Bible Society of South Africa
Carina Francke

Relationships – Day 16

The Lord and I: In adversity

Bible text(s)

19Good people suffer many troubles,

but the LORD saves them from them all;

Psalms 34:19GNBOpen in Bible reader

6David was now in great trouble, because his men were all very bitter about losing their children, and they were threatening to stone him; but the LORD his God gave him courage.

1 Samuel 30:6GNBOpen in Bible reader

There is no one who does not experience adversity at some point in their life. Some blame God for their misery, others lie down in sackcloth and ash, and others are in a towering rage towards those they suspect of being the cause of their misery. Adversity is part of our life in a broken world, but how we respond to it determines how it affects our lives.

David experienced numerous adversities in his lifetime, but his response to these trying circumstances was to appeal to the Lord for His presence, help, power, and ability to deliver from evil. No wonder he could say: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of it all” (Psalm 34:19).

We read in 1 Samuel 30 about the incident when Ziklag, the city where David lived when he fled from Saul, was burnt to the ground with fire and all the women and children were taken captive by the Amalekites. Note how differently people responded to the bad news: The grieving men wanted to stone David, whilst the equally grieving David “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). He refused to feel sorry for himself — he rather responded! The One who strengthens him, was his first step. He asked the Lord if he should pursue the abductors. With a “yes” from God, he and the men pursued the enemy.

God worked with them.

On the road, they found a sick slave of an Amalekite who took part in the attack on Ziklag. They fed him and in exchange for this favour, he took them to the place where the Amalekite gang was spread over the land, whilst enjoying the spoil they took from Ziklag. David’s victory was sweet — he defeated them, freed all the women and children, and took back the whole spoil.

This narrative poses a question to you: Do you love and trust the Lord enough to strengthen yourself in Him and to consult Him when adversity comes knocking at your door? If He answers you, do you obey Him? Because in the end, this is what strengthens you!

When someone strengthens himself in the Lord, he encourages himself, and literally speak aloud to himself: “Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God — soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God” (Psalm 42:5, The Message).

This self-talk is loaded with positivity — it leaves no room for despondency, doubt, or sorrow — because the person trusts God. He walks right through difficult times, because God is his companion. At the end of his struggle, he still has a song of praise, because God saved him.

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