1 Sam 30:6
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
David is in a pretty dire situation at this point. He and his men have joined the Philistines because in Israel they were constantly under threat from Saul. After marching out to attack Israelite forces in chapter 29 (by God’s grace they were sent away before the battle began), they return home and find that the Amalekites have looted their town and taken their wives and children.
The result: The people begin talking about stoning David. But David in light of this tragedy turns to God to find his strength.
Where do you and I turn in times of crisis and disaster? Do we fret and get worried? Do we try to fix it ourselves straight away? Do we turn to friends or family first? What about doctors? Money?
These are all natural responses. But none usually have any helpful affect on the situation – indeed without God’s hand none of them can do anything at all. Instead we should follow David’s example and find strength and comfort in God. God never promises that hardships won’t happen. In fact he promises that if we try to live for him we will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). But he also promises that if we are his people he will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
How do we find strength in God?
- We need to remember his promises. He promises that he works everything for the good of his people – Romans 8:28. He also promises that he uses hardships to build us into who he wants us to be (James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1). That doesn’t make it easy. But we have hope, and it is comforting to know that God has a plan and that he is entirely in control.
- We need to remember that God is faithful and he always keeps his promises. He is merciful and loving. He has rescued his people from sin – and so even though we suffer here and won’t always understand why, we can look forward to heaven when we will suffer no longer (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Revelations 21)
- We pray. We cast our anxieties on God, knowing that he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:4-7).
David doesn’t just leave it there though. His men are still distressed and angry. He takes that strength and comfort he has gained from reflecting on God’s character and he acts on it. He and his army go after the Amalekites and God gives them the victory (and as it turns out God had protected all of their family and possessions).
Unlike David, we usually wont have to run after an army. But we do face very real hardships. Trust God and remember his promises and then get up and act. Don’t just worry or be anxious about the situation, seek how best to serve God within it, and do that.
Where do you look for your strength? What do you do with that strength?
Only God can offer strength that lasts – only he gives hope beyond death through Jesus Christ our Lord.