It was a catastrophe.
David and his warriors returned to their home base at Ziklag and were shocked to discover that the city had been raided and burned and that all their wives and children were carried away captive. The men were in great anguish and, in their pain, blamed David and were ready to kill him.
David was greatly distressed. His own family had also been taken, and his life was now in danger from his own men. He was grieving and at a loss what to do.
At that point, David made the choice to strengthen himself in the Lord. He did not wallow in grief-stricken self-pity. As he stood alone, he turned to the One he knew to be a refuge in the day of trouble. He encouraged himself in the Lord.
Why was David alone able to find strength and encouragement?
David had a personal history with the Lord. He found courage to fight Goliath when he remembered his earlier victories in which the Lord helped him kill an attacking lion and a bear. He thought on the Lord’s goodness, mercy, justice, and love. He remembered the promises of the Scriptures and all the past troubles which the Lord had seen him through.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.” (Ps 42:4)
Do you need encouragement?
Everyone faces difficulty from time to time in which you may feel very alone. Sometimes people are unavailable, and sometimes they let you down. So when no one is there to encourage you, it is time to encourage yourself!
This is more than a pep talk in which you tell yourself, “Come on, you can do it.” This is connecting to God’s reservoir of sustaining strength and drawing it out. It is reminding yourself of where your help really comes from. Thank God for His mighty promises. Praise Him for His mighty power and for your deliverance. Remind Him and yourself of previous victories.
“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh 8:10)
When faith and courage had risen in David’s heart, he asked the Lord for instructions on what to do next to move forward. God’s answer was “pursue, overtake, and rescue all”. (I Sam 30:1-20)
You may have to take some new and aggressive action to get out of trouble, but when you have tapped into that place of God’s strength, you will break out into a higher rank of warrior!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:9)