Prophet Samuel had come to David’s family house on God’s instruction to anoint him as king in place of King Saul (1 Samuel 16:1, 3). All would have thought it would be a smooth ride to the throne for David since God initiated it, however it was not so. David passed through series of troubles, persecutions, and perils for nine good years before he could ascend the throne.
Of all the unpalatable troubles that King David faced before he ascended the throne, the most heartbreaking with the most devastating effect on him was the evasion of Ziglag by the Amalekites. David and his men had discovered that the city had been burnt to the ground, all their properties, wives and children had all been taken away. It was an incident where David the young courageous, fearless, God-fearing and a great man of faith was said to have cried till he had no more strength in him and also was said to be greatly distressed because his people threatened to stone him, 1 Samuel 30:4, 6. The Ziglag invasion was a dark and trialing time for David. He had lost everything- his wife, his children, his properties, the people who had followed him believing him to be their messiah had lost confidence in him and even threatened to stone him. King Saul was after his life, the throne for which he was being persecuted seemed to be unattainable; he did not know what the Philistines who turned him back from following them to battle would do to him and his men when they return. It was a time that seemed the whole world was against him and everything seemed to have collapsed under his feet with him about to go down too.
At this point, two options were before him; he could give up in hopelessness, bemoaned his miserable life, losses, and sufferings and pray to God to kill him as Prophet Elijah did in 1Kings 19:3-4; or he could give himself to God in total surrender to perfect His will for his life. However, he chose the latter, which was to give himself unto God, “He encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” He remembered in the face of all his losses that he still has a loving, merciful, dependable and faithful God and he put his faith in Him.
It is worth pointing out that this very worst situation of his life where all his resources had utterly gone was what God had used to jolt him back to his faith in Him. David’s strong faith in his God that made him to courageously faced and killed Goliath; fought and won many battles had actually become compromised before now when he gave up in despair and cried in sore perplexity for his life and fled to the land of the Philistines for refuge from King Saul,1Samuel 27:1.
Interestingly, unknown to David was the fact that at that darkest and trialing point of his life where all seemed to be lost, God was working on his behalf at the back of the scene to finally put an end to King Saul’s (his adversary’s) reign. King Saul and his sons died at the battlefront in their battle with the Philistines and the throne of Israel became vacant by divine powers. A few days later the dark nights of the years of his running for his life being pursued by King Saul came to an end, and he was enthroned to the throne. Surely, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose,” Roman 8:28.
No one can tell what could have happened if David had given up to despondency and hopelessness instead of encouraging himself in the Lord as he did. In his hopeless state,
a) He probably could have dared the people to stone him as they threatened and they would have done so and killed him.
b) He could probably pray to ask God to kill him as Prophet Elijah did and get a similar response Elijah got from God 1 King 19:4,15-16
c) He could also have opted to kill all those who wanted to kill him in revenge. Doing so would have left him with no one. Whichever way, it would have spelled doom for him.
THE LIGHT AND DARK SIDES OF LIFE
Life has its dark and bright/sunshine sides. Everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike will experience these moments in life. They are subject to change, one gives way to another just as the day gives way to the night, and the night to the day. When we are in the bright side of life we have everything going well and smoothly for us as planned and at times beyond our plans. Our sunshine times are times to make hay, rejoice and enjoy our lives and glorify God who made it be so. However, it is important we have at the back of our hearts that no matter the amount of brightness of the sunlight in the sky, there are bound to be dark clouds also. This implies no matter the good times we have in life, there will definitely be times of storms, hardship, sorrow, helplessness, and hopelessness. Life is not all sunshine!
Dark times are inevitable. When one is going through dark times, everything would seem to be against one and contrary to one’s expectation. Dark times are times of storms in the form of sickness, hardship, joblessness, affliction, persecution, losses, financial crisis and several others. Dark times can become tasking and tough that it might even get to a point whereby our very existence would be threatened; such was what Apostle Paul spoke of as being “pressed out of measure, above strength and having the sense of death in himself ” 2 Corinthians 1:8. Dark times have their usefulness; they are times characters are built. Stars shine brightest in darkness. Remember, for any big tree seed to germinate it must be buried in the darkness of the earth for days.
It is worth noting that often times dark and trialing times come when we are at the edge of a major breakthrough in a certain area of our lives just as David experience a dark and trailing time just before he ascended the throne.
