By Dr. John Greever
1 Samuel 30:6 “David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered (literally, “bitter in soul”), each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
Has there been a moment in your life when your entire world seemed to cave in on you? These are times when no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work out right. You beat and beat on the walls of the difficulty, and they just won’t budge. There is a common saying, “If anything can go wrong, it will.” It just seems at times when this little saying is a truism of life.
David’s world had caved in on him! The worst that he feared most actually HAPPENING! David lost his family, David lost all he owned, and those who had faithfully stood with him and supported him turned against him. HE HAD NO ONE BUT GOD!
But out of David’s distress, he sought the Lord. In his time of weeping and trouble, David “strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” Did David remember the time God delivered him from beasts while protecting and caring for sheep? Did David remember that good and glorious day in the Valley of Elah when the Lord empowered and guided his hand to slay the giant, Goliath, with a single stone launched from his slingshot? Did David remember those psalms he wrote that God had inspired in his heart? Surely David did all of this, and he also PRAYED. He turned to the Lord, and he sought the Lord’s protection, provision, guidance, and help. And God did help him.
Every Christian has multiple times and multiple contexts throughout life when we are overwhelmed, strenuously burdened, and we despair of what to do. It is in these times when we are in danger of quitting, turning back, and giving up. But we must never give in to these allurements of darkness; we must strengthen ourselves in the Lord.
But how can we do that? When in the throes of depression, and discouragement let us read the sweet promises of God contained in the Scripture. Let us feed on the heavenly manna of the Lord’s assurance that He is with us, watching over us, and providentially leading us to green pastures and cool streams of water to quench the thirst in our souls. Let us remember that if God chose us before the foundation of the world, if God paid for our sins in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and if God is preparing a place for us in heaven to share His glory, then WE WILL ENDURE this present trial, and we will come through the valley of hardship with a clearer picture of God’s truth and a sweeter aroma of His friendship with us in Christ. If all is not well now, it will be well when we see the outward accomplishment of God’s shepherdly care. Never fear, only trust!
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, help me to fight against despair in my life! Help me never to give in to the dark thoughts in my mind and heart. Help me to look to You in faith and help me to strengthen myself in Your promises and presence. Thank You for being present with me when I need You the most. I love You! Amen.
John Greever is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Fenton, MO and is a former professor of Bible at Missouri Baptist University. He is a part of the leadership team for Founders Midwest and is a speaker at this year’s Founders Midwest Conference. If you would like more information about Founders Midwest and the annual conference, be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website for more information. To register for the conference click here.
One thought on “Encouraged In the Lord”
It’s funny because Romans 5:3 states, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;” It says that we “glory in tribulations” It’s almost as if though we as Christians should look forward to tribulations because that is when we will shine. I wrote about it on my blog but the condensed version is that we should look forward to tribulations because we NEED IT. It works the good things that God wants for us in our lives.
and I know it’s painful but for whatever GOOD and HOLY purposes the Lord has in our lives to go through those things, let it be.
thank you for sharing this, this was encouragement!