1Samuel 30, vs. 6, “… but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (KJV)
Believers fight the spirit of discouragement many times. The man of God Elijah was suicidal because of discouragement. The Israelites became discouraged when they faced challenges in the wilderness. It’s the same thing even leaders face today, discouraged from failing and discouraged by other people. Discouragement is the absence of courage. It deprives courage, hope or confidence.
David too was discouraged at one time. He had killed Goliath, he was a commander of six hundred. They had subdued many enemies. While they were away in battle one time, the Amalekites invaded Ziklag where they had camped with their families. The Amalekites took away their wives, children, possessions and burnt the whole place down. The bible says, vs. “4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep”. I remember about 20 years ago, coming from school one day only to find that robbers had broken into our house in our absence and nearly cleaned us out leaving us with nothing but things that were little or no great value. Imagine things my parents had worked hard for many years to gain were all gone in one day. Like David and his men, we sat down and wept until there was no strength left in us. The people who could encourage each other were all weeping because they were all victims. What do you do when there is no one around to encourage you? Or when the people you are close are in no position to encourage you?
You would imagine David’s men standing together in this and figure out how to work together to figure out a solution, on the contrary, in vs. 6 “… 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 his daughters”, this was like adding salt to injury. When no one can encourage you, and those who should be standing with you distress you, either you can choose to be discouraged like the Israelites or pick up yourself like David and do something about it.
In the midst of pain upon pain, David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. He chose to draw strength from God who is never discouraged. Jesus was left alone in his hour of need when the disciples scattered. One had betrayed Him, the other had denied Him. In the midst of excruciating pain and suffering, He encouraged Himself in the Father and the Father gave Him grace to endure even sending angels lower than Him to minister to Him . It was just for a little while before it was all done. I can imagine David thinking about the goodness of God, how God helped him fight many enemies, how God was his refuge and strength, a very present help in time of need Psalm 46:1. The more I believe he drew from the word of God, the more his discouragement was turning into encouragement. This was not his courage but God’s driving away discouragement. He was encouraged that he turned around to encourage those who were discouraged.
This year has been tough with a serious injury in the family among other things. In the midst of it all, I and the family have benefited from David’s response and have encouraged ourselves in the Lord because God is in control. We are our best encouragers for we know exactly how it feels to be in it and what dose to prescribe to our dilemma. You cannot draw courage from without, you can draw from within. David did it IN the Lord so can you. Look at what the Lord has done, get into His word, get encourage in Him for when no one else can, you can IN Him. Don’t let the devil see you sweat or tell you no one cares. Trade in your discouragement for encouragement. Blessings Ev