Strengthen Yourself in Him, not the media!
6 Now 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 his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
1 Samuel 30:6
The story of David is always inspiring. The rise of a man, his fall and the way God redeemed him. I think this is a story for all of us to relate to. I have firsthand knowledge of God redeeming me in spite of myself. The understanding of the principle of strengthening yourself in the Lord is a pivotal point for a believer in Christ Jesus.
What does it mean? How did David strengthen Himself in the Lord? Why is this relevant now, that’s the old testament, we live under the new covenant.
Let’s tackle the old testament vs. new testament first. Of course, we live under the new covenant! Thankfully so! None of us are equipped to make it through the old testament which is why we need a savior. However, that doesn’t make the old testament irrelevant. We can learn so much from these mighty men. First of all, we need to understand these men were humans living in a fallen world just as you and I. Second, we need to understand the adversity these guys faced.
David was a mighty warrior, but he wasn’t the biggest or strongest. He wasn’t the fastest or the most wise. He was a man who sought God and trusted God completely. Its important for us to understand why David’s story is relevant.
We need to trust God. We are going to deal with some tough things in life. Hopefully we aren’t going to deal with our wives and families being stolen and being robbed of everything of value we have, but some of us might have to deal with those things.
We can all say we deal with things that are not easy and we all have struggles. There isn’t any place in God’s Word that says we will be free from struggle or suffering. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Jesus said we will have trouble but we should remember He has overcome the world.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Imagine that David realized this about God before Jesus ever came. He didn’t have the covenant we have. There wasn’t a savior for David, but he knew God was his source and provider.
We have an entirely new covenant and savior to turn to! So imagine the difficulties the people of David’s time faced and no Jesus!
So what does it mean to strengthen yourself in the Lord?
This is remembering all He has done for you. How much He loves you. That as the shepherd, He sought you and sanctified you. To remember to take heart because He has overcome the world- all the problems and suffering over the whole earth, He has overcome it all. He has paid the price for your suffering so that you may have peace.
Being fearful and worried is not peace! Jesus didn’t pay the price so you could be afraid or worry!
26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Jesus told us numerous times not to worry. Then he told us how to overcome these fears. He instructed us how to strengthen ourselves in Him! We must seek first His Kingdom!
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This is how David strengthened Himself in the Lord. This is how you and I can do the same thing! This is the path to peace and freedom from worry and the debt of the world.
How do we seek His Kingdom?
Through His Word as daily reading in the Bible.
When we seek His Word and we can see His Word and gain knowledge of Him which leads to understanding and wisdom. Through reading His Word, He will speak to our Spirit and show us His love and the ways He has fought for us, sought us out, and sanctified us.
This is where we find rest.
Remembering to thank God for all he’s done in our past. The more we thank Him, the more He reminds us of what He’s done. This is where we find our cornerstone in Him. Thanksgiving is the foundation of worship. When we give Him thanks and praise, He restores us to Himself. We experience His presence and we are strengthened and encouraged.
As we give Him thanks, He reminds us of more things He’s done for us. We start to remember things and see things differently. He shows us things He did for us we didn’t realize at the time. Things that looked like they were for our destruction, but He purposed them for our good.
This can be a time of rejoicing through listening to worship music or singing. We can also just talk to Him. Similar to giving thanks, but also just blessing Him and exalting Him. Speaking to Him about His glory and majesty. Verbalizing what an awesome God He is. How powerful and great He is. That He is above all things and has overcome the world.
As we do these things- seeking Him through His Word in the Bible, give thanks, praise Him and worship Him, we find ourselves strengthened by His grace and good will. We bring to remembrance all that He has already done for us and overcome on our behalf. This allows us to face the trials and suffering in the world with the encouragement and full armor of God.
I would encourage you to read Psalms. Even if it’s just one a day, hopefully 5 or more. Also, read Proverbs. Psalms will lead you in thanksgiving and worship. Proverbs will remind you of His authority and wisdom.
Remember the two greatest commands Jesus gave- first, to love God above all others and second to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Your neighbor isn’t necessarily your friend. This is the guy that bought all the toilet paper. You might be angry because he was fearful and bought it all so there isn’t any for you, but I would encourage you to remember that Walmart isn’t your source- God is. If you need toilet paper, He knows it. He has already planned ahead of you and will make sure you get all you need.
You might have to ask for it and seek it from someone else, but He also said the humble inherit the earth.
5 Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
I hope you leave you encouraged and lifted. That after you read this, you will be charged to seek His face and humble yourself before Him. That you will move into a place of peace and strength because of all He has done for you. That you will know that you can trust Him to provide for you and be removed of all fear and doubt.
Finally, that you will love one another, be compassionate and humble. Strong and courageous and remember that to honor God is to understand His authority and provision.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 3:8
Peace and blessings to you brothers and sisters.