Summary: In life everybody faces discouragement but the levels of management differ. Others are quick to overcome it while others take a while and some succumb to it and give up.
This season of COVID -19 has caused a lot of stress in all aspects of life. Many people’s emotional status is messed up. So much fear, hopelessness and discouragement are looming around. So this sermon is meant to encourage believers that no matter how terrible your situation, hope will arise, because God hasn't lost His power.
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 30:1-6
“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; 2And 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. 4Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6And David was greatly distressed; for 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”. (1Sam30:1-6)
A.David and his men arrived on the third day. The third day represents the hour of deliverance-Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days, Jonah came out from the belly of the fish after 3 days, and Esther got favour with the King after 3 days of fasting.
Lesson: Most times, the enemy hits when you are about to breakthrough, to cause you to give up or to kill you. In Chapter 29, David was going to fight with the Philistines against Israel, then in 30 Ziklag was attacked and in 31 Saul got wounded and took his own life in the same battle David was to fight. It was David’s season of victory. His enemy King Saul died but another situation arose where his men turned against him and wanted to stone him. The enemy knew David would be a great King, and wanted to hinder him from reaching his destiny.
He (the enemy) can also bring discouragement after a major breakthrough like in Elijah’s case. (1kings 19:3-4) says “Elijah was afraid for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord, he said. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors”.
Elijah felt like a failure because his expectation of Israel turning to God even Jezebel didn’t happen after a great victory over the prophets of Baal. It seemed like the hope, purpose and struggle of his whole life would be ending in failure.
B.They attacked and burnt Ziklag-What you have been through feels like you have been through a furnace (Ps 66:10-12, Isaiah 48:9-11). But bless the Lord for that fire. The purpose of the fire is to refine you like to be like pure gold. Jesus said when you go through fire, it won’t burn you. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out clean because Jesus was in the fire.
It may look like you have been reduced to ashes, but the Lord will give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes (Isaiah 61:3a). People will look for the ashes but all they will see will be the beauty of the Lord upon you.
C.They took captive the women, and all who were in it, both young and old but they did not kill any of them. Do you know why they didn’t kill them? They had Abigail among the captives. A woman with good judgment, intelligence and prayerful. With God no experience is wasted. Abigail in 1 Samuel chapter 25 was used by God to stop David from destroying her household. I believe with the grace of God upon her life, she managed to convince the Amalekites to spare the captives. Even before the Amalekites attacked, she must have encouraged the other women to intercede for their husbands who had gone to war and for their children. Their safety was no coincidence.
Your prayers are not in vain. They provide covering for your life, family and others. The lock down provided us with time to pray and the prayers you have been making will avail much and carry you through the trouble times.
Don’t give up praying for your families and communities, your prayers attract God’s protection over you in the day of trouble.
D.Your situation has made you cry until you can cry no more