Feeling helpless is not a very fun place to be. I'm sure we can all think of a few times when something painful or challenging has come upon us and we had no place to turn but to lift our eyes and voices up to heaven crying out "Why?' or "Help!". In 1 Samuel 30, David, along with his faithful troop of 600, also found himself facing catastrophe.
Remember, David had been hiding from Saul and living in the land of the Philistines in a city named Ziklag. David had temporarily "forgotten" his faith in all of his fear of being tracked down by Saul. He and his men returned home (to Ziklag) from fighting one day and discovered that the city had been burned down and their loved ones had been taken captive (1 Sam 30:3). Even David's mighty men had a problem keeping it together with this sight:
Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. (1 Sam 30:4 NKJV)
I can't imagine the helplessness these men felt. David had even a larger burden to bear. Had he not led his men out to battle, they would have been able to protect their city and their families from ruin. David was extremely distressed, however, we see that "David strengthened himself in the LORD his God." (1 Sam 30:6 NKJV).
In the middle of his distress, David sought God for comfort and found it. Although he had temporarily left his faith behind for awhile, (I say this because had he not, he would have been living with the rest of his people, the Israelites, and not been hiding out from Saul), he still knew that when things got rough, God would be there for Him. After seeking God for direction (30:8) God directed David and his men to the place where their families were being held captive and saved the day. David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away. (30:18)
God proves time and time again that He is in control and that He can deliver us in our time of need. I wonder, though, how things would have turned out had David not taken the time to strengthen himself in God in his distress. We need to do the same. How do we practically find comfort in God in the midst of the trying circumstances of our lives? How do we strengthen ourselves in Him?
To strengthen ourselves in God is to purposefully remember His goodness, power and strength to accomplish all that He desires for us in our lives. If we can remember that He is able to overcome any obstacle for us and that He only wishes the best for us, we can be strengthened and encouraged to press on to "fight" another day.
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
In God (I will praise His word),
In the Lord (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.