“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion and a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from it’s mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears , and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!” The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from the Philistine!” 1 Samuel 17:32-37 NLT
I have pictured David’s time as a shepherd being fairly easy. I never thought of him rescuing lambs and killing lions and bears. He didn’t know at the time how God was preparing him to fight Goliath. David was ready. He didn’t let Saul’s lack of faith deter him from what God wanted him to do.
“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand , and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength and character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:2-4 NLT
Like David, I usually can’t see how my faith was strengthened by a trial until God brings me into another one. I can look back and draw strength from how God brought me through in the past. It can be hard for me to find joy in the midst of my pain. I want to scream, cry, run or avoid it at times. I am thankful for a God who understands my emotions. I can run to him and find comfort in knowing that he with me and doesn’t leave my side.
“For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone” Psalms 33 NLT
Dear Father, Thank you for your unfailing love. I rely on your strength when I am weak. Thank you for giving me your Holy Spirit. I praise you for who you are. Amen.