The Secret Of Encouragement
The Secret Of Encouragement
Have you ever gotten up in the morning looking forward to a new day and and in getting started something happens or someone does something that causes a crisis in your life that day?
A man who went to the doctor and ran into a mean spirited nurse at the desk. He said ma’am, I have this place on my chin and I would like to see a doctor. She barked, down the hall first door on your right, take off all of your clothes. He said I don’t think that will be necessary it just a spot on my chin, she snapped back, down the hall first door on your right, take off all of your clothes. He said ma’am it is just, she said down the hall first door on your right, take off all of your clothes. The man finally gave up, went down the hall first door on his right, he went into the room. There sat a man in his boxer shorts just shivering, it was kind of an awkward moment, so the other man tried to break the ice, stating, boy that sure is a mean spirited nurse, tell me about it, I am the UPS driver....
When we come to that place where we have to face a mild crisis or a heavy one, how do we go through that in come out of it encouraged? If we’re honest tonight we all deal with bouts of depression where things just don’t go as we planned. How do we respond to those situations in life?
1 SAM. 30:1-6 "THE SECRET OF ENCOURAGEMENT"
A) All of us have our crisis days when everything seems to fall apart.
* Days when it looks as if we have come to the end of the road & that God has turned against us!
* In this chapter, we see David experiencing such a crisis! * Here’s what happened!
B) He had just returned from battle to discover that the enemy had attacked his camp.
* They had taken all their goods & worse yet, kidnapped all the wives and children.
C) So serious was the situation that his own men talked about stoning him.
* How did David face this crisis? * He encouraged himself in the Lord his God!
D) A crisis does not make a man, it reveals what the man is made of!
* What we really are is revealed for everyone to see when a crisis comes our way.
E) It’s interesting to see how David’s men reacted when they discovered their terrible loss.
* Some sat and wept until they had no more tears to shed - v.4,
* Others complained & blamed David & some even suggested that they stone their leader - v.6!
F) You wonder how that would’ve solved the problem, yet people do the same thing today!
* How easy it is in a crisis to blame somebody else or to look for a scapegoat!
* But what did David do? * Well, he shed tears like the rest of the soldiers because he loved
them too! * But after that, he stopped feeling sorry for himself & turned to the Lord for help!
* "But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."
G) How can you and I today get the encouragement we need in the crisis hours of our life?
* Certainly the Lord is able to carry us through; nothing is impossible with God!
* There is no problem of life too difficult for Him to solve!
H) What should we do in order to receive God’s gracious encouragement?
* Let me suggest some simple steps, in fact, the very same steps David took!
(1) SURRENDER TO THE WILL OF GOD! * v.7 David asked the priest to bring him the ephod which was a priestly device for determining the will of God.
A) David asked the Lord if he should pursue the enemy and God told him yes - v.8
* Then David asked if he and his men would recover their loved ones & their possessions and again, God told him yes!
* So before David made any move, he first determined the will of God in the matter. How many times do we go out before the Lord in crisis and act before we consult the Lord. Men will lead you astray but the Lord knows best. We live in the age of fast paced living. Agree? I saw on the news the other day where you can now do your banking from your cell phone so you can plan other things. We tend to plan our lives and forget what the Word of God says about that. We talked about prayer this morning and how we should do that first in the morning. I believe there is a reason for Morning Prayer. That we do not plan God out of our day. He will prepare us for what is coming that day if we let Him. Amen? James talks of this
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
B) God knows the end from the beginning & He knew long ago that you would need His help today! * So when a crisis comes, the 1st thing we should do is surrender to the will of the Lord! God I don’t know why this is in my life but I trust you to use it for my good and your glory
* God has a purpose to fulfill & if we surrender to Him, it’ll work out for our good & His glory!
* To fight God’s will, complain or blame others is but to miss the blessing God has for us in these experiences!
* Gal.6:5 "For every man shall bear his own burden."
C) David encouraged himself in the Lord his God by surrendering to God’s will.
* But David didn’t stop there - he did something else!
(2) HE ASKED GOD FOR STRENGTH! * He needed strength to do what needed to be done!
* David & his men were tired from the battle, & the emotional strain of the crisis had weakened them - v.10, but in obedience to the Lord, they mounted & rode off in pursuit of the enemy!
A) Where did they get the strength? * God gave it to them!
* When God tells us to do something, He always gives us the strength we need to obey!
B) Now, they could have argued with God! * "God, I’m too tired ......." the Hebrew word used here for faint means dead tired
* God gave them strength they needed & God will give you the strength that you need in your hours of crisis! * He who walks with God, prays and reads God’s word,
* Will discover unusual strength from the Lord in the hours of darkness in his life!
C) Isa 40:31 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint
* The wonderful thing about being a Christian is that we have a strength not our own!
* Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
D) This is the second step in facing the crisis hour!
* 1st, surrender to God’s will, then depend on God’s strength!
* His strength never fails! * But there is a third step!
(3) DAVID TRUSTED GOD TO DO THE REST! * There were several questions David could have purposed God to answer before he went
1.How will I ever find where the enemy is hiding? * And if I did find them, suppose they are stronger than our army?
* Was there enough time left? * Perhaps the enemy done killed the wives & children!
A) So many questions went through David’s mind. * But then, he just turned it all over to the Lord and trusted God to do the work!
* God did work in a wonderful way, for he led David right to the enemy camp!
B) They caught the enemy by surprise & recovered all their wealth & loved ones,
* Plus the loot of the enemy they left behind!
C) It was a great victory & like all victories, it was one of faith!
* We are to live by faith! * So when a crisis comes in our lives, there are some things we can do, but there are many things we can’t do, that’s where faith comes in!
I love the analogy that *Charles kettering writes for it has the same theme that we too must understand when faced with crisis and depending upon God He said, “ When I was research head of General Motors and wanted a problem solved, I'd place a table outside the meeting room with a sign: Leave slide rules here. If I didn't do that, I'd find someone reaching for his slide rule. Then he'd be on his feet saying, "Boss, you can't do it."
· D) Psalm 37:5 "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
* Like David, we must do what God tells us to do, but also like David, we must trust God to
do those things we cannot do ourselves!
* Faith controls the actions of our lives! * The way we believe God determines how we behave!
E) David set out in pursuit of the enemy, trusting God would direct him & give him the victory
and God honored his faith!
* Right now, you may not see how your problem is gonna be solved, but God sees & that’s all
that matters! * If you look at yourself, you’ll get discouraged!
F) If you look at circumstances around you, you’ll get discouraged!
* But if by faith you look to Jesus, then like David, you will encourage yourself in the Lord .......
A) In these difficult days, learn the secret of encouraging yourself in the Lord your God!
* Surrender to God’s will;
· Depend on God’s strength &
· Rest on God’s promises by faith!
B) As you do, your discouragement will eventually fade and God will give you wonderful victory!