Dwight Fletcher | When life crumbles - Part 1
Today we want to pause to examine some of the common things that happen in all our lives and see what God has to say about them. One recurring theme is how quickly life changes.
You can be fine today, then suddenly all that you know changes dramatically, and life can feel like it's crumbling.
This is very similar to the biblical account of David in 1 Samuel 30. Perhaps no one in the entire Bible is a greater example of what to do when your life crumbles, than David.
David had been anointed king of Israel several years before, but he ended up running for his life from the reigning King Saul. So he was now living and operating in Philistine territory to avoid King Saul, who was trying to kill him.
In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men had just travelled nearly 100km from Aphek back to Ziklag, where they lived. They returned to find that the Amalekites had kidnapped their loved ones, stolen their cattle, and destroyed their city by fire, so they broke down bawling. To make matters even worse, David's closest associates were blaming him for the tragedy.
Think of what must have gone through David's mind as he stood over the burning ruins of his home, not knowing whether his family was dead or alive. He must have asked: "Is this the reward of the anointed - sleepless nights fearing for my life, harassed on all sides, living on handouts, and being an outcast?"
Perhaps you've had days like that. Where nothing seems to be going right, despite all the efforts you've put in and the promises you know that God has made to you. But you are not alone when you face feelings of overwhelming desperation - David was right there.
Yet, in one of the most dramatic 180-degree turns in history, the Bible says, "But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God." 1 Samuel 30:6b AMP. David then rallied his troops and went after the Amalekites, whipped them soundly, and recovered every family member, safe and sound.
It's one of the most dramatic instances of a personal turnaround anywhere - and the Word of God gives us the key insight into how it was achieved. God wants you to identify with David, not only in his sorrow but also in his breakthrough.
When you read some of David's psalms, you can't help but be amazed that he starts writing a song while he's discouraged and ends the same song encouraged! He learned how to see the light in dark days.
THERE IS HOPE
Even in life's darkest days there is hope. There is a source of encouragement. You don't have to accept the circumstances and what they look like, you can trust that God is going to work things out somehow.
This episode in David's life echoes the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the foundational principles of the good news about Jesus Christ is of his grace or undeserved favour.
God will restore what the enemy has stolen from your life. In the Garden of Eden, the enemy stole our right to be children of God and to experience the benefits that come with it.
As a result, we were all born in 'Ziklag' - a place of devastation and pain where life falls apart. But on the cross, Jesus reclaimed all that was stolen from us. He went to battle, conquered sin, death and the grave. He went and disarmed the enemy for us so that we could partake of the spoils of battle.
We didn't even take part in the battle, but because of His grace - undeserved kindness - when we accept Him, we get to take part in His victory.
As we look at all that face us today, I want us to recognise that God still saves. When your life crumbles, if you want to overcome, you have to:
- put worship before warfare.
- realise God is doing something bigger.
- ask God for direction.
- treat others with grace.
Next week, we will look at each of these in detail, but start by encouraging yourself in the Lord and believing that He has already won your battles for you through Jesus Christ.