At times when we feel we are isolated, maybe in a marriage, business, family or even in a spiritual crisis, and there is no one to encourage us, what do we do, and to whom do we turn? To answer this question, let’s take the example of David in I Samuel 30:1-6. Saul, David’s bitter enemy, hated him and hunted him. As a result, David fled to escape Saul’s jealous wrath.
As the young giant-killer’s life became more and more like the adventures of “The Fugitive,” he gathered around him a band of rag-tag warriors who were the off-scouring of Israel. Eventually David and his “Army” fled across Israel’s border into Philistia, hoping to find safety among the Philistines, thinking Saul would never look for them there. Here is where we take up the story in I Samuel 30:3-6a.
“So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. (4) Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. (5) And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. (6) And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
I can’t imagine anything more stressful, more frightening, more discouraging, than this moment in David’s life. All human support systems were gone. Those who were nearest to him had turned against him. He was left alone to experience his grief and to wrestle with the questions that surely must have filled his mind. Now if you would carefully notice with me the end of verse 6, you will discover the secret of what to do, “when all else fails.” Here is what David said, “…but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
Everything from Genesis to Malachi was written for our learning, so that we, through the encouragement of the Scriptures, might have hope. Here are some familiar encouragements from the Scriptures.
Psalms 19:8, “The statues of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 46:1-2, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…”
Psalm 46:10-11, “Be still, and know that I am God…the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
When you are discouraged, the best friend you have apart from your personal prayer relationship with God is His Word. May you this week encourage yourself in the Lord.
In His Amazing Grace,
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