SEEING GOD IN YOUR DARK SITUATION
In our dark times, it might seem as if God has forsaken us or that He does not know what we are passing through. The truth is that He knows all about you including all you are going through because He is Omniscient and reigns in the affairs of men. He has not forsaken or forgotten about you because you are carved in the palms of His hands, Hebrews 13:5. Dark times are no indication of the absence of God who made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him is dark water and thick clouds of the skies, Psalm 18:11. Therefore have it at the back of your heart that when it seems God is not there, God is still there in our dark times as He is in our sunshine times. He has promised to be with us at all times and situations, Isaiah 43:2. His light still shines because darkness cannot comprehend Him, John 1:5. The Lord is the light of our life and IN HIS LIGHT YOU WILL SEE LIGHT, Psalm 36:9. God’s plans for you are still in place and He is working out the perfection of His will and purpose in your life. One thing we should be assured of is that whatsoever, God allows in our life falls is within His plans for us which are not evil but good to give us an expected end, Jeremiah 29:11. Another thing we can be assured of is that God would meet us just as God met David when all his resources had utterly gone and he had reached the darkest hour. God will never abandon us, “when we have come to the end of our resources with a sense of sickening helplessness and heartbreaking destitution; then at what seems to be the last minute, providential intervention transforms the whole picture”.
WEATHERING THE STORMS OF OUR DARK TIMES
Just as David could not envisage all the troubles he had to face on his way to the throne, no man can fathom out all that God had lined up for us on our way to achieving a goal or purpose. David weathered the storms of his dark hours well and became victorious so must we. The way one responds and react in our dark moments will determine whether one will be a victim or a victor. These steps below will be of great help:
1) Be steadfast in faith in God: It is very easy in times of trouble to become overwhelmed with our emotions and disbelieve God’s words and promises to us. Dark times are not times to doubt God love, goodness, faithfulness, and mercies. Trust God in your situation and believe He is in control of it Don’t lose your confidence in God. Be steadfast and unmovable in your faith “In stability shall you be established, Isaiah 33:6. Wait upon the Lord, Psalm 27:4. Don’t go about looking for help from people and places where there is no help, Jeremiah 3:23. When our faith fails us, and when it seems all our life is crumbling right beneath us then God remains and underneath our sinking feet, we find the everlasting arms.
2) Pray to God for divine assistance: When we have come to our wits end, the best thing is to call unto our Father who charged us saying “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me,” Psalm 50:15. You will receive solutions to your problems as those of old in the same situation did as revealed in Psalm 107:25- 30.
3) Believe and confess God’s words as David told us he did in Psalm 27:13. What we believe and confess determines what happens to us. Remember with the mouth man confesses into salvation. Study God’s words (Bible) daily. With God’s word, you will not stumble because it “will be a lamp unto your feet” Psalm 119:105.
4) Praise God in your dark hours as Paul and Silas did in Acts 16:23 -26.
5) Be of good cheer: It is important to maintain a cheerful countenance in our dark moments because it is medicine to your bones. The heaviness of the heart makes the body stoop low. In Psalm 27:6 believed to be a Psalm written by David in his dark hours, he mentioned that he would offer unto God a sacrifice of joy by singing praises to God
6) Persevere: From David’s life we learn that on our way to fulfill destiny, we may be confronted with seeming unending sufferings and trials and troubles to the point at which it seems we can’t take anymore and as if our spirit will snap. However, you must not give in to despondency and hopelessness. With perseverance, you will soon reach the end of seeming unending walks in the long dark tunnel with no flicker of light and discover the light at the end of the tunnel. Although such times can really seem hard, tough and make one feel so helpless and hopelessly stranded. Nevertheless, whatever the storms we encounter in our lives, we should never give up because it must come to an end just as no matter how long the night, it must give way to daylight.
The road of life is very rough, it must be endured to the end, only those that endure to the end shall be victorious. Jesus has not promised us a trouble-free life but a victorious ending. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, tough times don’t last but tough people do. Tough times don’t kill. It is temporal. Therefore, no matter what happens, don’t give up when facing dark times. One thing we can be assured of is that God would meet us just as God met David when all his resources had utterly baffled and he had reached the darkest hour.
Are you passing through a situation where it seems there is no way out? Don’t give up! God is the way maker, He will make a way for you where there seems to be no way. Don’t end it, when it is not yet the end. Keep hope alive, don’t ever give up. Remember that weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning, Psalm 30:5.
If you are reading this post and you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, this is yet another opportunity for you to receive help from God to come out victorious over your trialing and dark life situations. Repent of all your sins and accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
NEVER GIVE UP WHEN FACING TOUGH TIMES, KEEP MOVING YOUR VICTORY IS NEAR.
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.