There isn’t a human on earth who hasn’t at one time or another been discontented, distressed, or in debt. Even at an early age, children and teenagers experience moments of being dissatisfied or fed up with school or rules. And people of all ages have unfortunately suffered heartache and anxiousness. This is the world we live in— this is the world that has always existed. So what’s a person to do? Do we just accept it and mope through life waiting for the sweet by and by?
NO, of course not. First of all, this is why Jesus is called our Savior. He came to save all who were/are perishing in this world. Faith in Jesus Christ changes everything. And as a Christian, you know this. But life can still be difficult, even as a born-again believer. So then what?
I suggest we learn from those who have gone before us. Specifically, let’s learn from David today. Here was a man who was forced to run for his life— after being hand-picked by God to be king. I have never had to run for my life, but I can relate to David in more ways than one. Like him, I have found great encouragement from God to press forward despite the obstacles. I have been surrounded by people in no better shape than myself, but discovered the joy of contagious faith. And time and time again, I have been delivered from the enemy’s plan.
David found himself running from the former king who wanted him dead, only to be surrounded by “everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented” (1 Samuel 22:2). When you pray and call out to God, the last thing you are hoping for is a bunch of people in worse condition than yourself. But the Bible says David “become captain over them.” He didn’t despise the broken people God sent him. He realized there’s something he had that they needed. And because David’s faith was contagious, these men became mighty warriors.
End of story? No, this isn’t a made-for-tv movie. This is real life. And just like our lives, David found himself alone again. An enemy attacked their homes and took all the women and children. And instead of being angry at their true enemy, David’s men turned on him. They wanted to stone him, which sounds ridiculous, but that’s what happens when the enemy finds a way to discourage people.
But David knew something we all need to remember:
“David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6b).
This is our only option. This needs to be our daily option— our daily routine.
Life happens. We live in a world that is confused and lost, but we should never be! Despite the challenges that want to surround and overwhelm us and the despair of others in the same boat, YOU and I have a choice. We do not have to cave to the pressure. Even if left completely alone (everyone forsaking you), you can turn to God and encourage yourself in His faithfulness. This is what David did time and time again. We are privileged to have access to his journal (the Book of Psalms). David repeatedly found comfort in the Lord his God!
And notice, he encouraged himself. He didn’t wait for a pastor, a podcast, a service, a friend, or a quiet day on the couch binging on Netflix. No, David encouraged himself in the “I AM”— the One who said He would never leave us or forsake us.
David turned his thoughts, his words, and his heart toward God. He didn’t meditate on the problem. He meditated on the answer. He exercised his faith in the One who saved him (time and time before). This is our example. We have a Savior and He is faithful. Decide today (and every day) that no matter what may come, or who may come against you, YOU can encourage yourself in the Lord.
Copyright © 2021 Daphne Delay, used with permission.