The great baseball coach Connie Mack once said, “I’ve seen boys on my baseball team go into a slump and never come out of it, and I’ve seen others snap right out and come back better than ever. I guess more players lick themselves than are ever licked by an opposing team.” (Source – Unknown)
Every batter will have his slumps. No one can always be at their best. The question is not – Will life ever get us down? The question is – Will we let life keep us down? Will we go into a slump and never come out? Like David, we need to know how to encourage ourselves during discouraging times.
The story is told in the Bible of a time when David was down. Enemy armies had stolen away his family as well as the families of all of his men. In a moment of great anguish David’s men talked of stoning him. Their deep sorrow caused them to become angry and lash out.
David was weeping. His men were weeping. His family was gone. His home had been burned. Everything was lost. What was David to do? The Bible says-
1 Samuel 30:6 … but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
We know that David wrote many of the Psalms. Perhaps his words in Psalm 42 help to describe his state –
Psalm 42:1 As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, “Where is your God?” CSB
During times of darkness, we need God. We need His love and His care. We need to be as close to Him as possible. Yet often during such times it seems like God is far away. Sometimes our pain is so great that it blinds us to His presence. We cry out for Him but we can’t find Him.
No doubt this is how David felt at first. No doubt the thought of his family being capture by an enemy was too great for him to bear. Yet David did not allow himself to remain in a slump. Like the great ball players Connie Mack spoke about, David brought himself out.
Psalm 42: 5 Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.
8 The Lord will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night- a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God, my rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why must I go about in sorrow because of the enemy’s oppression?” 10 My adversaries taunt me, as if crushing my bones, while all day long they say to me, “Where is your God?” 11 Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.
After the initial shock wore off, David stepped back and evaluated his situation. It appeared that his world had completely fallen apart; yet his God was still on the throne. God was still his Savior. The Lord was still faithful to love him. God was still his rock. With God there was always hope. Therefore, rather than remaining in a slump, David put his vision back on God and came out swinging.
The question is not – Will live ever get us down? The question is – Will we let life keep us down? Will we focus only on our dilemma or will we focus on our Deliverer? Consider once again David’s words – Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.