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Finding Strength in God

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
July 9, 2021 8:00 am

Finding Strength in God

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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July 9, 2021 8:00 am

How David dealt with one of the worst days of his life; learning to let our troubles drive us to God; based on 1 Samuel 30:3-8.

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I want to encourage some of you to get used to the fact that as God blesses you, your friends are going to get thinned out. You're going to find some people who can't rejoice with you when you rejoice. Don't be surprised when not everyone is thrilled when the Lord's hand is upon you. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. With these words, Jesus reminded us that when we choose to follow Him, when we determine in our hearts to submit to His will at any cost, it won't be long before our enemies show up. We see this clearly in the life of David. In the years leading up to his ascension to the throne, he was in fear for his life.

And in a grand display of irony, he fled to the last place you'd expect him to go. His story continues next, so stay right here or visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, at Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your programs. Here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Finding Strength in God. First Samuel chapter 30 beginning with verse 3. When David and his men came to sick lag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David's two wives had been captured, Ahinoim of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him.

Each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Hamalek, bring me the ephod. Abiathar brought it to him and David inquired of the Lord, shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them? Pursue them, the Lord answered.

You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue. And I want to talk to you about finding strength in God. I have a word for some of you who are in what I want to call your living in the tension between God's promises to you and the fulfillment of those promises. Now as we have seen throughout this study, God made a promise to then a young lad named David. And God had the prophet Samuel anoint him saying he would be the next king of Israel. Saul was on the throne at the time and even at the time of this text, Saul is still on the throne, but God has rejected him as king and God says I'm going to raise David up to succeed him as king. So David is armed with this promise.

He has been armed since he was a lad taking care of his dad's sheep. But we have seen since then that he has gone through years where he is living in the tension between the promise and the fulfillment of the promise. And I have a word for some of you who in your life you are living in that same tension between some things that God has promised you, some things that you know God wants to bring to pass in your life and the fulfillment of those promises. There are some challenges that go along with living with the promises of God. For one, you have the challenge of the reality that when God gives you a promise, he doesn't necessarily put a date tag on the promise.

Have you noticed that God can give you a word but not tell you when the word is going to come to pass? And that can be a challenge, that can be a trial to have to deal with, Lord, I know you said that you're going to do it, but when are you going to make it happen? Sometimes you're like Joseph who at age 17 knew that he was going to be prominent, that one day his very family would bow down to him, but he had no idea when it would happen.

And the truth of the matter is he got the dream at age 17 and the day that his brothers came from Canaan to Egypt and were bowing down before him, he was 39 years old. He waited 22 years on the promise of God to be fulfilled. It can be a particular challenge when you're living not knowing when the promise is going to happen. But now let me tell you something, there's another challenge that goes along with living in this tension because not only do you not know when God's going to bring it to pass, but you don't know what you're going to have to go through until he brings it to pass. And if you are like David, you are living in the tension of not only waiting for the promise, but you are seeing yourself go through trials of many kinds. You know, the Bible speaks of trials of many or various kind. For instance, James says in his epistle chapter 1 verse 2, he says, count it all joy when you face trials of many kind.

Now, that's the standard. He says, I want you to learn to count it all joy, but how many know it's not necessarily a quick thing to get to the place where you can count it all joy for going through trials of many different kind. Sometimes you have to work your way up to the place where you can count it all joy. Have you noticed that trials can come in a variety pack? Many different kinds of trials. And there are some kind of trials that all of us can go through and you feel real good.

You can go through those trials and you pass those tests well. But how many know because they come in a variety pack, God will make sure that you have to go through some other trials where you don't go just skating and shining through. People go through trials of many kind. I remember as a child hearing the saints that I grew up around, you know, in prayer meeting they would give people an opportunity to testify. Some of you all have gone to churches where there was testimony service, but I grew up where the saints would testify and they'd get up and they would thank God for bringing them through a trial. And they would talk about how God brought them through and they made trials sound exciting. And I remember thinking as a child, you know, I can't wait till I grow up so I can go through some trials. Oh, but when I grew up and became acquainted with trials, I found out that it wasn't a wonderful thing at all and that you were going to have to really get something from God in order to count it joy when you're going through trials of many kind.

And living in the tension between the promise God has made you and the fulfillment of that promise can take you through some trials. Well, look at what's happening in David's life. First of all, we've seen that after the promise that he was going to be the next king of Israel, David went back and served his dad's sheep. He just continued to serve as a shepherd boy, but eventually he came into prominence in Israel first as a warrior. The Bible says that David became a warrior and became known as a great warrior. God blessed him so that as he would go out to battle, God gave him great success.

