Whether you are in need of spiritual strength, emotional strength, material strength, or physical strength, God has it, and it can be taken hold of.
In 1 Samuel chapter 30, David is on the run from King Saul. Saul has been trying to kill David, and David and his men are living in the city of Ziklag in the land of the Philistines.
Periodically, David and his men go on campaigns to fight against the enemies of Israel. One day, as they are returning from having been out, they see smoke in the distance. Likely, one of them may have said, “That looks like it might be coming from home.”
They hurry back and find out that, sure enough, the city where they were living had been completely ransacked. Their loved ones, wives, and children had been kidnapped and taken into slavery by a group of Amalekites. The buildings had been burned to the ground. There was nothing left. They must have been devastated. It is hard to get your mind around what it would have felt like for David and his men in that moment when all was in ruins.
As if in your own life… you are in a season of really trying to serve God with all of your heart. It has been a good, fruitful season. There is a lot of spiritual momentum in your life. You are going to church regularly, and you are really connecting with God’s Word during your daily quiet time.
Then one day, as you head home from work, you hear a siren. You look around. In the rearview mirror, there is a fire truck coming behind you, so you pull off to the side of the road. A couple of police cars rush by as well. You think, “Well, I hope nobody’s badly hurt,” and you pray a little prayer for God to have mercy on the people they are going to help.
As you get closer to home, you see smoke and think, “Man, that looks like it’s coming from my neighborhood.” You get to your street, and to your horror, the fire trucks are parked in front of your house, putting out the last flames of a devastating blaze. Your house is in ruins. There are police cars everywhere. You get out and run toward your house, but a police officer grabs you, saying, “You can’t go in there.” You realize there is crime scene tape everywhere. You say, “But that’s my house. My family, are they okay?” The police officer pulls you aside and says, “Well, I hate to tell you this, but it appears that an organized crime syndicate of human traffickers targeted your family and have taken your wife and children. We don’t know where they are.” You stand there among the ashes of everything that meant something to you. The brokenness surrounds you.
There are a few little smoldering fires left. People are still running to and fro, but you are in a daze. You feel completely numb. Human traffickers? My children? My wife? That is what David and his men came back to at the city of Ziklag.
We pick up the story in 1 Samuel 30:6,
Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
Verse 4 says that “the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep”… and then everyone turns on David. They unjustly accuse him of being responsible, so now David has not only lost everything he owns, but he also is about to be stoned. His men are blaming him for all of the problems. Not only is he responsible for these men and now their families are gone, but his own wife is gone too. His children are gone. Yet, we read that “David strengthened himself in the Lord.”
Other translations say that David “found strength in the Lord” or “felt the Lord giving him strength” or “drew strength from the Lord.” The point is that David was perplexed. He was fatigued. He was unjustly blamed and sorrowful. How did he find strength?
In Isaiah 27:5, God says,
“Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.”
David took hold of the strength of God. The question is, how? Perhaps he reminded himself of past victories. Maybe he prayed. Perhaps he worshiped. Maybe he considered God’s faithful character or the strength of God’s promises. We don’t actually know specifically what David did. We only know that at this critical time, he found strength—and you can as well. You can take hold of the strength of God.
We know from Psalm 29:11 that,
“The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.”
And Psalm 46:1 tells us that,
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Whether you are in need of spiritual strength, emotional strength, material strength, or physical strength, God has it, and it can be taken hold of. That’s what this series of blog articles will help you do, through four simple steps that lead you into God’s ever-present and never-ending strength.
Maybe you are in the midst of a crisis right now. Maybe you are feeling heartbroken, perplexed, or facing unjust accusations. Whatever season you are in, know that God has strength for you.
Continued in part two.