1 Samuel 30-31, 1 Chronicals 10, Acts 20
The Amalekites just raided David’s camp. All the women and children were taken, and the city burned to the ground. The men returned to nothing. All hope was lost. Every spec of joy had been removed from them. Forever. Naturally, the men blamed David, their leader. If not for him, we would not be here, they said. If not for him, we would still have our families. If not for him, our homes would be secure. “And David was greatly distressed” (1 Samuel 20:6).
What do you do when you are in distress? Avoid it? That’s the easiest thing to do. TV, a good book, and maybe even a glass of bourbon. None of these help. Tomorrow, the problems are still there, and the distress returns. David takes a different path. The text reads, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” That sounds good, but what does it really mean to be strengthened by God?
First, we need to be comforted. Comfort comes with the assurance that everything will be alright. This assurance starts with our remembering who God is. Love and grace come to mind. Remembering who he is allows us also to remember what He has done. David does this all over the Psalms. He does it often, and specifically. The bigger perspective he gains from it brings comfort.
God does not, however, give us comfort for comfort’s sake. No, God’s comfort opens the door to courage and His courage empowers us to consider the unthinkable. This was true for David. With a renewed spirit, David fights for God, again and his victory is assured. So is yours.