Read: 1 Samuel 30:1-8
Key Verse: v6
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
What Does it Mean?
The way people respond to situations can reveal a lot about their character and their level of faith. David faced a situation where instead of pulling together and trusting in God to find a way out of a very desperate situation, his men were turning on him and blaming him for their misfortune. It would have been easy for David to succumb to fear and anxiety, but instead we read that ‘David encouraged himself in the Lord his God’ (v6, KJV). The NIV translates this as ‘David found strength in the Lord his God’. The Hebrew word is ḥāzaq, a verb meaning to be strong, to strengthen, to be courageous, to overpower. It is the same word used in Joshua 1:9, when God commands Joshua to be strong. David turns his distress, or frustration, at the beginning of verse 6, into strength and courage by choosing to look to God for a way forward instead of allowing himself to be defeated by the situation.
When we’re facing difficult situations of our own, we always have a choice over where we put our focus and our trust. Distress and anxiety are very natural responses to challenges; however, we don’t have to stay in that state of distress. We can choose to stay in it, but we don’t have to. Like David, we can look to God instead, and choose to believe that He has a plan and a purpose and will strengthen and secure us and lead us through to the other side, as happened with David’s situation. There is no situation, no challenge, too big for God to handle.
There may be times when we feel surrounded by impossible challenges and when it seems that even the people we trust are turning on us. In those times – in fact, at all times – we must trust that God has a plan and a purpose and will lead us through even the darkest of valleys. Like David, we need to look beyond the circumstances and find strength and encouragement in who we know our God to be.
Journaling and Reflection
- In verse 6, David started out in a state of distress but ended in a position of strength, because he chose to look to God. We always have a choice in how we respond to situations. How easy or difficult do you find it to shift your focus as David did? Why?
- When facing challenging situations, how easy or difficult do you find it to believe that God has a plan and a purpose even in the midst of it? Why?
- No situation or challenge is too big for God to handle. How does this statement make you feel? Do you believe it?
Lord God, thank You that You give us the capacity to choose how we respond to the situations that we face in our lives. Help us to choose to look to You rather than stay trapped in fear and anxiety. Amen.