And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.-1 Samuel 30:6
Whenever I feel a need for encouragement I think of this scripture.
David is heralded as the greatest king of Israel, but he wasn’t always loved and honored as such. As a matter of fact, he was a man who was often rejected, criticized or attacked.
As a young boy, he was sent to shepherd the sheep. And when Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king, he wasn’t even invited to the dinner. Remember, Samuel asked Jesse for all of his sons, yet David wasn’t there?
And then there was the time when he played for Saul, and although Saul enjoyed and was soothed by his music, Saul threw a weapon at him.
David’s wife rejected him. David’s brothers talked about him when Jesse sent him to check on them. He was running from Saul when he was in Ziklag. He delivered a city and thought they would protect him, but God told him they would not.
Every where he turned, he was met with constant disappointments. And even in this passage, the men who came to him with no hope, who were now warriors because of his leadership, wanted to stone him.
Can you imagine this feeling of overwhelming grief and fear for your life at the same time you are experiencing heart wrenching betrayal? I can promise you at this point, I would have had a pity party! But not David! The scriptures let us know that he encouraged himself in the Lord!
He couldn’t go to his friends, they were part of the problem! He couldn’t go to his family, they had been kidnapped; and he couldn’t go to his pastor because he was running for his life. But there was One who was with him that he could go to and count on, His Lord!!
What do you think he did? I think he did the same things he did when he was out watching those sheep. I believe he sang a few psalms to the Lord, and worship the God whom he had come to love and trust in. I believe he took his eyes off of his problems and focused them on the Lord his God. And then he prayed and asked God what to do about the situation!
Have you heard the song, “Turn Your Eyes on Jesus”? Here’s the first stanza: “Oh soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There is light when you look at the Savior! And life more abundant and free! So turn your eyes on Jesus! Look full in His wonderful face! And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim, in the Light of His Glory and Grace!”
David could have easily penned this song for I believe it is what he did. He took his eyes off the problem and put them on His God. He understood the greatness of His God! After all, he killed the lion and the bear with his hands! After all, he slew Goliath in the name of His God!! After all, God had used him to turn a band of misfits into giant slayers! After all, he knew where His help had always come from, and so he encouraged himself in the Lord!
When you are young, I think you have a greater need to talk things out with people. But as you get older, you tend (at least I do) to talk more with the Lord! There are some things that happen that friends and family may empathize with, but only God can work out! There are some things that can be talked about, but only God can fix them! There are some hurts that only He can heal.
Suicide is on the rise. People are taking their own lives because of the hurts and disappointments that they have to deal with. David might have experienced the same temptation, but he didn’t do it. He didn’t allow his emotions and circumstances to dictate his actions. No! He went to Lord and found encouragement!
Please know that there is help in Jesus! He’s the Lord of all comfort and the Healer of all hurts! Oh how I wish that people all over knew of His great love for them. How I wish that we could all learn to encourage ourselves in Him when things get rough! I am praying that those who read these words will learn to find encouragement in the presence of a wonderful and loving God. Wonderful Jesus!