There are certain situations of life that bring us to a terrible state of hopelessness and discouragement. We are talking of situations where looking to the left nothing seems to be left, looking to the right nothing seems to be right, looking backwards everything seems to be held back, and looking forward nothing seems to be forthcoming. I mean times when all we had worked and labored for and things we are holding unto come crashing at our feet. What can one do at such times?
What of times when people we had loved, cherished, helped and cared for, those who are supposed to support and encourage us turn their backs at us and antagonize us. Times when there is no one to help wipe away our tears and no one to lean upon. Who/where do we go to for help?
The Bible gives us a perfect solution through the life experience of King David, the man after God’s heart. According to the Scripture, a time came when Ziglag city of the Philistines where David and his band (1Samuel 22:1-2) had taken refuge on realization of King Saul’s desperation to kill him by all means was burnt to the ground and their wives and children were taken to an unknown place by an invading enemy in their absence 1 Samuel 30:1-. It was a very devastating and hopeless situation for David and his men that it was recorded that (David inclusive) “they lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep,” 1 Samuel 30:4. What a terrible state of despondency to find oneself? To worsen the already bad and terrible situation for David whose two wives were among those carried away; the people whom he trusted including his family and friends who should comfort and encourage him threatened to stone him because they saw him as the cause of all their problems.
David was very distressed (1 Samuel 30:6) and at a cross-road for many reasons.
(1) king Saul was after his life because he did not want him to succeed him as king. David never desired to be a king but was chosen and anointed as one by God. He was now a fugitive.
(2) The Philistines he ran to for refuge are untrustworthy and did not like or trust him and had rejected him from fighting for them
(3) Those who had invaded and ran away with their families and properties were unknown; the place they were taken to and their welfare unknown.
(4) The people who were with him that he regarded as his own turned against him and were threatening his life. Definitely, he was on his own.
(5) He did not even know how long he had to wait and run before ascending the throne he was being persecuted for.
It is interesting to know that, amidst the terrible, helpless and discouraging situations, David did not give in to despair or hopelessness. How and what did he do? He simply turned God-ward, “he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30: 6. This implies he took his focus and mind from all the unpalatable situations and happenings around him and placed them on the Lord his God. He brought to mind God’s past faithfulness, His power and providence, goodness, care and love. He put his trust in His God, the creator of Heaven and Earth. He took solace in his God whom he knows loves him and would never forsake him. He encouraged himself in his Lord and God, the present help in the time of trouble who had delivered him in the past from out of the paw of the bear, and out of the hand of Goliath and who has promised that “no weapon fashioned against us shall ever prosper” He took solace in his God who had taken him from following after sheep and anointed him as king and had given his words of helping him to ascend the throne.
He was not disappointed because God helped him to recover all that was taken away when the Amalakites and other invaded them, 1 Samuel 30:17-20.
As long as one is alive and in this fallen world of sin under the devil, one is bound to come across disappointing and discouraging situations. The time we are in now is not helping matters. there are so many unforeseen circumstances and horrible happening in the society such joblessness, failures, hardship, disappointment, temptations and trials, illness, losses, delayed blessings among other life challenges. All these are capable of making the heart sad, sorrowful, dejected, discouraged, dismayed, full of anxiety, downcast, depressed, broken-hearted and depressed. To worsen the already terrible situation is the simple fact that humanity has lost it as prophesied in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The love of many have waxed cold, divorce is on the increase, deceit, desertion, cruelty and other man’s inhumanity to man are the order of the day. People have stopped caring. They no longer have time for anybody but themselves. Times as these are the most harrowing and trialing times anyone could face and these are times that utmost care must be taken so as not to take certain decisions or steps one would regret which the feelings of discouragement and despondency are capable of causing. God charged us to be courageous in Psalm 37:5 and Joshua 1:6. Such times are not times to think of packing it up or think of taking one’s life. It is not a time to become emotional because it can become overwhelming. It is not a time to give in to self-pity or to run from post to pillar.
At such times, it is important for one to remain strong and courageous in God as King David did by taking the steps he took as thus:
a). King David had a personal faith relationship with God. This is not a matter of belonging to one church denomination or the other. It is to become born again by confessing one’s sins and believing in Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior.
a) He put his trust in God, because God knows about what he was passing through and He is in control.
b) He sought God’s face in prayers and his strength was renewed Isaiah 40:28-31.
c) He did not put his trust in any man or in himself. Anyone that puts his trust in man would meet with disappointment and discouragement, Psalm 146:3.
DON’T GIVE IN TO DISCOURAGEMENT AND DESPONDENCY.
Let us find unfailing refuge in God’s righteousness, His faithfulness, love and promises in times of trouble.
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.