‘Can we remain confident in God’s love and His purpose for our lives when crisis looms or disaster strikes?’
The Day David Lost Everything
(1 Sam 30)
If anyone ever had cause to believe that God had abandoned him during a time of crisis, it was David.
David returned with his men to their hometown Ziklag, to find it had been attacked, looted and burned by Amalekite raiders. Their wives, children and possessions had been captured and taken away by their enemy. (1 Sam 30:3)
The Bible tells us that David and his men cried aloud until they had no more strength to weep.
And then, seeking a place to lay blame as grief turned to rage over the loss of their families, David’s men turned on him. They began to talk of stoning him in retaliation.
It had to have been one of the worst days in David’s life.
These dire circumstances had arisen from a leadership decision that David had made, which resulted in his men being away from their families during the time of attack. It appeared that he had failed to protect his own.
He could have given up.
But instead, David’s response resulted in breakthrough—the recovery of their families and possessions and the destruction of their enemies. It also helped position David for his ascent to the throne of Israel.
How did this incredible turn-about in circumstances happen? And what can we learn from this Bible account when faced with our own crises?
4 Things you can do in Times of Crisis
1. Don’t Cover up the Pain.
‘All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.’ Ps 38:9
David wept—he expressed his grief and anguish and let it all out.
One of the things we learn from David’s psalms is that we can be completely honest before God. The psalms teach us that we can ask God the hard questions, cry out our pain, and even express our doubts and rage.
But the Psalms do not stop there, and neither did David at this time.
2. Choose to Trust in God and Find Strength in Him
At this lowest point, we are told that David ‘found strength in the Lord His God.’ (1 Sam 30:6)
David held to the truth that God was still present with Him—that he had not been abandoned.
When we are faced with trials, danger, natural disasters or even spiritual warfare, God is with us. He is our Father. When we have no strength left of our own—He is our source of strength.
This is the ultimate test of trust.
David was overcome with grief, but instead of allowing his feelings to dictate his response, he chose at that time to turn to God.
Trust is not a feeling; it is not something that we need to look within ourselves to supply.
Trust is based on the sure knowledge that God is completely trustworthy.
David wrote in the Psalms, ‘The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.’ (Ps 18:2)
3. Ask God Questions and Find out what He is Saying
David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” (1 Sam 30:8)
Does evidence seem to point to God having abandoned you? To His destiny for your life not being fulfilled? Are people around you, like David’s men, expressing a negative opinion?
David did not respond to the talk of his men; he did not respond to his feelings or the circumstances he was presented with. He responded to the word of God.
When faced with a crisis, we can ask
- What is the truth in God’s Word—the Bible—that I need to believe about who I am, and about who God to me right at this time?
The next question is
- Father, what is Your specific word to me right now?
Through Jesus, we have a personal relationship with God and He wants to speak with us.
Take time to listen. 
4. Remember who you are and Whose you are—and Respond Accordingly
During a time of crisis, it is time to dig deep and to rediscover the foundations of our own history with God.
It is time to remember the call, the gifts, and the grace on our lives.
We know that David did that, because his response to this trial came out of the gift and anointing God had given to him from the very beginning.
We see that he responded firstly as a worshipper, then as a leader, and then as a warrior.
Perhaps he remembered protecting his sheep from the lion and the bear. Maybe he recalled slaying Goliath with a stone and the word of God—or the times God had rescued him from Saul and his armies.
David’s own history told him that even though the odds against him were great, they were no match for God and His word.
David took 600 men with him to pursue the enemy. When he had to leave 200 behind who were too exhausted to continue, the odds against him increased yet again.
But they not only succeeded in overcoming the enemy, they regained their families and possessions and a great deal more—all the plunder the Amalekites had captured from other places.
When crisis hits, take time to reflect on what God has done for you and through you in the past. He is faithful.
Your Story is not Finished yet
This crisis not only resulted in a victorious outcome, it came just prior to the fulfilment of the destiny on David’s life.
Ziklag was burned and their homes destroyed. This was a devastating event. However David asked God for guidance and was later led to take his men and their families and settle in the city of Hebron.
It was in Hebron that David would be anointed King of Judah, and later of Israel (2 Sam 2:4, 5:3)
Choose God, choose His Word, and you will find that the pathway through the crisis you are currently facing leads to your destiny.
There is another chapter ahead of you.
When problems or disasters take place—as the book of Job reminds us (Job 42:10)—life does not end there. Sometimes, it begins.
 I have found that journaling is always a great tool to record conversations with God, and this is particularly true in times of testing. To find out more about journaling, these posts may be helpful:
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog
Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries family