Although King David is commonly known as a psalmist, he was also a skilled warrior whose training ground was in the wilderness where he took care of his father’s sheep. It was in that wilderness that he learned the art of shooting stones from slings, which led to the fall of Goliath. Yet, it was also in the loneliness of that wilderness that David penned many of the great psalms that we fall back to today. It was while taking care of his father’s “few sheep” that David penned “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” [Psalm 42:1, NIV].
As the youngest child, David had known rejection even to the point of not being included in the line up for being chosen as King of Israel. Yet, King David was not devastated by rejection and failures because he built his faith on a solid rock when all other grounds were sinking sands. Thus even in the midst of calamity, failures, short comings or challenges, he could still say “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name” [Psalm 103:1, NLT].
During the end of King Saul, David had sought refuge in the camps of the Philistines but was rejected by them shortly before they engaged Israel in the battle that killed King Saul. Therefore, David returned home with his men, only to find that the Amalekites had destroyed their camp and take all their possessions, wives and children. The Bible says, David’s men “were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters and they began to talk of stoning him” [1 Samuel 30:6, NLT]. David who was their leader had not only been recently rejected, had also lost his family and possessions but was also on the brink of being killed by the same men he would risk his life for.
Do you find yourself in situations where what you had intended for good is often misconstrued or misunderstood? Do you find yourself facing numerous challenges with no apparent solution coming through for you? Do you feel all alone and rejected? Do you find yourself wondering when others too would see your pain and suffering? Do you wish they would not only focus on their issues but yours too? I am sure some of these thoughts run through David’s mind in that moment. Yet, instead of being bitter, complaining or chastising his men for their ingratitude, the Bible says that “and David encouraged himself in the Lord” [1 Samuel 30:6, NKJV].
In this God fight of faith, you would have to encourage yourself in the Lord day in and day out. You will not always be understood or appreciated but you have to encourage yourself in the Lord. You have to take the sure foundation of the Word and stand on it regardless of whatever you are facing. Even in tears, you would have to enter your “prayer closet” and take the Word and speak it our loud to encourage yourself.
In moments of doubts or despair, I have found myself in a little corner by my room, saying over and over Psalm 23 and praying in the Holy Ghost till my spirit is revived, till the mantle of sadness is replaced by a garment of praise to the Lord.
So today, go ahead “encourage yourself in the Lord”!