Encouraging Ourselves in the Lord

Thursday, 18 February 2016 11:03



All of us go through difficult times, and how we respond can either cause us to grow or destroy us. Many people grow bitter through trials, but others grow stronger and more like Jesus. Bishop Ron Rhea uses David as an example to teach us how to go through trials so that we come out the other side victorious and more like Jesus.


  1. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
    1. We all face crises in our lives.
    2. Where do we get models to encourage ourselves in Scripture?
    3. How we react is critical in terms of understanding the predicament we are in.
    4. As Christians, the first place that we go is to the covenants of God.
    5. If we are not careful, we can filter our struggles through our wound or hurt rather than the truth of God.
    6. Often the first thing people say is “why is God doing this to me?”
    7. Sometimes bad things happen to people who are in covenant with God.
  2. King David was a man who was familiar with tragedy.
    1. Sometimes we need to hear God’s confirmation for our lives both personally and corporately.
    2. Every church like every person will have opposition and seasons of trouble – our faith is often perfected through our sufferings.
    3. When you start standing for something, especially for the truth, you will suffer persecution.
    4. David was a simple shepherd of no reputation when Samuel came and anointed him to become king – he was 14 years old. He had few troubles before that. From the time he was marked by God, tragedies began coming his way. When you are a person of destiny, troubles often mark our lives.
    5. David’s first call after he was anointed was to face Goliath.
    6. When Saul heard people singing and ascribing higher honor to David, that is when David’s troubles really began – he was on the run for 13 years.
    7. There were times in David’s life where the only one who could encourage him was himself in prayer with the Lord.
  3. 1 Samuel 30 – David faced a most discouraging situation so that even David’s men thought of stoning him, but David strengthened himself in the Lord.
    1. What were some of the steps that David took in strengthening himself in the Lord?
    2. We discover the steps in the rest of scripture, especially in the Psalms.
    3. Psalm 139:23-24
      1. David asked God to search him – he didn’t get into a pity party or blame God.
      2. Once you start focusing in on yourself, bitterness is right behind.
      3. There is no way that bitterness can worship God.
      4. His first priority was for God to purify his heart.
      5. After the great calamity, the people were blaming David and supposing that it was because of some great sin in David.
      6. The people were looking for something to explain the great calamity they were going through.
      7. Sometimes an explanation created by men is nothing more than evil.
      8. David asked to have God deal with any sin that might be in him.
      9. The first step in a calamity is to humble ourselves before the Lord and ask Him to purify us from intentional/unintentional sin.
      10. Then we should seek to be led by the Lord.
      11. God dwells with those who are humble and contrite of heart.
    4. Psalm 22:9
      1. He started thinking about the vision of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and began reminding God about His promises.
      2. All through the Psalms David reminds God about his promises, which encourages himself in the Lord.
      3. He also declared the mighty deeds of the Lord.
      4. God is enthroned in the praises of His people.
    5. Psalm 63:1-4
      1. We must seek Him in His sanctuary.
      2. The church is the hope for a dying culture.
      3. It is impossible to experience the Holy Spirit and still be the same.
      4. We must always praise Him, bless Him, and never be halfhearted for Him.
    6. Psalm 46:1-11
      1. God is our refuge and strength.
      2. When God is our strength, nothing will terrify us.
      3. You cannot defeat someone like this.
      4. When you are fully persuaded, you may face troubles but you will not be defeated.
      5. We will never be removed regardless of what we are faced with.
    7. Psalm 7:1
      1. Put our trust in God and look to Him for salvation and deliverance.
  4. David regained his strength.
    1. Once you are strengthened in God, you receive the oracles of God.
    2. Scripture is where we consult and ask of God.
    3. God has a variety of ways of speaking to us.
    4. Once he was strengthened, he could look to God for direction, and he ended up pursuing his enemies and prevailing.
    5. Before we are strengthened in the Lord we cannot see the Word.
  5. When you are facing a crisis, if you stay where you are at you will become bitter.
    1. We need to strengthen ourselves, consult the oracles of God and then move.
    2. David was able to encourage the men because the anointing breaks the yoke.
    3. The men got behind David and they went.
    4. As they went, the way became clear.
    5. God divinely appoints assistance so that all of the glory goes to God.
    6. This is the same for our lives.
    7. There were 400 with David and there was 6000 Amalekites – God told David to surround them and attack them from all sides – God brought the victory.
    8. God does not need a majority – he just needs believers.
    9. The spoils of the Amalekites were great because they had been raiding everywhere.
    10. They got everything back and more, and their wives and children were not abused.


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