Discouragement can’t be avoided but can be defeated. When life feels hard, it’s tempting to want to give up but we must be bold in the face of the enemy.
In I Samuel 30 we read about David’s response as he faces one of his greatest battles. He and his men go out to join the Philistine army but are rejected. They set out on the journey back home excited to see their families. As they begin to get closer they can see dark clouds of smoke rising and their excitement quickly vanishes. With their home unguarded the enemy came in and burned it to the ground. Everything is lost and their families are nowhere to be found. It was total chaos and devastation. David and his men weep uncontrollably until they have no strength left.
David’s personal loss alone is overwhelming but then his friends begin to speak of stoning him. They believe he is at fault for what has happened. He has every reason to be discouraged but when he remembers God has been his source of strength in the past, he encourages and strengthens himself in the Lord.
Psalm 138:3 (amplified) in the day when I called, You answered me and You strengthened me with strength in my inner self.
David then asks the priest to bring him the Ephod. An Ephod is a priestly garment connected with seeking a word from God. David puts it on and immediately begins to seek answers. He says “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” The Lord answers him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and recover all!”
God answered David and He will answer you! When He answers you will have a choice whether to believe His Word or not. Will you trust what He says to you?
David believes what the Lord said to him so he and his men pursue. We see in verses 11-15 where God has already made provision for him. They find a man in the fields who belonged to the troops who had raided Ziklag. David asks the man to take him to the enemy’s camp and he does! He shows him exactly where they are. I think this was a God set up – what about you? God will always go before you to set things up according to His plans and purposes.
God gives David instructions to move out and pursue. He tells him to trust Him and he will surely overtake the enemy and recover all! So, in faith, trusting God – David proceeds. David plunders the enemy’s camp and just as God promised – he recovers all – wives, children, all their spoil and more. Nothing missing! He captures all their flocks and herds and drives them before him, saying, This is David’s spoil!
Points to Ponder in Battle
1.It is when we try to fight our battles in our own strength that we become weary, frustrated and discouraged. Remember where your strength comes from and encourage yourself in the Lord as David did. Verses 4-6
2.There will be times we will get the blame for things that were out of our control. We must keep our eyes on God and not be intimidated by man. Verse 6
3.God will go before you to fight your battles. Keep your eyes open. He will reveal your enemies. Verses 11-16
4.Sometimes what looks like our greatest defeat – God will turn it into our greatest victory if we trust him! God always has a better plan or purpose for our pain! Verses 18-20
5.Realize what you do IS important! Don’t compare yourself to others. It takes everyone working together! In this case, part of David’s army stayed with the battle gear while the others went to the battle. Verse 24
We all have times we get discouraged but my question to you today is this: what do you do when you get discouraged? Who do you turn to? Do you encourage yourself in the Lord when you are in the midst of a battle or do you find yourself wanting to give up?
If you are in the midst of a battle today – don’t give up! Encourage yourself in the Lord. Put on the Ephod and listen for instructions then do as He says, Trust God to make provision and know that He is faithful and You will recover all!
He is a faithful God! Psalm 89:3 (amplified) O Lord God of hosts, who is a mighty one like unto You, O Lord? And Your faithfulness is round about You (an essential part of You at all times).
Father, thank You that the battle I am facing today belongs to You! I will encourage myself and trust You to work all things out in my favor. Thank You for wisdom and discernment to know what to do. I do hear Your voice and I will trust You and praise You throughout this battle – I will draw my strength from You knowing that nothing will be lost but I will recover all! Thank You for Your faithfulness! Amen!
Psalm 140:6-7 (amplified) I said to the Lord, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my supplications, O Lord. O God the Lord, the Strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.