1 SAMUEL 30:6 – And 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 for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
THEME OF THE DAY. DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT. Okay, we may not be feeling the weighty discouragement of a possible literal stoning like David in today’s scripture, but we each know what it is like to encounter discouragements in the course of living life in a fallen world. We experience discouragement in our relationships, on our jobs, in our churches, through failed expectations, dashed hopes, unfulfilled dreams, and desires unmet. And that will never change as long as we are still battling sin within ourselves and living with fellow sinners. But like David, we do have a way to find encouragement during much discouragement. Here are the two paths to take to get out of the pit of discouragement.
First, do not expect sustained encouragement from anyone in this world. Such expectation is unrealistic because of sin. We fail people. People fail us. And in our own sin, we demand from people what they cannot deliver – contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment. The result is discouragement. We see this so often in marriages. All the expectations and anticipations quickly dissolve into reality. Marriage exists between two sinners. Yes, Christians, but still sinners who are unable to be the source of lasting contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment, and thus sustained encouragement. We are on the right path to the source of true encouragement when we accept no human being can provide only what the Lord can.
And that leads to the second path out of the pit of discouragement; the path we find David taking in today’s scripture – But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. True encouragement comes from the Creator who is also our Redeemer. It is found in the discovery of two things about the Lord that always leads to encouragement. First, the encouragement of His companionship. Yes, people fail us. Yes, we fail people. Yes, we have tense moments in relationships, but with the Lord, we are offered constant companionship marked by grace, love, forgiveness, and patience.
The second truth of encouragement found in the Lord is His speech. Is it not discouraging to receive unkind and cruel words from someone in the heated moments of a tense conversation? But not with Jesus. He always comes to us with uplifting words of encouragement, even when the Lord corrects and disciplines us. When discouragement comes, do not let it sour your heart. Instead, find a place of solitude with your Bible and listen to the Words of encouragement from the Lord. Even read your Bible aloud! I am sure it delights the God of all encouragement to hear us read to Him His very Word.
Dealing with discouragement. We must do it because life is full of discouragement. Do not deal with it by languishing in its pits of pain and disappointment. Be like David – run to the God of all encouragement and let His Word pull us out of those miserable pits!
PRAYER: “Father, help me to overcome life’s many discouragements by looking to You.”
QUOTE: “We either lie in pits of discouragement or rise above them by God’s delivering Presence.”