Encouraged In The Lord
Have you ever been so down that you thought you would never, could never, get up? Or been so sad that you thought you would never experience joy again? Many a child of God has experienced tragedy and sorrow, but they have been encouraged in the Lord.
I Shall Now Perish
One of the darkest times in David’s life came as a result of a wrong decision. “And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand” (I Sam. 27:1).
David forgot the promises of God. He forgot that God had chosen him to be king over Israel. The statement “I shall now perish” indicates the extent that David had despaired. He did what many Christians have done when faced with difficult times—he ran to the world instead of running to God. The one who beheaded the champion of the Philistines ran to the Philistines for help. Such irony!
What Would David Do?
The Philistines gathered together their armies to fight the Israelites (I Sam. 29:1-2). “This was not a high point of David’s life to date. Actually, it would be the lowest and most wretched to this moment. It would seem that he would profess himself ready and eager to fight against God’s beloved people, and to help Satan destroy them!” (The Expositor’s Study Bible notes, I Sam. 29:5).
Achish Refused David’s Help
Even in David’s darkest time, God intervened on his behalf. Achish refused David’s offer to go and fight the Israelites. As David and his men returned to Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had attacked their camp and taken their wives and children captive. This brought David further into the abyss of anguish. “David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters” (I Sam. 30:6).
Let’s recap. David fled King Saul who was trying to kill him. He escaped to the Philistines who were now assembling together to attack Israel. He almost went to battle with the Philistines against God’s people. He returned home to find his camp burned and the wives and children of his men taken captive. To cap it all off, David’s own men were planning to take his life. David was definitely in the depths of despair!
Encouraged In The Lord
Yet, in the midst of the darkest discouragement, despair, and desperation, David called on the Lord. “But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (I Sam. 30:6). He did what he should have done from the very beginning.
Encourage Yourselves In The Lord
Some of you are experiencing despair. You may be thinking that you will never smile again. Sickness, sadness, loss of finances, or loss of loved ones may bring on despair, discouragement, and desperation, but you don’t have to live it. Follow David’s example and encourage yourself in the Lord.
An Empty Cross
There’s an empty Cross. There’s a risen Saviour. He is standing with outstretched arms. Call on Him. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). Discouragement, despair, and desperation does not sound like “more abundant life.” So trade in your sorrows for the joy of the Lord, and encourage yourselves in the Lord.