David and his band of men were on the run from King Saul, who had been trying to kill him. At one point the small army encamped in a town called Ziklag, where they settled their families. From there they went out to do battle, leaving their wives and children safely behind.
After a battle, David and his army were making a three-day trip back home when their village was suddenly raided by the Amalekites. This fierce enemy kidnapped the families of David and his men and burned down the whole town.
“So [they] came to the city, and, behold, it was burnt with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captive” (1 Samuel 30:3).
David’s response to this calamity was that “[he] encouraged himself in the Lord” (30:6). I believe he did this by remembering God’s past deliverances. In his young life, he had killed a bear, slain a lion, and brought down the giant Goliath. Now, as he agonized over this loss, he recounted those battles and the many others he had won.
David was saying, “I need a word from the Lord.” He knew that no one could encourage him — not the very wise captains under his charge or, indeed, any counselor at all. David had to have a personal word directly from the One who had delivered him from every desperate situation he had ever faced.
Beloved, the same is true for you and me today. There simply is nobody on earth who can lift your soul out of despair or keep your spirit encouraged through the duration of your crisis. We all must get our own word from the Lord. Like David, we are called to strengthen ourselves by recalling God’s deliverances in our lives. And we must also remember those times when God has proven fruitful in past generations.