Several years ago, I suffered a devastating injury to my back in a car wreck and, as a result, my family and I needed a special kind of care. Because I was completely incapacitated for a time, our household experienced hardships that were new. Normal household duties that seemed minor when I was able to do them now felt overwhelming.
God showed a special favor on our family when he provided a young couple to step in and go the extra mile for us. They even moved into our home for a while to make our lives easier. Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundering — mundane duties were performed for us during a difficult season in our lives. What a blessing!
One Israelite who obviously knew God’s favor was the amazing young man anointed to be Israel’s king. From a young age David had everything going for him: he was a mighty warrior whom King Saul wanted by his side in battle. And he was charismatic! When Saul’s armies returned in victory, the crowds cheered David more than they did their king. Not only was he handsome, but he was talented, a musician who wrote songs that God’s people still sing today. Everything he touched seemed blessed by God’s favor.
And then things went wrong in David’s life. At one time he found himself hiding in a cave after fleeing from the king, who had turned against him (see 1 Samuel 22:1-10). And later David and his men returned to their hometown of Ziklag after fighting a hard battle. Exhausted and longing to be with their loved ones, they came upon their hometown filled with smoke arising from ashes. Beside themselves with grief, “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep” (1 Samuel 30:4).
Predictably, even the other men turned on David and blamed him for what had happened to them. While they were talking of stoning David, he made a crucial decision; instead of giving in to discouragement, he kept his faith and began to seek the Lord. “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (30:6).
Beloved, character is formed when things in your life take a downturn. In the difficulties you face, don’t lose hope and give up. Take those opportunities to press into Jesus and allow yourself to be strengthened by his power.