all been! Things can be replaced but to have your families at the mercy (or not the mercy) of an enemy – it’s too much to bear. “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep,” 1 Samuel 30:4, NKJV.
Have you been there before? Crying until you can’t cry no more? That’s a brokenness that can’t be easily healed. It’s a state of desperation to where there is no quick answer. Nothing but the tears on the pillows. No solace. No comfort. No peace. “No more power to weep.”
David’s situation grew even dimmer when the people who were closest to him turned their backs on him. “The people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved,” 1 Samuel 30:6a, NKJV. These were the men that rode with him. Those that fought in battle with him. Those whom David gathered together as a band and turned a bunch of nobodies into somebodies. Yet, here they are on the brink of committing a great evil against an innocent man.
Everybody needs somebody to blame. At least, that’s what you hear many say and we see this kind of primitive blame placing here. To them, David is to blame and David will be the one to pay the price.
Have you ever felt that you were in this alone? As if the whole world has turned their backs on you as David’s men did with him? You feel like you are battling alone and everyone else is just ready to cast stones at you?
David’s desperation led him to where all of ours should – the LORD!
“David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” The only place where true solace and comfort of the heart can be found – in God!
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:16, KJV. Thank God we don’t have to go this alone despite what our circumstances may look like. God has privileged us with an opportunity to invite Him in the process of dealing with our hurts and disappointments. How many times have you turned to a friend in a time of need and they were nowhere to be found? Or, worse yet, they couldn’t do anything to add to your comfort or just didn’t care?
God does not do that! He openly shows His love and concern by allowing us to dump it all on Him. Come to the throne that we might get! Get what? “Mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
In a time of need? Yes, David surely was. He had nowhere else to turn. He found out the hard way how quickly people will forsake you. Regardless, it didn’t dim his hope. David knew from past experiences where his help came from. He could sing like the other psalmist, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth,” Psalms 121:1-2, NKJV. Over and over again, God has proven himself in the life of David and this time would be no different.
I wonder how many of us have that diligent past relationship with God, knowing that when we are in a time of need, we can turn to Him over and over again? Has our life been so, in following after Him, as David’s was, that the connection of encouragement we receive from the LORD is ever-present?
David initiated the search for God’s help. He didn’t ask the people’s opinion of what he should do. He didn’t continue to wallow in self-pity because everybody was against him. He didn’t give up or throw in the towel because recovery seemed impossible. “David said to Abiathar the priest . . . Please bring the ephod here to me . . . So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?’ And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all,'” 1 Samuel 30:7-8, NKJV.
“Without fail recover all.” God is the only one who could ever make such a promise.
The point of this all is very simple. God is our source for everything; even encouragement. It’s nice to get a “Good job!” from people once in a while or a pat on the back – but it is God whom we look to. Sometimes situations will be so bad that we feel totally isolated from all. Yet, we are also in a position to be so full. To be able to recover all “without fail.”
Only what we find in strengthening ourselves in God can be labeled “without fail.” Only the encouragement we have in Him will endure and never falter or fade. He is our staying power. He is our strength when we are weak. Our shelter in the midst of the storm. Our hightower. Our fortress. And, so much more!
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes those measures mean turning a deaf ear to everyone else and their negativity about the situation and looking to God for counsel and help. And He will, “without fail,” be your help through it all. Find encouragement in God alone!
Minister encouragement to yourself through God’s grace today!