In 1 Samuel 30, we read about how David was in deep distress and how he dealt with it. This man had a lot of reasons to be miserable. He was deeply distressed because the call on his life, the prophecy Samuel had spoken over him that he would be king, looked like it wasn’t coming to pass. He was probably also distressed because his great relationship with Jonathan had been broken by time and distance. He certainly was distressed because King Saul was coming after him, saying evil things against him and trying to kill him.
The chapter begins where David had just found out that his own family had been taken by the Amalekites, and he didn’t know where they were at or if they were even alive. Then this happened: “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, NKJV).
Many of you can probably think of some things that are bringing you distress in your life. What is giving you anxiety right now? What kinds of things keep you awake at night?
There are sources of distress that come upon you that are just part of life, but then there are people who deliberately speak against you and undermine you. The challenges seem to come back-to-back, and your stress builds. At first, you may be able to talk yourself through it and keep steady. As time goes on — weeks, months, maybe even years for some of you — the situations become overwhelming. This is where David was at this point, so how did he strengthen himself in the Lord?
That might sound like a paradox. When you’re under a lot of stress, that seems like the time that you would not be able to strengthen yourself. David is an illustration for us in this; if he could do it, you can do it! He didn’t manage this out of his own ability. Scripture is clear; David strengthened himself in God.
You have a choice today. You can allow all of those negative natural elements to crash over you like a wave, or you can rise up and find strength in your Lord because God is right there with you.