Strength in Trials

Last night was a great opportunity to connect with some friends at the Centennial Dinner. This is the dinner the night before the Republican State Assembly. State Chairman Ryan Call covered the cost of our meals and gave us VIP seating and recognized our presence during the banquet. We were humbled and honored by the gracious comments and the reception of those we have known for several years.

When we entered the hotel lobby for the event it wasn’t long before we connected with two of the individuals I was hoping to see: Congressman Corey Gardner (running for the US Senate) and Former Congressman Bob Beauprez (running for Governor) [see picture above] These are two men that I am confident that have a heart to serve the citizen so of Colorado and lead with integrity.

Today was a busy day. It started off good with pastries from Lamar’s Donuts and then a haircut appointment, lunch at Sonic (first stop since being hospitalized last July) and then a trip to Jiffy Lube to get an oil change for the van.

My plan was to go to the church parking lot and drive the van around, but our time didn’t permit. By the time we go home in the early afternoon it was time to get ready for our Saturday evening church service. I am hosting a table in the “mall” at Timberline Church for Teen Challenge this weekend so we needed to be there earlier than normal. As a result, I didn’t get in the planned outside exercise, so will need to make up for it with my regular routines.


David was in great distress because the people in their bitterness said he should be stoned. (They were thinking of their sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.) 1 Samuel 30:6 (GW)

This account of scripture takes place when David is running from Saul and actually hiding out in a Philistine city called Ziklag. David and his band of men were ready to go to war along with the Philistines, but the Philistine generals didn’t trust David so the King made him go home.

After facing this rejection, David returns to Ziklag and finds that raiders have attached the city, burned it and taken their wives and children captive. In the midst of it all David’s men in their grief talked about stoning David, blaming him for what had happened as their leader.

What you do when you just have one of those days when nothing is going your way?! To understand the value of David’s response it is important to consider what his response could have been. He could have ran. He could have fought. Certainly he would not have been by himself; somebody or enough men should have been loyal that he could have at least taken out the most vocal critics. He could have just defended himself and pleaded his case and tried to “talk these men down.”

But scripture says, “David found strength (or strengthened himself) in the Lord His God.”

David realized that his actions were critical for his own well being and the well being of his men.

Instead of puffing up his chest, David got down on his knees. He did not exert the honor due him, but he humbled himself before God.

The next step he took was to seek direction from God.

Then David asked the Lord, “Should I pursue these troops? Will I catch up with them?” “Pursue them,” the Lord told him. “You will certainly catch up with them and rescue the captives.” 1 Samuel 30:8

Pastor Bill Johnson in the devotional book, “Spiritual Java” observes, “Some people face storms [trials] because they took a left when God took a right…Others face storms because they are in the middle of God’s will…but He wants to train [them] to use tools He’s given you to calm it. (pg. 30)

It is certain that the storms and trials of life are a motivator to seek the Lord. And I am glad the Lord hears and answers our prayers of desperation. However, it is cultivating a consistent life of prayer and worship that allows us to stay steady and to respond to the issues of life in way that honors God and reflects trust in Him.

Bill Johnson continues later and says, “The time to pray is beforehand, as Jesus did, crying out to God in private when nothing is going wrong. That’s how to store up power and create an inner atmosphere of peace and faith that you take with you into the troubling situation.”  (Java, pg. 31)

This relates to another area of discipline in our Christian life. We need the consistency of prayer and worship to cultivate our relationship with God day by day.  This is a response motivated by love, not the impending or present crisis.  The bottom line is that the commitment of today becomes the calming effect and the default for the crisis that comes tomorrow.

Johnson, B. et al (2010) Spiritual Java. Destiny Image Publishers. Shippensburg, PA