Response To Discouragement - Thursday July 30, 2015
Memorise: Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. - Joshua 1:9
Read: 1 Samuel 30:3-8 (KJV)
3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
5 And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
6 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.
7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David.
8 And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
Bible In One Year: Nehemiah 1-3; John 6:52-71
David's response to the distress he was confronted with, after his family and those of his men were taken captive, should serve as an example of what our response should be in the face of discouragement. The Bible in 1 Samuel 30:8 says:
"And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all."
Whenever you experience a loss, you need to go back to God to find out if it is possible to recover what was lost, and how such recovery would be achieved. Do not take it for granted that every loss must be recovered. Sometimes, when the Lord calls home a loved one who is very ill and going through excruciating pain, there might be no need for Him to return such a fellow back to life, except of course if He wants to heal such a fellow. Also, if a blessing is already becoming a curse or something else, it may be preferable for such a blessing to go for the greater good. Have you taken time to ask God about His will concerning your losses? Have you also asked how such losses can be recovered?
We can see from today's Bible reading that people respond to discouragement in different ways. Some people do not mind going to any extreme when they are discouraged. At the point of discouragement, David's men suddenly blamed the same leader who had been protecting them. They began to see their helper as the source of their loss. They began to speak against him and even planned to stone him to death! This shows the destructive power of discouragement. How do you handle situations when you are discouraged? Do you turn your helpers into enemies? There are some believers including ministers, who at the height of discouragement deliberately step out of righteousness and return temporarily to the sinful lifestyle they abandoned several years ago. This type of response is wrong. When faced with discouragement, encourage yourself in the Lord. Study God's word to receive a word of encouragement and direction. Pray to God, praise and thank Him for all past blessings and worship Him. Doing these may be difficult, but ask for grace to do so. Seek counselling from godly people. Also, ask yourself: what does Satan want me to do in this situation? Ensure you don't act according to his expectation.
Key Point: Discouragement is an arrow that must be returned to its source with haste.