Need Encouragement? Powerful Lesson from Long Ago

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David’s life could not have been much worse. His people’s enemy, the Amalekites, had captured the women, burned their city, and taken captive their sons and daughters. As if that were not bad enough, the people were so distraught over their horrific trials they considered stoning David. David could have run away. He could have killed himself in an effort to escape from it all. He could have given up and spiraled into an ever deeper depression. But David did something instead that is a powerful lesson to us all.

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David “encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” David didn’t reach out to and depend on the encouragement of others. But neither did he allow himself to get swallowed up in grief, disappointment, discouragement, and depression. And when he decided to encourage himself, he did not do so in some random way. He did not merely pat himself on the back and puff himself up with pride in an effort to encourage himself. He did not arrogantly consider his successes in the past. He very specifically and clearly encouraged himself IN THE LORD. How do I know? Because the Bible says so.

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The word “encourage” in this context according to the concordance also means in the original Hebrew language, “strengthen, fortify, recover, mend,” among other definitions. Imagine all that David received when he found his encouragement in the Lord!

David did not encourage himself in false gods and false religion. He did not encourage himself in idols and false beliefs. He encouraged himself in THE LORD HIS GOD. Lord of the universe. Creator of the world. Savior of the world. Yes, he encouraged himself in God. David had a man “after God’s own heart,” and it is to God whom He turned for encouragement.

He could have so easily turned away from the Lord. His troubles were beyond description. But he did not turn away from God. He turned TO THE LORD. He found encouragement in the Lord. He found en-COURAGE-ment with the Lord. He needed COURAGE, and he found it in the Lord. And with renewed vigor, he did not run to the Lord for encouragement and then quickly turn away, drowning in his sorrows or living a defeated life and leaving his people’s troubles to them. Nor did he find encouragement in the Lord and run off to do his own thing now that he felt better. David ENCOURAGED himself in the Lord AND “enquired at the Lord.” Enquired? Yes, he sought the Lord for his next instructions. He asked the Lord how to proceed. And the Lord answered. And the victory that David and the people had was phenomenal. Everything, including David’s two wives, was redeemed.

Instead of allowing yourself to be swallowed up in disappointment and discouragement and distress and depression when you face trials, seek encouragement. Your encouragement may at times come from others, but the most important encouragement you will ever receive will be the encouragement you find in the Lord. Study God’s Word to build your faith, renew your mind, and undergo the transformation God desires for you; spend time with the Lord to build your relationship with Him; and seek His face in prayer and with a listening heart and ear to receive love, forgiveness, courage, strength, wisdom, discernment, direction, and anything else you need from Him to live your life in love and service to Him. 

Act 13:21  And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 
Act 13:22  And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. 

Act 13:23  Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: Acts 13:21-23
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1Sa 30:1  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; 
1Sa 30:2  And 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. 
1Sa 30:3  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. 
1Sa 30:4  Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 
1Sa 30:5  And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 
1Sa 30:6  And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake 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. 
1Sa 30:7  And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. 
1Sa 30:8  And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. 
1Sa 30:9  So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. 
1Sa 30:10  But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor. 
1Sa 30:11  And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; 
1Sa 30:12  And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. 
1Sa 30:13  And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. 
1Sa 30:14  We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. 
1Sa 30:15  And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company. 
1Sa 30:16  And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 
1Sa 30:17  And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. 
1Sa 30:18  And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 
1Sa 30:19  And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. 
1Sa 30:20  And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David’s spoil. 
1Sa 30:21  And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them. 
1Sa 30:22  Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. 
1Sa 30:23  Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. 
1Sa 30:24  For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. 
1Sa 30:25  And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day. 
1Sa 30:26  And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD; 
1Sa 30:27  To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir, 
1Sa 30:28  And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa, 
1Sa 30:29  And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites, 
1Sa 30:30  And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chorashan, and to them which were in Athach, 

1Sa 30:31  And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt. 

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