..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Devotions From the Heart: Staying Encouraged

by Pastor Derek Gitsham

Staying Encouraged

"And David was greatly distressed, for
the people spake of stoning him because the
soul of all the people were grieved, every
man for his sons and daughters: but David
encouraged himself in the Lord His God."
(1 Samuel 30:6)

The timing of this scripture is of great interest.
The Amalakites had invaded David’s city, Ziglag,
a gift from the Philistine king Achish. He was
absent from the city when the Amalekites came
and burned it to the ground. Everything was taken,
including David’s wives and all the little ones
and wives belonging to his men.

It was obvious from the verse that returning to
find such devastation David’s men began to
question his leadership, and thoughts of even
stoning him for seemingly allowing this even to
have taken place. When emotions are hit hard,
reactions can be very dangerous.

Yet we read that David’s immediate response was
to encourage himself in the love of His God. So
often we allow the pain of difficult circumstances
to overcome us, so that we are engulfed in them,
instead of realizing that the Lord is there to be
our help. David was a praise man, he knew from his
psalms that praise was comely. He knew the secret
of staying close with God and leaning upon Him.

He once said “Though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou
art with me, thy rod and they staff shall comfort me”
(Psalms 23). The word used in Hebrews for “encourage”
means many things: to seize, fasten upon, be strong,
courageous, conquer, fortify, play the man, prevail,
be recovered, behave oneself, valiantly. There are
many more meanings but these will suffice.

Because he was encouraged he was able to approach
the priest to inquire what God was saying. He was
told he would recover all. What a lesson to learn!
There is no discouragement that need defeat us, if
we will only stay encouraged and being encouraged,
we will take and recover all. The Lord enables you
to do so.

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