1 Samuel 21-24, Psalm 84
I started college at the age of 16 in 1977. I went to 6 years of undergraduate college to become a pharmacist. Worked one year, then went to 4 years of medical school, then 4 years of residency to become an Ob/Gyn. Many of the things learned were not important to my eventual profession. Throughout the process there were many trials and difficulties. The entire process was humbling and taught patience and perseverance. Going through it, it seemed endless and at times pointless. But the process was necessary.
In today’s readings (1 Samuel 21-24), we see David being hunted down and fleeing from King Saul. David was anointed at approximately the age of 15. He will eventually become king at around the age of 30. David is now in an 8-10 year period of time, which seems unfair, dangerous, and pointless. But this represents a trial for David and it is through trials that God cultivates the character of those called according to His name to develop the heart and the dependence on Him needed if God is truly going to be able to use him and us.
James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
As we continue through the One Year Bible Challenge we continue to see that those used most mightily by God: Joseph, Moses, David, etc, had to go through various trials first. We are no different. Our trials may be personal, health, addictions, financial, family etc, but if in these trials we train our eyes and hearts to focus on God, we will come through these experiences able to be used mightily by God. We must train our eyes to look vertically rather than horizontally for our solutions. When the Egyptian army was coming toward the people of Israel trapped in front of the Red Sea they cried out in fear because they chose to focus horizontally on the army in front of them rather than vertically at God who was visibly present in the pillar of cloud (Exodus 14). Jesus taught us that we would go through many storms but if we place our hope and trust in Him, we will persevere. We read His words in Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: