I think we tend to look at certain characters in the Bible as "God's favorites," and we secretly label modern Christians with the same title. King David always made my list of heavenly brown-nosers; with a title like "man after God's own heart," he's kinda hard to ignore. After all, he was God's anointed king, so it's no wonder he's so well loved. Now admit it-- you've thought the same things about other Christians you know-- their lives seem 'anointed by God,' like they must be His special favorites. The truth is, if you are God's child, you are His anointed. The Holy Spirit rests on you. But I'm betting you don't feel like it.
My pastor says, "we live on planet trouble." Maybe that resonates with you today? I've found that trouble is something like a rolling quarter. On one side, there's opportunity- let's just be super spiritual and say that every time trouble rolls into our lives, it brings with it the opportunity to fall on God and prove His faithfulness yet again. Then there's the other side of trouble. Let's call that side discouragement. If trouble coasts along nicely until it bumps into us and then falls over on the side of discouragement, we're in a pickle. We're like upside-down turtles at that point-- we can't right ourselves. We need someone else to come along and flip us over so we can see the light, see the sun again, see the side of trouble that is opportunity. Someone did that for me recently, and his words were so encouraging, I wanted to share them with you. What he sent me was a list of troubles that rolled into the life of God's anointed king, the brown-noser himself, King David. I suppose it's a wee bit sadistic of me, but oddly enough, I felt a 'misery-loves-company' sort of glow as I read this list. Here were his observations from Scripture on that anointed life: 1) Even after he was anointed to be the next King of Israel by Samuel, Israel's great prophet, David's family continued to belittle him--even aftery King Saul's advisors invited him to come and sing at the palace and play his harp.
2) When the Philistines threatened Israel with their champion Goliath, the newly anointed heir to the throne was left to tend the sheep. When he brought his brothers food and expressed indignation that no one in Israel had the faith to challenge Goliath, his brothers severely and publicly rebuked him.
3) After David killed Goliath, Saul became jealous of him without any justification, even though he had named him the commander of his army.
4) When David succeeded in everything that he did because God blessed him in so much, King Saul tried to kill him. David had to leave his wife and home and live as a fugitive for the next 12 years. Even the King's son and his best friend Jonathan could not save him.
5) During those 12 years, David lived outdoors, or in caves, or among Israel's enemies with his wives and children. He was often betrayed by his own people, was nearly killed multiple times, and had to move every few days or weeks with only the belongings he could carry with him.
6) Once he had to pretend he was crazy to avoid arrest and execution by the Philistines.
7) When Nabal insulted David and his men, despite all that they had done to protect and bless him, God stopped David from killing Nabal and gave him a wise wife. For accepting that honor, she earned the privilege of becoming a fugitive too.
8) David could not fully trust his most capable commander, Joab.
9) When David forgot his loyalties and agreed to fight against Saul and his army with the Philistines, God stopped him--and allowed the Amelikites to capture and run off with his family and belongings and the families and belongings of all his mens' families. When his men were ready to stone him, David alone had the faith to pray to God for the miracle rescue that followed.
10) When Saul was killed by the Philistines, at last freeing David from a life as a fugitive, so was David's best friend Jonathan killed.
11) After Saul and Jonathan were killed, even though God had anointed David to be the next King 12 years before, David had to wait several more years before his own tribe would agree to make him their king. Then he had to rely on Joab--the commander he despised--to help him fight and win a war against Saul's descendants.
12) When David had finally united all 12 of Israel's tribes, was experiencing success on every side, was admired by everyone, criticized by no one, and had triumphed over his worst enemies, he made the worst mistake of his life, a mistake that would haunt him until he died--he took his eyes off of God and decided he needed Bathsheba. That mistake led to the rape of one of his daughters by her brother, fratricide by his oldest son, and that son's eventual rebellion against him, an event that took the lives of thousands of innocent Israelis and his own life. And yet, even after all of this trouble, we know King David, God's anointed, as 'a man after God's own heart.'
"The point is, whatever discouragement you're facing, THE LORD WILL BRING YOU THROUGH THIS! He is the same God who loved David so much that he put him through 12 years of nail-biting stress, danger, poverty, and hardship. The result was that David learned to find his strength, not in himself, not in his friends and fellow soldiers, but in God alone. That is the place where God is taking you, and He will watch over you with love and tenderness--as you travel with Him--until you're there." Be Encouraged. Surrounded By Grace, Josh