April 4, 2017

April 4, 2017

1 SAMUEL 28-31

Focus Verse: When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Now David’s two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:3-6


What we do in the middle of the darkest storms life has to offer is the best evidence for who we really are. Who, or what, do you turn to when life gets hard? I’m not talking about a bad day at work. Cindy Lou Who talked bad about you behind your back doesn’t quite compare to what we see here in 1 Samuel 30. David’s entire family just got kidnapped. On top of that, all of those men around him want to kill him because he put them in the position where their families got kidnapped too. Now that’s a bad day.


One of the most common reasons for turning away from belief in God is that we think when we sign on the dotted line of our new believer’s card and give our heart to Christ, that everything is supposed to get magically better. Once we decide to follow Jesus, He waves a wand and everything gets easy. He wipes away every tear, heals every pain, takes care of every problem. The problem is there is absolutely no scriptural backing for this belief. If following God led Jesus to the cross, then we aren’t going to be able to avoid that same fate when we follow Jesus.


So the question then becomes, not what will you do if the hard times come, but what will you do when the hard times come. In this passage we see that David found his strength in the Lord. But pay careful attention to the fact that he didn’t start there. He first wept until he didn’t have any strength left to weep anymore.


It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to question. It’s ok to struggle. In FACT, you could successfully argue that it’s mandatory to do these things in your walk with God. It’s how you do them that matters: cry TO God; ask your questions TO God; struggle TO God. Then He can give you the strength to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue to fight.


You cannot successfully strengthen yourself unless you strengthen yourself IN the Lord. Sure, you might be able to pull yourself up by the bootstraps once or twice, but to do so for an entire life, to go through everything that this life has to throw at us and expect to come out on top…no one can do that…except for one who claimed to be the Son of God.


And even He was trampled by life. He was crushed, abandoned, laughed at, broken, pierced…all so that you and I could have the opportunity to be with Him forever. That is how you strengthen yourself in Him. You remember what He has done for you, and what He has promised to do IN you.

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