Have you ever needed encouragement? Yet, at the moment you needed that encouragement, you were alone. Isn’t that how it consistently works? About the time you need something it’s gone, you just missed the opportunity or you cannot find it?
When you need encouragement, it rarely happens just before you’re headed to a place, person, or event that will give you that encouragement. For instance, a depressing event will happen just after a church service but not before it. We rationalize that if it happened before the service, God would have so many opportunities to rescue or encourage you. Instead, the event happened just as you left the safety net of corporate prayer or folks that always have just the right words to offer in times of struggle. Well, it could be a week before you get back to church. Yet, you still need encouragement. What should you do?
David in I Samuel 30 found himself in a similar circumstance. He has just avoided a terrible battle and upon his return to his hometown with his boys, they find their city burning. Not only was it burning, but their families, possessions, and homes were gone! Everything was taken or destroyed! Now that’s a man that needs some encouragement. Just somebody/anybody around to give a good word of encouragement. One would think that the fellas that know David best and in whom David had made tremendous investments would be the first ones to rally with words of encouragement. No, these guys were upset and angry at David. Now not only was David discouraged, he was afraid for his life. He was facing betrayal, fearing that these men would now stone him to death! David’s situation escalated from bad to “It cannot get any worse”!
Let’s modernize this story: You are scrolling through Facebook and David’s post reads as follows: “I am feeling ‘Discouraged’. I thought my day was bad enough when I managed to avoid a real war today, but I arrived home to find my wife and children abducted and our family home burned to the ground. Location formerly Ziglag, getting out of Dodge…
Then under that status all the comments are harsh words of blame, and accusations that it’s all David’s fault. Not a single person kind enough or willing to encourage David.
David did what you’ll have to do in many of life’s’ most difficult and discouraging moments. While most of us will never encounter all that David encountered, we do face genuine feelings of discouragement and we must do what David did no matter how large or how small the battle. He encouraged himself. You must do the same.
Often the crowd you run with will not see you through the trial. You’re going to have to find a place in God and encourage yourself.
Let’s look at what David did exactly.
First he encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6)
When don’t have anywhere to turn and there is no one around, encourage yourself with His word and words concerning you.
That word that you’ve hid in your heart, that’s the word, you’ll need to turn to.
Secondly, David inquired of the Lord (1 Samuel 30:7,8). He talked with God, prayed, about the situation. We can also inquire of God through worship and praise. Prayer is simply communicating with God and then listen for His voice.
Thirdly, David Engaged with the Lord (1 Samuel 30:9,10). After prayer and praise, we see pursuit. To many people after they pray and praise, they say, Lord, bring me good things in my life, but God you bring them. God likes people that will take a step of faith and He will bless you as you go! When you take that step, and pursue after the desire of your heart, God will be with you and will fight for you! The scripture declares to not be weary in well doing, for in due season you’ll reap if you faint not! Did you catch that you’re doing, you’re pursuing after and you’ll reap it, if you faint not?
Lastly, David is inspired by the Lord (1 Samuel 30:23-25) David insisted that the men who guarded the supplies were as important as those on the front line . God inspired David, and changed the entire dynamics of his army!
Once you begin to encourage yourself, get into a place where you can talk with God, and then help God by helping yourself. No doubt, as you’re talking with God and pursuing a solution, you’ll have a God inspired idea. That idea will change the dynamics of the issue that brought the discouragement in the beginning.
Remember that David, after pursuing, recovered everything that was taken from him, which is what caused the discouragement in his life. May you likewise recover it all, and be encouraged