"But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God."
I Samuel 30: 6, Amplified Bible
"If you wish to be disappointed look at others; if you wish to be disheartened, look at yourself; if you wish to be encouraged, look to Jesus."
Have I gone to my Father to ask for His encouragement and strength?
What does it mean to me to know that my heavenly Father stands ready and able to encourage and strengthen me at any time in my life?
"I speak a word of encouragement, for the Lord's light will always brighten these ways."
"Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus."
Romans 15: 5, Amplified Bible
It's not unusual to come to the conclusion that if all your loyal followers threatened to stone you and if you thought your family had been wiped out, you would be discouraged. Even depressed and despairing. This is exactly the place we find David and his men when they arrived back in Ziklag only to find their homes burned to the ground and their families gone.
We need to remember, David and his army had led a raid against the Amalekites. They had murdered men, women and children. If I had been in David's boots, I would have assumed the revenge against my own family would be as severe. What's more, David only had himself to blame because he made the decision to leave Israel for the land of the enemy. Nowhere do we find him asking God if living among the Philistines was a good idea.
Yet, even when David got himself into this crisis all on his own, his heavenly Father didn't forsake him or leave him to suffer alone. Our text today states, "David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God." (I Samuel 30: 6).
I'm thankful when we foul-up and get ourselves off the path our Father has for us, He doesn't walk away and abandon us to our folly. God could let us suffer on our own, but like David, when we run to our everlasting Helper, He is not only ready, but able to deliver us from all our troubles.
According to some Biblical scholars, Psalm 56 was written during the time David lived in Ziklag, in Philistine territory. Psalm 56 is a wonderful song of praise to God for David learned in Ziklag that God is our Deliverer even when we are discouraged, afraid and despairing. Here are some of the words that you and I can incorporate into our lives when we face the same difficulties David did:
"What time I am afraid, I will have confidence in and put my trust and reliance in You. By the help of God I will praise His word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear. What can man, who is flesh, do to me?...In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise. In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid…Your vows are upon me, O God…You have delivered my life from death, yes, and my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life and of the living."
Psalm 56: 3, 4, 10-13, Amplified Bible
Are you discouraged today because you feel as though you're overwhelmed by the "Amalekites" in your life? Perhaps you have even gotten yourself into a difficult situation, just as David did. Don't hesitate one moment - instead, run to your Father who will encourage and strengthen you. Then surround yourself with your Father's promise of deliverance and praise Him for His gracious kindness.
He'll help you find that job you are looking for. He'll guide you as you struggle to work through the challenges of a broken marriage. He'll encourage your heart as you deal with a child whose relationship with the family has been destroyed.
We are promised that if we put our trust in God, if we follow His guiding hand, "We will not be afraid," for we have the Lord of Hosts as our leader and guide.
When David, by his own bad judgment, went off the path God had for his life, when he found himself stuck in a pit of discouragement, he encouraged himself in the Lord His God. May you and I do the same today.
"Encouragement is oxygen to the soul."
George M. Adams
A Prayer of Encouragement
"You, who said, ‘Come unto Me all ye who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest' I come to You now.
For I am weary indeed. Mentally and physically I am bone-tired. I am all wound up, locked up tight with tension. I am too tired to eat. Too tired to think. Too tired even to sleep. I feel close to the point of exhaustion.
Lord, Let Your healing love flow through me.
I can feel it easing my tensions. Thank You.
I can feel my body relaxing. Thank You.
I can feel my mind begin to go calm and quiet and composed. Thank You for unwinding me, Lord, for unlocking me. For encouraging me. I am no longer tight and frozen with fear, but flowing, softly, gently into Your healing rest."
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com. Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.