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David Heeded the Cry

You have probably heard the story of David and Goliath, where the shepherd boy David slung a stone, hit the giant Goliath right between the eyes, and brought him down. However, you might not have heard the story of one of David's worst setbacks, which can be found in the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 30. Coming from war with the Philistines, David and his men returned to their families at Ziklag. When they arrived, they were told that the Amalekites had attacked the city, burned it, and taken their wives and children.

As you can imagine, David and his men were devastated. The Bible actually says they cried until they were physically exhausted. For David, it got worse. Not only was his family gone, but everyone blamed him. The men traveling with him were so angry at him for their loss, they started talking about stoning him. Talk about a bad day!

No doubt David's heart was crying out for more—more favor, more wisdom, and more courage. He was greatly distressed, he was tormented in his mind, and he felt like life was crushing him. Through all this, however, he knew he had two alternatives: He could run to a refuge, or he could run to the Refuge. He could go out and get drunk, or he could go to God. David chose to run to God. He chose to strengthen himself in the Lord. He asked Him what to do, and God gave him the answer. He told David to attack the Amalekites and everything he had lost would be recovered.

As David and his men searched for the Amalekites, they came across an Egyptian who was dehydrated and starving. After they got some food and drink into his system, he proceeded to tell them he had been a servant to someone in the Amalekite army. He had gotten sick a few days before, so his master had left him to die. He knew all about the attack at Ziklag and led David and his men right to the Amalekite camp.

David heeded the inner cry for more and made the right decision: He turned to God instead of counterfeit and temporary sources of comfort and security. Everything he had ever experienced told him that the only way to come back from a setback, to bounce back and maintain momentum, was to trust God and follow His instructions.

David did what God told him to do, and he and his men recovered all their wives and children and even got the Amalekites' flocks and herds as well. Now that's a comeback!

First Response to a Setback

In the beginning of this book, I encouraged you to act upon your inner cry for more, to reach up from your darkness and take the hand of God. When you take His hand, everything changes because you are embracing all His promises and principles. The Bible refers to Jesus as the Living Word, and when you give your life to Him you essentially are saying, "From now on I'm living my life by the Word. I believe You know the way. I believe You are the truth. And now You are my life."

The personal relationship you have with Jesus is the first "more" your heart is crying out for, because that relationship will give you everything else you need or want—beyond your wildest dreams. The next "more" you get is a hunger for the truth found in the Bible. You even like God's commandments! The problems in your life will continue to challenge your momentum, but now you have a firm foundation to stand on, a foundation based on His wisdom and strength instead of your own.

The more you grow in your knowledge of God and His principles, the more you will be like the palm tree and bounce back. You will be like that tree planted by the river, pressing through adversity to be productive and creative and overcoming every circumstance and problem you encounter.

You are going to go from being a nervous wreck to a confident, loving, stable force to be reckoned with simply by heeding that inner cry for more and taking Jesus' hand. This is your first response to a setback!

Look up and hold on to the hand that will surely pull you out of your pit of despair and restore your momentum. Trust Him. Believe His promises. Face the fact that you are going to encounter problems. Learn His principles so you can overcome those problems. Then, one step at a time, you will move out of the pit and into the light.