Sources of Strength

In the hard times

Two incidents in David’s life illustrate how we can draw strength when things are not going well.

During the time when Saul was seeking to kill David, Saul’s son Jonathan “arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God” (1 Samuel 23:16).

We’re not told how Jonathan encouraged David. Surely just being there must have meant a lot. Also Jonathan probably had some well-chosen words and may have also prayed with David. Whatever he did, it worked! David was encouraged.

But what if no one is around to give us support in a crisis? What then?

There was the time when David and his men returned to headquarters and made the shocking discovery that the Amalekites had burned the city and captured their wives and children.

“. . . David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters.”

The story has a happy ending with the safe return of the captives, but before David knew how it would turn out, “he strengthened himself in the LORD his God (1 Samuel 30:6).

The same Hebrew word for “strengthened” is used here that was translated “encouraged” in the previous passage.

How did David strengthen himself in God? Surely he must have prayed fervently, and perhaps familiar scriptures came to mind. Maybe he thought about all the times God had previously delivered him. Whatever David did to strengthen himself, it worked.

Our ultimate Helper

Note that Jonathan “encouraged him in God,” and David “strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”

Later David could write, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer . . . . I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; and I am saved from my enemies” (2 Samuel 22:2, 4).

The stronger our relationship with God before a crisis comes, the better off we are when the storm hits. If we’re in fellowship with God, He is there for us, even if no one else is.

And that’s encouraging!


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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