Summary: David encouraged himself in the Lord his God, during trouble
HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD
1st Samuel 30:1-6 (key verse 6)
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.
Have you ever had a bad day? How about a bad week? Maybe even a bad year?
Jesus tells us that in this life, we will have bad days.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
And in Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble
(illustration) A new preacher had just started preaching in this church. He had been there two weeks. After preaching his third sermon, he was standing at the door greeting people as they left. One older gentleman, came by and looked up and said "that is the worst sermon I have ever heard" The old man, then turned abound and went back in, and got in line again. When he came by the preacher, he said " that sermon is even worse than last weeks. The new preacher felt kind of hurt, so he asked someone who the old man was. One man said " aw, don't worry about that old man, he is losing his memory. He just goes around repeating what he has heard others say.
That preacher was having a pretty rough day.
We all have days like that.
Maybe you wake up with flat tire. Maybe you get your pink slip from work. Maybe you have trouble paying your bills.
Remember that we are not alone. The bible gives us some good examples of people going through hardships.
Moses, never got to see the promised land, and had to wonder in the wilderness for 40 years.
Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery.
Now, in our text, we see David going through some really hard times.
David had it all, power, fame, wealth. King Saul, was jealous of him, because when David killed Goliath, and came back, the people in the village were dancing and praising David. King Saul had been trying to kill David, and David was running from him , while hiding in a cave. In the text , David and his men had been off to battle, and having returned , they found the city burned, their wives and children captured, and to top that off, his men were speaking of stoning him. Now that is what I call having a bad day.
But what did David do? The bible says in verse 6, that he encouraged himself in the Lord. One translation says that he strengthened himself in the lord.
What did David do first? He and his men wept.
It is okay to weep, and cry out to the Lord.
It is okay to feel sorry for ourselves for a little while, and go through grieving process.
But then, we need to pick ourselves up. We can't wait around feeling sorry for ourselves, waiting for someone to send us a hallmark card. Sometimes we just have to encourage ourselves in the Lord our God.
We have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves..
(illustration) A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule 'braying' -or-whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened ...and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back ... a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he should shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow. "Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!" He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought "panic" and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!