This message was preached by Pete Harwood at Word of Grace Church Pune, on the 9th of March 2014 . You can listen/download to the audio by clicking here.
From experience we know that the Christian life is not easy. Believers all over the world face huge significant problems.When these times come how do we find strength to keep going?
Let’s see how David reacted in extreme situations.
1 Sam Israel was now in the Promise land but they had regular wars with the Amalakites
1Sam8 Saul was made King and then David is chosen. He starts off very well with his fight with Goliath. Then Saul becomes Jealous and Jonathan becomes his friend.
David was given Ziglak to live in v28
1 Sam 30:7
David and his men went to the battlefield when they returned tired they get a shock of their lives – their town is up in smoke. The enemy has taken away everything. Imagine is this happened to you - you come back from home from work and your family and everything is taken away.
What was their reaction? They wept till they could weep no more. Even David was not spared.Things go worse for David.v6. Bitter people find someone to blame. “It’s all David’s fault. Let’s kill him.” What would you do if you were David?
It’s a completely unexpected and tragic situation.”But David……”In difficult times we need to strengthen ourselves in God. Someone else did not strengthen him. David encouraged himself and He went straight to God. Everyone was exhausted so he went to the one whose strength never fails. He is not some idol. David had a relationship with God, loved him, sought him and worshipped him. He turned to His god. He learned to go to God whatever the circumstance.
When one compares his action s to that of others – it’s a challenge. Many churches are full of young baby Christians with an attitude of “pastor feed me, feed me”
Babies initially need to be fed but after a while they start feeding themselves. But many Christians have not learnt to feed/strengthen themselves. One meal a week will not give you the strength you need.
Like David we may find ourselves in a situation where there is no one but God. In these times we need to know how to strengthen ourselves.
HOW DID DAVID DO IT?
David prayed with complete honesty. Psalm 8:6
David knows God and is not afraid to say I can’t cope with this. We need to be honest and passionate. Not irreverently but passionately .When we come to God like that, we find that God is with us. You are not pretending that’s everything’s OK
He reminds himself about God and who God is.
Ps 18:17-19. David deliberately reminds himself of what God does.
David speaks to himself
Human emotions are both a great blessing and also very unhelpful sometimes. We can get caught up in despair. David couldn’t give in to his emotions. God has promised to be with you.
There is lot we can learn from David. God cares so deeply about our pain and suffering. So God gave us a permanent and long lasting solution. He sent his son who left the place of no pain and suffering to come here. WHY?
Because he wanted to identify with us and permanently set us free from pain and suffering.
He cried out in complete honesty as he hung on the cross. Where he died and took the penalty for our rebellion and sin. Three days later he rose - he won all those who believe in him have that victory.
When we are tempted to be discouraged we need to look back and look ahead. Jesus understands every temptation and suffering we have and says he will be with us.
Remind yourself of the gospel everyday.
There are many excellent resources to help us wherever we are. Eg Tim Keller is a wonderful resource. Take action- strengthen yourselves in God
Now David strengthens himself and he went and defeated the Amalakites and got back everything.
1 Sam 23:16 David also had other people who encouraged him. Jonathan walks around 20km to see David He goes to strengthen David’s hand in God. This is not just nice words but encouragement to get the job done. 23:17
Jonathan believed God’s promise and said “don’t forget the promise God has given you.
We need to encourage one another with God’s promises. Speak the promises of God into one another’s life. Let’s talk about the purposes of God.
Jonathan knew the very specific promise of David. Take time to build friendships to find out what God is doing. The promises he specifically has given each one of us. Heb 10:19-25
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log ontowww.wordofgracechurch.org.
English Language Service Sundays at 10am. Please check google maps for directions!