"David was now in serious trouble because the men were very bitter about losing their wives and children, and they began to talk of stoning him.  But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."  I Samuel 30:6
Encouragement.  Everyone needs it, and it's a blessing to have an "encourager" placed around our lives.  They speak words that help, lift, sustain, and give strength.  We can never have enough encouragers.  But I heard Beth Moore ask the question recently, what do we do when we have no one around us to offer any encouragement?  What then?

David was in such a place.  Men, with their families, had come to him from all over Israel.  He was their captain, and they followed him.  But while they had been absent from their stronghold in the Negev, Amalekites had attacked and carried away all of the men's wives and children.  They were beside themselves with anger, and they no longer spoke of following David, but of killing him.  If there had been "encouragers" in the camp before, there were certainly none present now.  So David was faced with a choice; bemoan the absence of any outward source of comfort and hope and so give in to despair, or, turn to His God and Source, and find in Him a strength that nothing could weaken.  A strength, an encouragement that did not work its way in from the outside, but worked its way outward from within.  A strength, an encouragement that only the Father Himself could give.  In this place of darkness and need, David encouraged himself in his God. And in his God found endless strength and hope. And in that hope, led his men to track down the Amalekites and destroy them.  And they recovered all the people and goods that had been taken away, and all that the Amalekites had possessed as well.

A great story of His power and faithfulness, but, if we were in David's place, how would we have responded to it all?  More, in such a place of danger, why was David able to go right into the Presence of God and receive the strength, hope and power he so obviously needed?  The answer is that he lived in what writer Thom Gardner called "the present-ness" of God.  He didn't just know truths about God, he knew God.  Chris Tiegreen asks whether, when a crisis arrives in our lives, do we complain to Him that He's not been watching over us, or, do we watch for His glory in the midst of the crisis?  David was well aware of the crisis, but he was more aware, and assured of the presence and glory of His God in it.  Are we?

Paul stated in 2 Timothy 1:12, "For I know in Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him."  Do we?  Are we?  David knew His God's character and faithfulness.  So did Paul.  He knew that Christ was risen.  Knew that death and all its power had been conquered.  He knew the devil was defeated...completely.  He knew that Christ was and is victory!  He knew all this truth because it was Truth that was a part of His very being.  So, despite the crisis of his jail cell, he found hope and courage.  All might be gone from Him, but Christ was not.  Amalekites and jail cells will always be a part o this life.  Christ is an infinitely greater part of this life.  He is Life.....period.  David and Paul knew this in the marrow of their being. They were persuaded.  Are we?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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