And David was greatly distressed; because the people spoke 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.
1 Samuel 30:6
David had been through some rough times but this was the lowest point of his life. He had led his men off to a battle that they had no business being involved in. Then, they return home to discover an enemy has raided their home town stealing everything, taking their wives and children and burning all their homes to the ground.
David was discouraged. He had lost everything. His men were grieving. They had lost everything and everyone knew it was David’s fault. The men became so angry that these loyal friends of his considered killing him.
I’m not sure what I would have done in this situation but we know what David did. Times like these separate the victors from the victims. He could have rolled over and quit. He could have “cursed God and died”. But “David encouraged himself in The Lord his God”!
We aren’t told what he did but I can imagine – based upon how often he did this in the Psalms when he was down and discouraged – he began to recount the things God had done for him in the past. “Forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2)
That is one of the powerful benefits of journaling. Because God’s supernatural deliverances often happen so slowly and seemingly naturally it is easy to forget all He has done for us. Another secret I have discovered to building myself up is found in 1 Corinthians 14:4 – “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself.” It is amazing how faith and hope will begin to rise in my heart when I just begin to pray earnestly in the spirit.
And look at the result of David encouraging himself in the Lord. God restores every single thing to him and his men. Plus, the next big event in his life is God finally fulfilling his promise that David would be king. David was on the precipice of seeing God do all he has promised when he faced his biggest discouragement. You will see that is a principle in Scripture – right before God does all He has promised, there is often a final make you or break you test. So, don’t give up. Don’t give in. The deeper the valley the higher the mountain when you come out of it.
If you are in that dark valley, put your hope in God, encourage yourself in the Lord. This will not last forever. The sun will rise again. And God has better days ahead for you. Remind yourself of all He has done for you before. As the old song says, “Count your blessings. Name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” Put your hope in God.
Psalm 42:5 – Psalm 42:11 – Psalm 43:5
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!