ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD

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1 Sam 30:1-8 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 spake 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. 7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. 8 And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.

There are times in all our lives when we find ourselves in discouraging circumstances and there is no one around to encourage us. It is at that time we will have to decide to focus on what satan is doing to or in us or choose to believe what Jesus did for us.

The story of David at Ziglag gives us a great example. The Amalekites hit David and his men where it hurt. Here is David returning to Ziklag finding it plundered. His men are already EXHAUSTED, now they are HURT, they become ANGRY, and place the BLAME on David. David had already been anointed as the one to be king 1 Samuel 16, slayed Goliath 1 Samuel 17, chased by Saul, lives in a cave, and the only ones helping are misfits in debt, distress, and discontent 1 Samuel 22. He is no longer the giant killer whose praises were sung by admiring crowds. He is in total rejection and on the verge of being stoned as a failure standing alone, stripped, confused, and in total despair.

What does a child of God do when discouragement sets in and he feels useless and like a complete failure?
WE CAN DO WHAT MOST PEOPLE DO
1. Despair v.4.
2. Be angry v.6a.
3. Look for someone to blame v.6.
It is common to blame someone else and sometimes it is a leader.Sometimes our blaming a leader is because we cannot seem to admit we are blaming God.
4. When we have despaired, expressed anger, and blamed others, are we better off or worse?
None of this resolves the crisis. These things are all unproductive. What if they vented their anger and killed David? Would they have gotten their property and families back?

WE CAN DO WHAT DAVID DID
1. He encouraged himself in the Lord v.6.
David didn’t have what we have available in us. We can strengthen ourselves in the Lord Ephesians 6:10. We can be “…strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man,” Ephesians 3:16. Colossians 1:11 says, “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” We can also speak and repeat the Word of God to ourselves.

2. Seek the Lord’s guidance and not resort to our own devices.
This circumstance forced David to seek an answer within himself. He could no longer lean on his men, his family, or King Achish as he did in the past. He could not settle down in a place that depended on flesh for survival. David came to see that all that really counts in the face of discouragement, death, defeat, and despair is a personal knowledge of God. We can ask for wisdom or God’s perspective James 1:5.

3. We must turn our thoughts toward God.
In other words, correct our thinking Philippians 4:8. If we think depressing thoughts, we will be depressed. We must fill our minds with the knowledge of God and His Word if we are to live in victory. Our thoughts can keep us from God’s provision. David recovered all.

Pastor John Rasicci is the founder and Pastor of Word of His Grace Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where we are building people who are building the Church. Pastor's ministry mission is to help people discover God's dream for their Life, the Local Church, and the Last Days' Harvest. With a strong emphasis on the grace of God and with a prophetic voice, Pastor John preaches and teaches in churches, conferences, and crusades both locally and throughout the world. He has produced books, tapes, and other teaching materials to empower, enable, and equip Believers with the Word of God. Pastor John is married to his wife Candy who with their three children, Krista, Joanna, John Anthony, and two son-in-laws, Matt and Doug, serve together in the ministry. After graduating from Kent State University, Pastor John pursued a career in professional baseball before accepting the call to the ministry. He and his wife, Candy, received their ministry training from Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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