And that was a wonderful thing. He also became a servant of King Saul. The Bible says that he became his attendant. Later, he became his armor bearer. He was his personal musician when the evil spirit would come upon Saul. David would get his harp and play and that would give relief to the king. And so David developed a track record of doing good for the king and serving the king well. And as a warrior, he developed a track record of being an outstanding warrior. And that was fine that God blessed him. But the problem was the women, as they would be coming back from these military campaigns with the victory, the Bible tells us that the women would come out of the towns and they would meet the army heading back with the victory and they would make up cheers. You know, cheerleaders aren't something new. It's been happening since Bible days.

Only difference is the type of cheer. You know, these days you hear, David, David, he's our man. If he can't do it, nobody can. But, you know, back in Bible days, they said Saul has slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands. Now, when the king heard that, he said, wait a minute, we got a problem.

I'm the king and they're only assigning me thousands and they're assigning tens of thousands to this rookie. And the Bible says it created jealousy in Saul. And he began to look at David from that moment on with a jealous eye. So first of all, first kind of trial David has to go through in living in this tension is the trial of jealous people. You ever had to deal with folk who don't like God's hand on you, who don't like what God is doing in your life, folk who don't like it that you're on your way somewhere? You know, there are some people who not only aren't they going somewhere, but they resent that you're going somewhere. And you will find as God blesses you, not everybody's going to be happy. I want to encourage some of you to get used to the fact that as God blesses you, your friends are going to get thinned out. You're going to find some people who can't rejoice with you when you rejoice.

They start rolling their eyes all back in the back of their head and they get mad at God's blessing and God's favor in your life. Don't be surprised when not everyone is thrilled when the Lord's hand is upon you. Up next, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world.

And right now, during this busy summer months when donations often decline, your support is especially needed. So as God leads, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today. As a young boy, David had killed the great Philistine warrior Goliath. But a few years later, fleeing the wrath of King Saul, David went to the Philistines for help.

Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, finding strength in God. David had to deal first with jealousy. But then as he lived for years on the run from Saul, Saul's jealousy got so bad that he began to try to kill David. Now remember, David has done nothing wrong by him. And it's a special trial when you've done nothing but good for someone and they do nothing but evil towards you. But then he has to live for years as a fugitive on the run from the very man who ought to trust him most.

That's one kind of trial. Second kind of trial is, while he's living on the run, he eventually has to have a place for he and his men to live. And it got so bad that there was nowhere in the territory of Israel where they could live, so they had to go over to the territory of the Philistines. And the Bible says that David attached himself to the king of Gath, a man named Achish. And he said to him, would you please allow myself and my men, our wives and our children, to have a place we can call home temporarily while I'm on the run from Saul? And the Lord gave him favor with Achish, and Achish allowed them to live in a place called Sick Lag. And there David lived for over a year with his men because he was on the run. You know, times are bad when you've got to get away from some folk who ought to be helping you, and you've got to get away from them, and you find it easier to be among people who don't even know God than to be among some folk who say they know God but are acting like the devil.

Anybody ever been there? That's where David was. And he has to actually spend time living in the land of his enemies, because for this season, his enemies can be trusted better than King Saul. He's going through the trial of jealousy. He's going through the trial of having to leave the place he knows and loves.

All of the people he knows and loves, he can't live as he normally would. And now we find when you get to 1 Samuel 29, you find him face a new trial where he is trying to be supportive of Achish because Achish has been a blessing to him. So the Philistines decide they're going to make war against some of their enemies.

And everyone who lives in the territory who is a man of war ought to go with them. So David and his men actually say to Achish, we will go and fight with you against your enemies because they're not fighting Israel at that time. And so David says, I'm not fighting the army of God, so no problem. I will fight with the Philistines because they're taking care of me. So David and his men decide they're going to join the forces of Achish. But the commanders of the Philistine army hear about it. And when you read 1 Samuel 29, they say in essence to Achish when they hear that David is on his team. Man, are you crazy? That's not exactly in your Bible, but in so many words. Have you lost your mind?

Do you know who that is? David is one of the fiercest warriors of one of our fiercest enemies. Achish said, no, no, don't worry about it. Me and David are boys. And he's fighting with me because I'm taking good care of him. I'm letting him live in my territory.

It's all good. He's going to be a blessing. The commander said, no, you don't understand. David is trying to get in good with Saul. And in order to do that, he may very well pretend like he's fighting with us, get in the middle of the battle, turn on us and kill us. Then he can say to King Saul, look what I did.

I killed some of your fiercest enemies. And he can get back in with Saul. They said, we're not taking a chance on him. He's got to go. Now David is not only on the run, not only having to leave everything that he knows and loves, but now he tries to fight with the Philistines and they reject him. So Achish comes back to him and says, ma'am, sorry, I was going to hook you up.

