1 Samuel 30:3-6: So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David*s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
David encouraged himself in the Lord even though his wives and possessions and the wives and possessions of his men had been stolen. I*ve never had problems quite that discouraging. How about you? David himself was greatly distressed. And yet he was able to encourage himself in the Lord.
It is easier to be encouraged in victory than in distress. But we ought to be able to encourage ourselves in the Lord either way. We ought always to encourage ourselves by doing the Lord*s will and by studying the Bible.
Fairly recently I have discovered this new definition of what happens to me when I do what the Lord wants me to do and when I study the Bible. I AM ENCOURAGED. Sometimes I find encouraging passages in the Bible before I serve Him, sometimes I find them while I am serving Him and sometimes I find them after I have served Him. Sometimes I am encouraged before a victory and sometimes after. Encouragement should not just come from victory, it should come from serving the Lord and studying the Bible. Sometimes we don*t even recognize the victories He gives. Like the people of Israel in the following passage, YOU too can also be encouraged in doing the will of God and studying His Word.
2 Chronicles 31:1-4: Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities. 2 And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD. 3 He appointed also the king*s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD. 4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.