Surviving Hard Times

“David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).

David spent many years running and hiding from Saul who wanted to kill him. Samuel anointed David as king when the Lord rejected Saul. Saul knew that David would succeed him and felt threatened by David’s skill as a warrior. Saul made many attempts at David’s life and David refused to harm Saul although he has many opportunities to do so. Due to running from Saul, David and his men were often destitute and in need of food and supplies. In an effort to survive, David and his men joined themselves with the Philistines to go to war with them. David’s main skill was warfare and he would be an asset to any army.

The Philistines did not trust David because they remembered when he fought against them with Saul. They were worried that he could turn on them, so they sent him and his men away. When David returned to his base, disaster had struck. The Amalekites raided their camp, burned it the ground and took away all their wives and children. The only good thing about this was that they did not kill anyone, but took them all away. David’s men were angry and bitter and wanted to stone him to death. After all, David was their leader and his decision to follow the Philistines had left their camp vulnerable.

Like anyone in David’s position would be, he was ‘greatly distressed.’ David’s response was to encourage and strengthen himself in the Lord. David asked for his ephod to be brought to him and he went into prayer. He needed answers and he knew that those could only come from God. “And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue”” (1 Samuel 30:8). David and his men pursued the army and not only recovered their families and possessions, but they also took the possession of the enemies.

I know that the recovery mission must have been intense and exhausting. Did God allow it to give David an opportunity to take what the enemy possessed? Their recovery was of everything that they lost, plus all that belonged to the Amalekites. Many of us have experienced difficult seasons and have lost things that are dear to us. Remember that it is important to encourage and strengthen yourself in the Lord. Don’t neglect your prayer time because you are too discouraged or frustrated. Go into your secret closet just as you are and present your case before God. Ask God what he wants you to do to recover what was lost or stolen.

Make sure to listen so that you will be guided in the way that you need to go. When God gives an instruction, move quickly to do what he says. Encourage yourself, pray and listen and God will restore what you lost plus much more.

A.P.-Y.

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