But they're not having it. They told me to send you home to give you an honorable discharge. You and your boys got to go. I don't know where you're going, but you got to get up out of here.

That's the Paul Sheppard version of 1 Samuel 29. And David and his men now are on their way back to sick lag, having been rejected when all they tried to do again was to do good by somebody. Have you ever gone through a season where all you're trying to do is do right and it looks like you are going from one trial to another one to another one to another one?

You can't figure out to save your life. How can I be trying to do so much good and have so much hell breaking out in my life? I'm here to talk to the real folk. I'm not here to talk to plastic Christians in this service. I can't talk to you who have a relationship with God where you're leaping from one mountaintop to another one, where you're just experiencing nothing but victory. You wake up every day saying, oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day. I have a wonderful feeling everything's going my way. God bless you. I love you.

I'm telling you, I'm not a hater. I'm glad that you are having such wonderful time in your life. But like my grandmama said, just keep on living. And I declare to you, you're going to get to a place in your life where you are doing nothing but good and you are getting seemingly all the wrong results. I'm here to talk to folk who are saying to God, what up with this? Who are saying to God, now, you know, Lord, I usually pray nice King James prayers. Father, in the name of Jesus, hallowed be thy name. I usually sound spiritual and sound good, but God, I just need to have a straight talk with you right now. I want to talk to folk who are just down at that raw place where you're like, God, you and I need to have a little talk.

I don't get it. Now, I know you are holy and you do everything right and your decisions are already good. So, God, I am not blaming you for what's going on in my life, but perhaps your administrative assistant has mixed up my file with somebody else. I'm not blaming you, God.

I know you're good. But it seems to me if you would just check on your staff, somebody has mixed up my file because, God, I'm not only going through my trials of many kind, but look like to me I'm going through two, three other folks' trials at the same time. And it seems to me that there's somebody somewhere enjoying my blessings. You get to those places in life where you stop praying cute prayers and you say, God, we got to talk. Now, I don't get what's going on here. That's where David is.

Nothing but good to Saul, Saul trying to kill him. Living on the run for years, can't be in your home, in your comfort zone among the people you love. Then you go live among the enemies because right now they're treating you better than the folk who ought to be able to depend on. Now they reject you. They won't even let you fight the battle with them. They're sending you back to your little temporary house in sick lag.

And they're on their way to sick lag and when they get there, the text we just read says, when they arrive they discover that their new home's temporary dwelling place has been destroyed by fire and their wives and children have been taken captive. I want to talk to folk who are saying, I don't get this at all. I don't understand why a God who loves me and who has given me promises for my life would allow me to go through all of this. Well, I've come to tell you that your faith, the reason why God is making you in this season in your life strong in faith is because he knew that you were going to suffer trials of many kinds and he knew that it would take the strengthening of your faith for you to get through what you had to go through before you got the promise that he has for you. See, I'm concerned about a generation of Christians who thinks if your faith is strong enough, it will prevent trials. I'm here to tell you the only reason you need strong faith is because you're going to go through trials. I mean, think about it. If I'm not going to go through trials, I don't need faith.

I can just skate on through. But the fact that there is a tension between the promise and the fulfillment means God has got to strengthen my life and help me learn lessons so that I can be an overcomer until I get to the place where my promises are fulfilled. You know, the Bible tells us that our Heavenly Father is an emotional being. God has been moved to anger and sorrow. The Holy Spirit has been grieved. Jesus wept. As children created in his image, we too are emotional beings, blessed with the ability to feel joy or sadness, anger or compassion.

To ignore those feelings is to become something less than human, to become computers with hard drives and even harder hearts. And in doing so, we become something less than the image of God. Well, before he ascended to heaven, the last thing Jesus told his disciples was to go into all the world and make more disciples. And that's our mission at Destin for Victory. And we depend on friends like you to partner with us so that together we can reach the world for Christ. As our way of saying thanks for your partnership of $20 or more a month, we'll send you a few thank you gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. Call 855-339-5500 to find out more about how to become a Destin for Victory partner, or mail your gift letting us know you wish to become a partner. The address is Destin for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also partner with us from our website, pastorpaul.net. And if you can't become a Destin for Victory partner today but can make a generous one-time donation, we'd be happy to send you by request a copy of Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, Finding Strength in Tough Times.

That's Finding Strength in Tough Times, our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destin for Victory. David didn't sit somewhere wishing God would come find him. David got up and found God. He reminded himself of the God he served, of who God was, and he encouraged himself in the things he had learned about God. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Finding Strength in God. Until then, enjoy your weekend and remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-23 19:00:36 / 2023-09-23 19:09:39 / 9

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