How to Encourage Yourself and Recover All
1 Sam 30:1 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, 2 and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep....6 Now 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. But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 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.”
How would you feel if you returned from a missions trip only to find your home burned to the ground and your family missing? Would you feel encouraged or discouraged? On top of that agony, the people whom you led on the missions trip are now talking about killing you?
This is the discouraging situation David faced. “Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep…6 Now 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.” (1 Sam 30:4,6)
This was a worse situation than many of us will ever face, so what can we learn from it? Paul wrote in Romans 15:4, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us.”
What can we learn from David to help us in times of discouragement? First of all, we learn that problems and “attacks,” like upon Ziklag by the Amalekites, is an assault against your peace and encouragement. If you lose your peace and sense of encouragement, you may become dysfunctional and paralyzed. Trouble seeks to burn down your Ziklag and bring confusion in your camp and confusion to your mind.
Don’t allow that occur in the midst of your pain. Here are some steps towards victory:
The first thing David did was “encouraged” or strengthened himself in the Lord his God. Everyone around him was falling apart so he had no one to encourage him. Remember that you always have the Holy Spirit to help you.
1. Know the promises of God you are standing on. Draw directly from the Scriptures. (Psalm 119:105)
2. Know that the enemy is trying to “shipwreck” your faith and make you compromise your Christian witness. If the ship gets wrecked, it can no longer travel over the troubled waters. (1 Timothy 1:19)
3. Make no excuse for a lack of faith. Ask the Lord to “Increase your faith.” (Luke 17:5, 2 Corinthians 10:15)
4. Don’t overreact: burning bridges, severing relationships, or rendering judgement “before the time.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)
5. Don’t make any critical decisions, before committing time to seek the Lord. Crisis will impair judgment and hinder your faith until you leave “crisis mode.”
6. Pray, worship God, sing or listen to songs of worship, and be still until your peace returns and clarity fills your mind.
After David encouraged himself, got into the presence of God, and received fresh direction from the Lord, he proceeded to overtake his enemy and “RECOVER ALL.”
And so will you!