David Encouraged Himself in the Lord 1Sam. 30:1-6 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
David was shocked when he saw Ziklag burned. His family was gone, his city was burned, his possessions were stolen, his men were against him and he was away from his country. He was literally all alone. He was discouraged because of the decision he had made to follow Achish into battle against Israel, he was grieving over his losses, and he was distressed because his men wanted to stone him. There’s nothing wrong with crying a while. But he didn’t lose hope, even when there wasn’t an immediate sign of hope. Instead, David encouraged himself in the Lord. He had to get with God before he could do anything. And when you are in such a case the Lord will use such things to draw you to him, as well. David encouraged himself:
In the Lord’s presence – God had always been with him and he was with him at this very moment. It’s easy to lose sight of him when the events around you overshadow his presence. God never leaves you, particularly in times of distress when you feel all alone. He’s right there with you.
In the Lord’s protection [past] – David had seen the hand of the Lord in his protection again and again, against the bear, the lion, Goliath, the Philistines, Saul and Saul’s men. The Lord would continue to protect him. When you are grieving and discouraged, you need to remember all the times and all the ways that the Lord protected you.
In the Lord’s provisions [present] – the Lord had been so good to meet all of David’s needs and he was meeting David’s needs even in this trial. Remember that the Lord’s provisions are abundant. When you need money to pay a bill next week it matters not whether the money is in your bank account or the Lord’s. It’ll be there for you when you need it.
In the Lord’s promises [future] – God had promised David that he would be the king of Israel. He had been anointed by Samuel. God wasn’t going to abandon him now and he wasn’t going to let his grieved men stone him. You need to trust God’s promises in times of discouragement. Dennis Wells said, after his wife passed away, “I’ll never get over this, but I will get through it.”
In the Lord’s perspective – you usually have to be in a place like this to really learn to trust God. David prayed [1 Sam 30:8] and God answered his prayer. He and his men recovered all [1 Sam 30:18-19]. Look at the good side. They were returned from the battle in time to attack. They didn’t end up fighting in a battle in which Saul and Jonathan were killed [1 Sam 31]. They recovered all and no one was molested. They ended up with extra spoil and shared it with those who had sustained them [1 Sam 30:26-31]. They weren’t ever going to need Ziklag again since they were moving back to Israel. The enemy they defeated were the Amalekites [Ex 17:14]. In the midst of all this trouble there were many good things going on.
David could not have seen all of these things at the moment he saw their city burned and their possessions and family’s missing. But God could see them. And we have to trust that God’s perspective is better than ours. In the Lord, we can be fully encouraged.
Conclusion: Once you have courage from God then you can go on. You’re going to find yourself right where David was one of these days, if not today. Don’t despair. The Lord is there with you and he is the one who’ll get you where he wants you to be. Encourage yourself in the Lord the way David encouraged himself. Your “men” need to see you encouraged and know that the Lord did it. That will encourage them. When you look back on a time like this you will realize it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to you.