30 Days of Hopeful: Day 25

Whether it’s a daunting trial you’re facing or an impossible dream you hold close to your heart, there are times you need to strengthen your hope.  Renew your grip. Strengthen your “feeble arms and weak knees” (Hebrews 12:12).  Hope can be an uphill climb.  That’s why I’m doing 30 Days of Hopeful.  Sometimes, we need encouragement  to “keep on keeping on.”  Agree?

Even the mighty warrior King David  knew what it meant to hit bottom and lose hope.  He and his men experienced a violent raid on their village while they were away at battle.  The vicious Amalakites burned their homes and kidnapped all the wives and children.  (Sounds a lot like Boko Haram’s rampage through rural Nigeria).

The Bible says that when David and his men returned, they found their wives, sons and daughters taken captive. The Bible paints a gripping picture of their trauma:  “Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.  And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters” (1 Samuel 30:4, 5 ESV).

Look at what he did next:  “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6 ESV).   The first response of this seasoned warrior was not to organize a counterattack, but to go to God for help.  And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?”

Here’s what the Lord advised:  “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue”  (verses 8, 9). So David  set out with his men.  They overtook and conquered the enemy.  The text tells us that “nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken” (verse 19).

David had learned over the years–through countless dangers and trials–to strengthen himself in the Lord.  He had trained his heart to hear God’s voice.  This wasn’t something he tried for the first time in the middle of a terrible crisis.  We know from reading the Psalms, that David would seek God often.  Seeking God was his “go to” response.  He knew how to abide in the light, so that when the dark times hit,  he was prepared to respond.

What’s your “go to” response?  Have you learned to strengthen yourself in the Lord?  Perhaps there are some practical ways you could refresh your commitment to seek Him daily.

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