Charles Stanley (January-21-2022) Daily Devotional: On the Bottom Looking Up
Trusting in God's power and grace makes it possible to break the cycle of despair.
1 Samuel 30:1-20 - Then it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; and they took captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great, without killing anyone, and carried them off and went their way. When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Now David's two wives had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, ``Please bring me the ephod." So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. David inquired of the LORD, saying, ``Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?" And He said to him, ``Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all. "
Most of us know how it feels to be at rock bottom. Despair is a horrible condition because it continually feeds on discouragement, hopelessness, and failure. And the longer one dwells on these things, the greater despair grows. The only way out is to break free from this vicious cycle of darkness. We do this by . . .
• Repenting of anything that has caused us to doubt the Lord. If we’re in despair, then something has overshadowed God in our life, and that barrier must be removed—the sooner, the better.
• Recalling the Lord’s omnipotence. Since He had the power to save you from sin, He certainly also has the ability to overcome your despair.
• Remembering that nothing in our life happens by chance. God works all things according to His sovereign plan, for the good of those who love Him, and for His glory (Rom. 8:28 - And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose).
Despair stands in conflict with the abundant life the Lord has promised. If you’re feeling down and out, ask Him to lift you back up today. You’ll never automatically fall out of despair. But with God’s help, you can change your mindset and see your situation through the lens of His Word.