Daily Devotional: March 24

1Samuel 30:6
Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

Often in life we can suddenly, and inconveniently, encounter someone coming to you looking for some kind of comfort or wisdom to help alleviate a fear or anxiety they may be currently experiencing – be they a believer or not. Because of this, we can struggle under a heavy burden that comes from feeling like hypocrites when we “try” to offer wisdom and comfort when we aren’t feeling so “wise and comforted” ourselves. We feel ashamed when fear and anxiety is present in our own lives, but “put on our best face” under the misguided belief that “it’s what God would want”, or “it’s what they need right now”.

Why does God place us in situations to minister to others with a particular need, while we too are experiencing our own time of weakness in that very same area, and how do we handle it? First let us understand a few things: fear and anxiety are normal human responses. They are nothing to be ashamed or condemned about but when fear and anxiety have a greater place in our hearts than that of God’s word, we will quickly find ourselves in a bad place. Secondly, fear and anxiety were experienced by God’s greatest people. It is comforting to know that the bible never hides this fact. Two people specifically come to mind, David and Jesus.

King David: David felt great fear when, after coming home to Ziklag, he discovered his family as well as the families of all his mighty men had been kidnapped. There was even talk of stoning him because of it! David wept “until he ran out of strength”.
Jesus: Although it might seem unusual to think of - Jesus as God was also 100% human and felt fear and anxiety in Gethsemane to a degree which we, in our frail humanity, cannot comprehend. Matt 26:37-38 He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.

Lastly, both David’s and Jesus’ fears and anxieties were replaced with strength and confidence.

David: But in 1 Sam 30:6-7 we read - “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” “So David inquired of the Lord”
David’s fears and anxieties were replaced with strength and confidence when he was deliberate in his communion with and inquiring of the Lord. David made a deliberate action of engaging with God for the sole purpose vanquishing fear.
The result was victory over his fear and anxiety, pursuing the Amalekites, defeating them, and recovering his family. Therefore, our communion with God must be DELIBERATE.

Jesus: Back to the garden -
Matt 26:39 we read: He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed
Matt 26:42 A gain, a second time, He went away and prayed
Matt 26: He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time
Three times Jesus went to the father crying with honesty about his anxiety, yet each time being given a heart of confidence and strength to say, “yet not as I will, by Your will.” The result was victory over sin, death and gaining the redemption of all humanity. Therefore, our communion with the Lord must be CONSISTENT, and HONEST .

So, where does this leave me? When that person comes to you in their time of need while you are also struggling in the same area (it can be any area, but for this subject matter it is fear and anxiety), instead of falling prey to the misguided notion of ‘putting on a good face’, do this: Be Honest. For example: “Yes, I’m also feeling these things! Let’s pray with the very deliberate purpose asking God to replace our anxieties. And let’s come together frequently and consistently, engaging Him in the manner as outlined in Phil 4:6-7”

Jesus warned against hypocrisy for many good reasons – but one of the most important is because hypocrisy imprisons you to languish in private suffering while restraining your ability to minister effectively to others who so desperately need it. The reason God places you in these situations is; to set you free from hypocrisy, to free those whom He has put before you and most importantly, to give you victory!

QUESTIONS
Do you struggle with being honest with God – why?
Do you fear being honest with others when you are empty? 
Are you willing to ask God to reveal to you your hypocrisies?
Do you want victory?

FOR YOUR KIDS

Get to Know Your Kids
1. What superpowers do you want to have?
2. If you suddenly had the power to become invisible just for
a day, what would you do?

Devotional Questions
- Is the feeling of fear and worry normal? (Yes)
- In today’s lesson, which two men had these feelings?
(David and Jesus)
- Who did they turn to for strength and peace? (God)
- Can we be honest when we talk to God? (Yes)

Pray
Take time to pray with your kids.

Have Fun
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Whoever wins best out of 3 gets a cookie! (Or whatever treat in your pantry) Feel free to share the cookie if you the parent wins.

1 Comment


Dell Miller - March 24th, 2020 at 10:49am

Wow great devotional this morning!! My wife works for CV PD so she sees firsthand the craziness with this pandemic.. I am trying to be strong for her when she gets home from work even though I have been stressed also.. this devotional has shown me I not only need to trust God more but need to be real with my wife... and we can seek the lord together... and be real with him because he has experienced it himself... thanks and God Bless!!!! Dell