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The Golden Art of Self-encouragement
1 Samuel 30:6
'He ran to his cordial' is the sententious comment of John Trapp. He sorely needed a cordial. What mercy that he knew where the cordial was! He discovered it in the heart of God.
David's soul was overwhelmed within him. Every prospect was doleful. Black skies frowned over his head. He was exhausted. All the springs seemed dried up. 'But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.' Yes, He knew his cordial, and in the exigent hour he ran to it.
Here we have often, all of us, a great community with David. We cannot follow him in some of his supremely exultant moods, but in his depression and depletion we have a strong affinity with him. We are one with him in the deep and dire need of encouragement.
I. Seasons for the Exercise of this Golden Art. We need to be proficient in this art (1) amid personal sorrow; (2) in social distress; (3) in depression; (4) when the results of our evil past come on; (5) when old age gathers upon us.
II. Reasons for the Development of this Golden Art. We need to encourage ourselves in the Lord our God because of the powerlessness of human help. How little we can do for ourselves, and how little others can do for us in the critical hours of life!
It is not in man to strengthen himself with effectual strength. Experience shows the illusiveness of mortal forces. When Ziklag lies in ruins whither shall David turn but to God?
III. Methods of Practising this Golden Art How shall we encourage ourselves in the Lord our God? We must do it (1) by prayer; (2) by the realization of God we encourage ourselves in Him. To sit down amid the shadows and contemplate our loving Lord is to be restored in soul; (3) by recollecting the saints of the past; (4) by searching the Scriptures.
IV. Benefits which this Golden Art Educes. They reap a wealthy harvest who encourage themselves in the Lord their God. Solid comfort is theirs! When we address ourselves to God He wonderfully soothes our sorrow. 'No marvel that God remembered David in all his troubles,' says John Trapp, 'since in all his troubles David remembered God.' The Lord is to us, in this matter, as we are to Him. If we remember Him He will not fail to remember us. Wondrous solace our God affords. It is unspeakable. Deeper than the depths of grief it penetrates. In a thousand ways God comforteth the lowly.
Dinsdale T. Young, The Gospel of the Left Hand, p. 97.
References. XXX. 6. C. Bradley, The Christian Life, p. 239. J. M. Neale, Sermons Preached in Sackville College Chapel, vol. ii. p. 195. XXX. 6-8. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxvii. No. 1606. XXX. 18. C. Bradley, The Christian Life, p. 225. XXX. 24. M. G. Glazebrook, Prospice, p. 157. XXX. 24, 25. J. M. Neale, Sermons Preached in a Religious House, vol. i. p. 313.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 30". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/
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