by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
First, your encouragement cannot come from those who are defeated
As David faced the Philistines, he saw that the Israelites were afraid, and therefore they couldn’t face the giant Goliath. Let me give you an example of how to face a couple of giants that are around today. If you have a drug or alcohol problem, get away from other addicts. If you have relationship problems, don’t hang around divorced people who tell you how great living on your own is. You cannot get encouragement from a defeated army. You need to be around victorious people! Charles Spurgeon visited a church member who had stopped attending his church. It was a cold day so they were sitting around a fire. Spurgeon picked up a poker and stirred up the fire, and then he pulled out a white-hot coal and set it on the fireplace. In a few minutes, it was black and much cooler than before. Then he placed it back in the fire, and it became red-hot again.
The man got the point, and he was at church the next Sunday. If you have been hurt by what someone has said, don’t let that keep you down in the dumps, do something about it. Seek encouragement from victorious Christians, because other Christians can be a source of support and encouragement that will help you to be victorious.
It also helps to—Remember your past victories.
The enemy is quick to oppose us, and we tend to be quick to tremble in fear. David didn’t have that problem since he called on his past victories for confidence. We also need to remember the times when God has answered our prayers, and when He has removed us from hard situations, and when He has provided something we needed. We can have confidence in our God because we know what He has done for us in the past.
Also, the story of David and Goliath shows that—You cannot trust someone else’s army.
Someone else’s strategy may not work for you. Saul tried to give David his armor, but it wouldn’t work. And he wouldn’t use a spear or javelin, but instead he preferred a simple shepherd’s sling. God wants to take your history, your abilities, and your talents, and add His power to accomplish His purposes.
Last of all, we need to keep in mind that—The threats of the enemy are just threats.
God gave David victory in the face of the enemy’s ridicule! It was an easy victory, and do you know why? It’s because of what it says in 1 John 4:4,—“Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” When we are faced with a crisis, some of us will react with our heads, instead of our hearts, and forget to consult with God. But let me tell you about a man who definitely had “Crisis Faith.”
A farmer with great faith became a flood victim when a nearby river started extending beyond its banks. Although the flood was extremely serious, the waters rose rather gradually. At first, the farmer had plenty of time to vacate his place, but he chose to trust God. A neighbor drove to the farmer’s house in a jeep and urged him to leave while there was a safe passage out. The farmer assured his friend that, “God will save me.” The waters continued to rise and the man was forced to the second story of his house. Members of the local police department pulled alongside the farmer’s upstairs balcony in a boat and told the man to get in. He graciously expressed appreciation for their concern but said, “That won’t be necessary. God will save me.” Within just a few hours the waters started to rise more quickly and the current began moving more rapidly. The man was forced onto the rooftop. As he sat clutching the bricks of his chimney, a helicopter swooped in for a daring rescue. The farmer waved off the dangling sling and yelled, “God’s gonna save me.”
Shortly thereafter the man was washed away to his death. When he stood before the Lord he demanded an answer for God’s negligence. God replied, “What do you mean? I sent a jeep, a boat, and a helicopter, but you wouldn’t budge!”
“Crisis Faith” is believing God when the circumstances and everyone else says “You’re not going to make it.” I want to end with a real life application for this sermon.
Listen as I read these words found in a Dad’s diary: "My child was safe and sound last night, but I wasn’t sure, and I was scared...nervous ...ill at ease. I worried all evening —the very thing the Lord condemns. This morning’s Bible reading took me to 1 Samuel 17: David and Goliath. Though I know the story, I’ve never seen it quite like I have today. There was something new: the real lesson of 1 Samuel 17 is not the comparison between David and Goliath—but between young David and old King Saul. King Saul’s reaction to the challenge that Goliath made to Israel is found in verse 11: 'When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.' Saul was shaken because he compared himself with the giant instead of comparing the giant with God. He was worried and anxious, and afraid. Exactly like I would be if I faced this giant. David’s take on the situation is in verse 47: “The battle is the Lord’s.” He didn’t underestimate the difficulty of his circumstances, but neither did he underestimate his Ally. He said to King Saul, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Please join me as I pray. Lord, thank you for reminding us that both the battle and the victory are yours. Forgive our Selfishness. May each of us be a David, a man after your own heart, trusting, calm, confident, wise, and waiting for your strong arm to win the victory? And show us how to use that spiritual slingshot when we need it. It’s in Jesus name that we pray. Amen.
Friends, we must become people after God’s heart through simple, living faith; faith that will not fail in a crisis. Realistically, we must gain encouragement from remembering our victories, and allowing God to use us, despite circumstances or obstacles.
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