Thesis: Depending on how it is handled, a crisis can either make us or break us.


1. Illust. The Chinese do not have an alphabet as we know it. Rather than letters, words are represented by symbols. They have an interesting word-symbol for "crisis." It is a combination of the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity."

2. What is a crisis?

a. CRISIS: "A stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events is determined" (Random House College Dict.)

b. Everyone experiences times of crisis:

1) Graduation from high school (job, college, marry, Armed Forces?)

2) Laid off/quitting a job with nothing in sight.

3) Discovering a member of family has a drug/alcohol problem.

4) Having your husband/wife die; discover they are unfaithful.

c. Some people become STRONGER in these experiences; others WEAK.

1) WHY? Not what happens. How we DEAL with what happens!

2) POINT: How we react in moments of crisis will largely determine whether such events MAKE/BREAK us.

3. Tonight we want to look at a crisis in the life of David. < 1 Sam. 30 >

a. How did David react in a time of crisis?

b. How did he find the strength to go on?

c. What can we learn from him about how to have a healthy crisis?


A. Dark period in David's life.

1. On the run from Saul who is trying to kill him.

a. Had gone to Philistine ruler Achish.

b. Was given Ziklag from which he raided Israel's enemies.

2. David & men moved families there; had rest from Saul's pursuit.

B. All went well until Philistines mustered for Battle of Mt. Gilboa.

1. Achish naturally expected David to fight Israel.

2. At Aphek other Philistine rulers did not want David's help.

3. David and men returned to Ziklag.

a. Amalekites had robbed them, kidnap women & kids, burned.

b. David's men even talked of stoning him.

4. READ 1 SAMUEL 30:1-31.


A. In Howard J. Clinebell's book, Basic Types of Pastoral Counseling, there is a chapter, "Crisis Counseling."

1. Clinebell: One of the most productive things a counselor can do for someone in a crisis is to prevent them from making rash decisions.

2. Isn't that the greatest danger in a crisis?

B. "Non-constructive" (WRONG) responses to crisis:

1. Deny that a problem exists .............. ostrich approach.

2. Evade the problem ........................ drugs, alcohol.

3. Refuse to seek help ....................... "handle it myself"

4. Blame others for your problems ........ society, genes, upbringing

5. Fail to explore possible solutions ...... "won't work anyway"

C. "Constructive" (RIGHT) responses to crisis:

1. Face the problem.

a. Cancer ............ Learn more about it.

b. Adultery .......... Vent hurt feelings.

2. Accept responsibility for the problem.

a. Even if not your fault .... What can I do about this?

b. Separate changeable from the unchangeable.

3. Seek help.

a. Talk to others about it.

b. May even involve professional help.

4. Explore ways to deal with the problem.

5. Take steps, however small, to handle problem constructively.


A. He Found Strength in God (6-8).

1. Sought out someone spiritual for help (Abiathar).

2. Sought the Lord's direction (ephod/prayer).

B. He Never Let the Situation Get the Best of Him.

1. Compassion on 200 of 600 men (tired from 3 days marching).

2. Compassion on Egyptian slave (sick and left for dead).

C. When the Crisis was Over, David was Grateful.

1. Equal sharing of the plunder with the 200 men.

2. Gifts given to those who had helped him in the past.


1. Tough times come to everyone. They will either make/break us.

2. Two promises of God when tough times come:

a. No crisis is more than what we can deal with (1 Cor. 10:13).

b. No situation is so bad but what some good can come from it (Rom. 8:28).



1. Help the other person to express their feelings ("catharsis")

2. Help the other person to lay out all possible options for action.

3. Help the other person select and follow a plan of action.


1. Deny the problem.

2. Evade the problem.

3. Refuse to seek help for the problem.

4. Blame others for your problem(s).

5. Fail to explore possible solutions.


1. Face the problem.

2. Accept responsibility for the problem.

3. Seek help.

4. Explore ways to deal with the problem.

5. Take steps, however small, to handle the problem constructively.

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