“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.” (I Samuel 30:6).
David and his men arrived in Ziklag to discover the Philistines had burned the city and had taken their wives and children captive. They wept until they could weep no more. The apparent loss was overwhelming. In their grief and frustration the men blamed David and spoke of stoning him, but David encouraged himself in the Lord.
Under God’s direction David then led a victorious march against the Philistines and recovered their wives and children without a single loss, but we want to give attention to David’s method of encouragement. There was no friend at hand to encourage him; his own men had turned against him. But when it appeared everything was lost, he turned to God for his help. He saw God as his God. He did not consider God to be at such a distance that He would not come to his rescue. He no doubt considered his many deliverances of the past and believed that as God had proven to be his help and refuge so often, He would not forsake him now.
You may have waited for someone to come and encourage you in your night of trouble, but no one has come. So you may ask, “How can I encourage myself.?” First consider that God is still on the throne. No matter how chaotic your life may be at the moment, God is still reigning. Secondly remember that daybreak may be just ahead. David and his men experienced the anguish of believing their families probably had been killed, but they were all recovered safely. The old adage goes, “The darkest time of the night is just before dawn,” and dawn may soon be breaking for you.
But even if your circumstances do not change and you have suffered some permanent loss—you are not alone. The Lord has promised not to leave you or forsake you. He will go with you through the deepest valleys and the coldest waters. Further you can also encourage yourself by remembering that trials are for a good purpose. The trials themselves and burdensome and distasteful but the end in view is good as God teaches you more of your weakness and more of His strength.
But the question may be asked, “What if my present difficulties are a restul of my own failure and sin?” You can still encourage yourself in the Lord because He is the God of hope. Sin can never be defended or excused but it can be forgiven. Surely you can already see the mercy of God in your life and can believe that His mercy endures for ever. So today be encouraged, encourage yourself in the Lord.