Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0002
WHEN YOU RECEIVE A MASSIVE "BODY BLOW"
In 1 Samuel 30:1-20 we read of a time in David's life when he had been on "a mission for God." On his return home to Ziklag he discovered the enemy had done a raid on his town, burnt their houses and kidnapped their wives and children. David and his men were devastated! How could such a thing happen? Very quickly their victory and the taking of the spoils were turned into heart-rending grief. The enemy had struck a massive "body blow" that really hurt them to the core of their being. (The name "Ziklag" means "enveloped in grief" or "winding, bending").
Tragically, even David's own men, his fighting warriors, his own "brothers in the faith," did not handle their grief well. Seeking to lay the blame on someone, they turned on David and pointed the finger at him. This was another very cruel blow he could do without at that time. But it happened. It was real. David became the focus of their hurt and rage. What could he do? None of his men carried the "ministry of encouragement" in that moment - rather the exact opposite. They were "enveloped in grief" and vicious. It was a case of "a man's enemies being those of his own household" (Matthew 10:36).
What could David do?
David knew in his heart that when men do not encourage you, you always can still go to God. David made a decision that was to turn the whole situation around and see everyone recover that which the enemy had stolen.
What was that decision?
"DAVID ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD"! (v.6).
David began talking positively to himself! He "dug deep" into his spirit and began releasing encouragement - to himself! That decision and step of faith caused him to rise to a place where he could discern the voice of God for the situation. That place where he knew again God was in charge and God was able to bring good out of evil. God instructed him to rise up, go after the enemy and he would, without fail, recover all. David did that - and David recovered ALL! He didn't just sit there feeling sorry for himself and his circumstances, and neither should we. Life is too short to let others, even negative Christians, keep us down in defeat and despair.
Life has many twists and turns for us. There are times when we, too, experience deep grief through the loss of loved ones, wayward children, disappointments, rejections, etc. But one of the greatest hurts is that of being "betrayed" by your fellow workers, your Brothers and Sisters in the Christian faith. That is one we don't understand. But it happens; sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly.
How are we to re-act in those times? What are we to do?
One answer is we have to "get a grip" on our life. For if we don't, these things will destroy us, fowl our spirit and cause us to lose our focus on life.
David demonstrates that encouragement - self-encouragement - will lift us up, even when there are no others to encourage us!
Painful grieving, loss and defeat was turned into a very sweet reunion of family and possessions because one man knew how to encourage himself in the Lord. Not in seeking revenge, but in THE LORD!
Surely we can do that too!
YOU can rise! Today we encourage you to keep your focus on Jesus. Do not allow the circumstances to blind you from seeing Jesus. Don't look at the failures, the negative criticisms, the obstacles. Learn from them and rise through encouraging yourself in the Lord! Do that and you will, without fail, recover all! God bless you.
Please Pray This Prayer:
"Dear God, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I lay all my discouragements, hurts, failures and fears at Your feet. I forgive those who have caused these things in my life and I release myself back to the centre of Your will. I accept that release now and encourage myself in You, Lord Jesus. You believe in me! You are committed to me, and I choose to live in the power of that truth. In Jesus' name, Amen."