I was recently reminded of a Biblical Life Lesson that has carried me since October 6, 2001. The message was preached by James Payne a visiting preacher at Church on the Rock in Lee’s Summit.
It starts in I Samuel 16, David is anointed by Samuel and the spirit of the Lord comes on David from that point. He is this little shepherd boy minding his own business. He is selected over his older brothers and he was given a dream of being king of Israel because of his heart for God. David goes back to the fields, time passes.
David kills Goliath and wins favor with Saul, he develops a relationship with Jonathan, the king’s son, is favored by Israel. Then David is hated by King Saul and he seeks to kill David. David flees for his life, Saul chases leaving a trail of destruction in David’s path because he is so angry at those who help David. David tries to show Saul that he does not seek to harm his king, by getting close enough to kill the king, but sparing the king’s life. David eventually flees to the land of the Philistines.
Skip forward to I Samuel 30 which is where James Payne message started. Fifteen years pass for this man who didn’t ask for it but was given the dream of being King of Israel. Things have not really went that well for “God’s chosen”. For every sign of favor, he has been met with hatred and fear of death by the king he will one day replace. He fights battles against giants, warriors, and the king’s army after being anointed. He has men who stay by his side, but that really want him to just step into his anointing.
Then David comes to Ziklag, “a place of regret” with his army. All of the children, women, and possessions including David’s were taken captive and the city had been burned to the ground. The people begin to lift their voices and weep until that had “no more power to weep.” The people he was with turned against him wanting to stone him in their grief.
David turned to the Lord and strengthened himself. He then asked God what he should do about the situation, and God say that he should pursue them and overtake them and he would recover all. A few scriptures later, David and a fraction of his men have recovered everything – the women, the children, and the spoils that were taken. They danced and celebrated. A few days later they learn that King Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle. David mourns their death, and six days from losing everything he is anointed as King of Judah (II Samuel 2) and a few battles later as King of Israel (II Samuel 5).
I looked back at my notes from James Payne’s message. It had a seven points:
1) When things are at their worst, God is at his best
2) Out of the ashes, you will find advancement
3) Don’t cry too long because you delay the dance and deliverance
4) Talk to the Lord ask him 1) should I pursue 2) Will I overcome
5) Encourage yourself in the Lord
6) Take back what you have lost
7) Look past the suffering to the joy that will carry you through to victory
The point he didn’t number but said that has stuck with me for thirteen years is “The blessing is always closer than Satan wants you to think.” Every time I am going through trials and tribulations God brings back that message to my memory and sends someone along my path to say something along that line. Every time I feel like “I can’t go on,” whatever I am going through, I just have to ask what happens if the blessing will be here tomorrow, or this week.
It is easy for us to look back at “Bible Stories” and imagine these super heroes of faith, but I can read through the Psalms and see that David had those moments where he just felt like giving up. It is easy to give up. It takes nothing and most of our society is trained to do this because then we are a victim of our circumstances. We can blame our parents, an abuser, a relationship, a failure of someone else for anything. We can live in that failure and no one blames us. However, it doesn’t move us any closer to the destiny that God has placed inside us. And the truth is, the only person who can keep us from the destiny God has for us, is us.
David knew the secret revealed in Romans to overcoming trials successfully. He knew that weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. He took the time in the midst of mourning to encourage himself in the Lord, and then he obeyed God and took back what the enemy stole from him.
This scripture found in Romans 5:1-5 can be summarized with Faith Triumphs Troubles.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
We need to seek God deeper during those times because in order to get to our anointed appointment in Christ we must go through the trials and long tribulations. We must steadily persist in God’s course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. This perseverance will develop our character. And in our Character we can find hope knowing that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best (Romans 8:28). Hope will lead us to our God-given destiny.