I Samuel 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."
(Just a side note: David could not even seek encouragement from his wife at this time when all others turned against him. His family was gone! David certainly could have pleaded the validity of his complaints to God!)
I have heard many sermons and lessons on this passage of scripture, but a certain thought hit me as I read it today.
David did turn to God in prayer over this situation in verse 7, but, interestingly enough, David encouraged himself BEFORE he thought to pray. The preparation of our spirit plays such a vital role in how we handle different situations that arise in our lives. (This brings to mind Bro. Hyles sermon from years ago called "Preparing for Winter.")
We must study what things or outward stimuli cultivate in us a happy spirit...certain happy Christian music, certain people who uplift us, certain things we read or listen to, certain type of preaching or teaching, a drive in the country, an activity we enjoy, etc. We ought to make an art of the study of our spirit and how it is affected. This way when the time comes, and no doubt it will at some point in our lives, that we feel we would much rather quit than deal with a situation, we can begin bringing certain thoughts or certain stimuli in contact with our spirit that will begin to encourage and uplift.
Thus the importance of every sermon and lesson we have the opportunity to hear. We never know at what time we will need to draw from the strength of its truth. How important that we pay close attention every time the Word of God is opened and taught, or when we ourselves open the cover and read those precious pages! We must learn, like David, how to pull from inside of ourselves the strength to encourage our spirit and go on in prayer.
We cannot help lead others to encouragement if we ourselves do not know where to find it. When our heart is extremely burdened or heavy, we may have to strengthen our spirit first in order to make the logical decision of going to the Bible or going to the Lord in prayer.
What a challenge, God! To make a STUDY of our own spirit; learn what outward stimuli affect it and how. Then, in time of hardship, it will be easier for us to draw strength from within to help us turn to the One above. He in turn can give us the strength to help others!
I hope I was able to write down my thoughts in a way that does not sound "scrambled!"
Thanks, God, for this great truth today!
- ► 2010 (30)