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In 2020 and 2021, amidst all the upheaval and changes in our world, my Bible study talked a lot about current events. We discussed:

  • Critical Race Theory and Cultural Marxism
  • Gender confusion and Homosexuality
  • Right to Life vs Abortion
  • Apostasy in the Church (we studied the book of Jude)
  • Election Fraud and liberal, anti-Christian politics
  • Everything COVID 
  • Government overreach and control
  • Media manipulation and discrimination
  • The tragedy and travesty in the way the US withdrew from Afghanistan
  • and more.

After more than a year of discussing the trials and tribulations of our world, our country, our society, and our culture, we turned our attention to answering the question: 

What are we to do so we don’t lose heart and become weary? 

There are many answers to that question found throughout the Bible in the lives, faith, and works of many. We chose to focus on the example of King David.

David Encouraged Himself in the LORD his God

In 1 Samuel 30:1-5, we read that the Amalakites had taken Ziklag and burned it. They took captive wives, sons, and daughters, including David’s two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail.

1 Sam 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.

Read the last nine words again: “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”   In a time of great distress, David’s faith supplied him with inward resources of comfort and fortitude.  But what does it mean that “David encouraged himself in the LORD?”  And how can we do that?

Three Ways David Encouraged Himself in the Lord

1. David turned to God and found rest in the Lord

The world can, and does, lie and mislead us.  We often lie to ourselves and choose to go the wrong way.  Only God has absolute truth and the power to lead us in the right direction so we can find rest.  Therefore, David sought the Lord.  

1 Sam 30:7 …bring me the ephod here to me… 

2. David trusted God and waited on the Lord

Turning to God isn’t enough. We must also trust God. It starts with believing He is good, that His words are true, and that He is faithful to do as He says. Therefore, we can trust that He will answer and direct us; and we wait on Him. 

1 Sam 30:8 And David inquired 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.

3. David acted in the strength of the Lord

Distress and despair can cause one to do nothing or to act unwisely. Encouragement in the Lord increases wisdom and fuels hope to direct godly actions. Therefore, having encouraged himself in the Lord, David acted according to God’s will and was victorious.

 1 Sam 30:9, 17-18  So David went…And David smote them…And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.

How do we encourage ourselves in the Lord?

We seek the Lord, just as David did, by:

  1. turning to the Lord and resting in Him, 
  2. trusting in the Lord and waiting on Him, and 
  3. acting when the Lord directs and by the strength He gives us.

We’ve defined turning, trusting, and acting, but what does it mean to rest in the Lord, wait on the Lord, and be strengthened by Him?

1. Resting in  the  Lord

Psa 37:7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

How do we not fret when the wicked prosper?  By remembering…

We remember the truths about God.  He is a good Father who loves His children. He has made promises to us and He is faithful to fulfill them. 

Psa 20:7  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
Psa 42:6  O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. 

We remember God is sovereign over all things, including the wicked. 

Psa 115:3  But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
Prov 16:9  A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

We remember that God is just. He will, in His time, judge all injustice. 

Psa 75:7  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

We remember that all wickedness/sin will be paid for.

Psa 145:20  The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

We remember that in Christ our sins are forgiven and we are free. In times of despair and distress, turning to Jesus will give us rest.    

Mat 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

2.  Waiting on the Lord

Psa 62:1  Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.

How do we wait patiently and silently? By knowing…

We know that God is in control and has promised to work in His time according to His ways. Therefore, we know we can trust Him.

Psa 18:30  As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.  
Psa 37:40  And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them because they trust in him.

We know that God is faithful to keep His promises. Therefore, we know we can have confidence in Him.

Psa 111:7  The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure [faithful].
Psa 119:138  Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

We know that God acts according to His purpose and plan. Therefore, we know we can have hope in His will and His ways.

Psa 25:4  Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Psa 119:15  I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

Our hope is in the Lord.  

Psa 31:24  Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Jer 17:7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

3. Strength in the Lord

Psa 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psa 29:11  The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.

Strength in the Lord is not something we can do, like knowing or remembering.  Strength is a gift from God, freely given.  So why don’t we always have it?  Because we are not always open to receiving it.  How can we be more open to receiving strength from God? By turning, resting, trusting and waiting…remembering and knowing…

God allows trials, tribulation, and affliction into our lives.

But in all things, God has a purpose. He knows what we face and gives us what we need.  Thereby, He enables us to live in His strength.

Psa 28:7  The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Psa 118:14  The LORD is my strength and song and is become my salvation.

2 Sam 22:1,33  And David spoke unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: {33}God is my strength and power: And he makes my way perfect.

We need to see all afflictions as opportunities to grow in the strength and peace of God. 

We should respond with surrendered faith, fueled by a heart captured by God’s glory, goodness, and grace, knowing God will deliver us.

Hab 3:19 The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Summary

We encourage ourselves in the Lord just as David did  by turning, resting, trusting, and waiting.

Psa 27:14  Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

But waiting on God doesn’t mean sitting around and hoping God will strengthen us.  It is not a passive sitting back while time passes.  It is an active waiting that includes:

  • Believing God will do as He’s promised
  • Trusting in God’s mercy, grace, and loving-kindness to us, His children
  • Being confident that the Holy Spirit will teach and guide us.
  • Taking action, according to God’s leading.

Exo 33:14  And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Num 6:26  The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”‘

Check out the PowerPoint slides from our study.

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