Hard Times, The Bible and a story from the life of David
We are living in difficult times. The world economy is in the middle of a deep recession. There are many hot spots in the world that could erupt into war at any time. Many people are dealing with financial or physical difficulties. Difficult issues come and go for each of us. Adversity forces us to make choices and decisions that may affect our lives and others for years to come. How do you handle adversity? Do you respond with fear, anger or anxiety? Maybe your response is why me. How should a Christian handle them?
The answer is in the Bible. The Bible is full of accounts of people dealing with difficulty. Some handled it wisely and some foolishly. We can take comfort in knowing that there is a godly way to handle times of trouble.
The first step in dealing with trouble is to take it to God in prayer. God cares about us and what happens in our lives. There is nothing that can happen to any of us beyond Gods control. David provides is with an example of taking our problems to God. The life of David was full of joy and sorrow. He endured many trials. Some of his own making and many a part of life. We can all identify with that. Consider this example from I Samuel 30. David and his army were returning to Ziklag. They arrived to find that the Amalekites had attacked the city. The women and children had been taken captive. Imagine seeing your home burning and then finding out your family had been taken captive. The people wanted to stone David as an expression of their frustration and anger. What did David do? The Bible says “ David, encouraged himself in the Lord his God. KJV I Samuel 30:6” In spite of all the destruction and chaos around him, he knew where to turn. The city had been destroyed, David’s wives had been taken and his people wanted to stone him. David didn’t panic or run in fear. He turned to God for guidance.
David turned to God. What came next? He waited for God to answer his prayer. It won’t do any good to pray about something and not let God answer it. “And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And he answered im, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. KJV I Samuel 30:8.” David asked God what to do and God responded. David not only asked God, but waited for an answer. David and his men pursued the Amalekites. They found an Egyptian slave that had been left behind by his master. The slave led them to the Amalekites. All of the women and children were freed. God answered the prayer and provided the means to find the Amalekites.
David did four things. First he asked God for guidance. One of the greatest privileges of being a Christian is being able to talk to God. We can take any problem, great or small into Gods presence. What an awesome feeling to know that God is waiting to help us with our problems. The second thing David did, was to wait on God. The scene at Ziklag had to be devastating. David was under tremendous pressure and his life was in danger. He didn’t rush to a decision. He waited for God to answer his prayer. The Bible does not say how long David had to wait before his prayer was answered. The third thing David did was to use the answer God gave him. When God answers a prayer, we have to follow through. David still had to chase the Amalekites. He didn’t just pray for the release of his people. He asked God what he should do.
The final thing David did ties it all together. He trusted God. It started with the prayer. He trusted that he could go to God and be heard. He then, trusted God enough to wait for an answer. Finally, he trusted God to give him the promised victory. We all can follow this wonderful example from the life of David. Take your problems to God. Who can give you a better solution to what you are facing than God. Wait for God to answer your prayer. Patience doesn’t come easy for most of us. We lead a fast paced life. We are always in a hurry to get somewhere we most likely don’t want to go anyway. God will answer your prayer on his schedule not yours. When you get your answer then follow where he leads. God will never lead you the wrong way. We may not understand the path he has us on or how our prayers are answered. It all comes down to trusting him to give us what he knows is the best for us. Pray to God, wait on God, obey God and trust God.