Intro story-encouraging myself in the Lord
I was distraught
The only thing I could do to get through it was to seek God diligently
Knowing that even though I was going through this for a long period of time, God still heard my praise
He heard my prayers
He was with me while I fasted
Saw my tears and eventually they were wiped away
I had to encourage myself in the Lord
He is what got me through
I even came out on the other side as a better pastor and leader
1 Samuel 30:1-6 kjv
30 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 And 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: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
Heres the biblical context of whats happening
David had recently been told he would be king
Because of this David had to flee from king saul because he wanted David killed
David at this time was living in Ziklag
He aligned himself with the philistines
The philistines were preparing to go to battle with king saul
David and his men were going to join them in battle
But they didn’t fully trust David because he could turn on them
David and his men went back to ziklag
Only to find that the entire city was attacked and burned down
Everything they had was now gone including the women and children
Now all of the people that had been with David this whole time began to turn on him
They grumbled and talked about killing him
David lost everything, his wives, his home, and his men turned on him
But David knows where his strength comes from
1 Samuel 30:6
And 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: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
In his times of trouble David did what he knows works
He encouraged himself in the Lord
Knowing that he would find his comfort in God
He knew with God he would be able to go through any problem he was facing
We must remember while reading the bible that these people really existed
They were normal people like us
Not super heroes
It gives me comfort to know God chooses broken people to show His glory
They all saw defeats and victories
Lets look at some of the writings from psalm to see how David sought the Lord
While being pursued by Saul, David wrote
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
[b]Defend me from those who rise up against me.
2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity,
And save me from bloodthirsty men.
3 For look, they lie in wait for my life;
The mighty gather against me,
Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord.
4 They run and prepare themselves through no fault of mine.
Awake to help me, and behold!
We see here that even though faced with death, David still put his trust in God
16 But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.
17 To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my defense,
My God of mercy.
David continuously praised God for what He has done and will do
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with [a]marrow and [b]fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
In these psalms we see that David praised God
He worshiped Him
Prayed to Him and meditated on the Lord
David gives amazing examples of how to encourage yourself in the Lord
If you are going through things in life that seem overwhelming
Then follow his example
I will let you in on a secret
You are going to have problems in life that at the time seem unbearable
You will feel weak, worried, and alone at times
Not every body will experience the same problems or even understand what you are going through, but God will
Some things could be family problems, marriage problems, or trouble with your children
Other things could be job related worried about job security or how you will provide for yourself and family
Right now in the world this is a big problem for many
It could be broken relationships or even the death of a loved one
Any circumstance where you feel overwhelmed is the time to encourage yourself in the Lord
No matter the case, when you go through troubled times what will you do
Because that’s the choice you will have to make
He encouraged himself in the Lord
Being asked to preach to 200 adults and youth with less than a week notice can be overwhelming
Especially if you haven’t preached to the whole church
Gabe was willing to do it
With the help of the Lord
As Christians we should take every opportunity to encourage ourselves in the Lord
Even if something seems small to people, it might be a huge deal in your life
Are you going to seek God or are you going to deal with the problem on your own
Often times human instinct kicks in and we think we should just handle the problem on our own
Typically this can lead to getting even more distraught
In some cases people will try to do it on their own, it doesn’t work out, then they get mad at God
They begin to worship less, don’t read their bible and neglect gathering with the church
This is a dangerous place to end up
Its almost happened to me at points in my walk because I forget to go to God
Then I get in my feelings like God where are you
We must be people that seek God first
We need that encouragement
If you are a Christian and try to solve your problems without seeking Him, it angers Him
The bible says that a man like this is cursed
5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his [a]strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not [b]fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
God wants us to trust Him
And we should
Because He helps those of us that put our trust in Him
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall [a]direct your paths.
If you want to follow davids example then do what this verse says
This what David did while he encouraged himself in the Lord
1 Samuel 30:8
8 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”
David took his cares to God
He didn’t just act on instinct and decide he would handle it himself
He asked God, not only that David waited for the answer
If you are going through troubles and seek God for an answer He will give you one
Sometimes it takes patience other times its instant
If David had tried to fight them without Gods approval he could have lost
But He sought God
Not only did God says go in this story He told David that he will overtake them and without fail recover all
That’s a big deal
If you encourage yourself in the Lord, You will come out better on the otherside
Every time Ive had been so overwhelmed that all I could do was seek God, I came out better on the other side
Back to the intro story
I worked harder than I did before because I wanted people to find no fault in me
I began to be a better leader
I even started preaching better because through all this my relationship with God was stronger
Instead of just saying I wanted to honor God with my life, I actually lived it out and my character improved as well
I had more growth in those 3 years of my walk than any other time
God will be with you through it
David not only succeeded, he came out better off than before
After David heard from the Lord and He said go, David listened
1 Samuel 30:18-20
18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. 19 And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all. 20 Then David took all the flocks and herds they had driven before those other livestock, and said, “This is David’s spoil.”
David recovered all that was lost along with the Amalekites flocks
All because he sought God first
Here are some ways to do what David did
Cry out to God
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
2 I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
There are times where I am overwhelmed and I don’t know what to say
So I will loudly say God please, it sounds simple but it gives me peace because I know He listens- Alaska flights
Meditate on the Word
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he [a]meditates day and night.
You can meditate on the word any time
Repeat scriptures to yourself
Think of verses in the bible that will give you comfort and strength
Go over them repeatedly until they are deep in your heart
Worship the Lord
Sing praise to Him
Put your focus on Him and not the problems at hand
2 Samuel 12:16
16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.
Spend time fasting
There is just something about fasting that just brings us closer to God and can give comfort, even though not eating is uncomfortable
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And attend to the voice of my supplications.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
For You will answer me.
Spend time in prayer
As a Christian you should spend time praying
Seek God through your prayers at all times
These are all scriptures on how David sought the Lord
If you need victory in your life then be like David
Encourage yourself in the Lord and you will find peace and rest
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