And again I say rejoice. The letter to the Philippians is full of rejoicing. There is always cause to be encouraged “in the Lord”. Whatever the circumstances or trials He remains constant, capable, true, equitable, merciful, just, fatherly and on course.
Since writing the poem “Ziklag” I have turned my thoughts often to David’s situation at the end of the book of First Samuel. In chapter twenty-nine it appears that his feigned support of the Philistines will bring him into battle against his beloved Israel, Jonathan and Saul. In chapter thirty, graciously spared from this encounter, he is sent back to Ziklag to find it in ruins and all loved ones taken captive by the Amalekites. “But David encouraged himself in the Lord”
I love what F.B. Meyer the beloved Bible expositor says about this:
“But this was the hour of his return to God. With the charred embers at his feet and anxiety gnawing at his heart, with the threat of violence in his ears and bitter compunction of conscience, 'he encouraged himself in the Lord'. From that hour he was his old, strong, glad, noble self. After months of neglect, he bade Abiathar bring him the ephod, and he enquired the will of God. Then with marvelous vigor he went in pursuit and recovered all. He had been brought out of a horrible pit, and again his feet were on the rock, Psalm 40:2. His ‘goings’ could now be established.” (F.B. Meyer Bible Commentary, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 1984, previously entitled, Through the Bible Day by Day)
In chapter thirty-one we find that the Philistines have defeated and killed Saul and Jonathan. David is now on his way to a throne at Hebron and an anointing as head over Judah. No longer the self-doubting fugitive. Indeed the darkest hour had been just before dawn.
Are you discouraged? In a valley of dire circumstances? Your faith feeble and dry? Go yet again to God.