Friday, April 23, 2010

God does his best work in Caves...

Discouragement is a common emotion to us and is one of the great enemies of the Christ-following experience. It is an enemy of personal drive and vision. It is a cancer that will pull enthusiasm and joy right out of you. But it is also a test, because how you respond to discouragement when things are not going well is one of the most important challenges that you will ever face as a person who loves and follows Jesus.

During the reign of King Saul, a prophet of God, Samuel, anointed young David as the future king of Israel. Even before he became king, the people of the kingdom fell in love with David. Everything he touched turned to gold. He was victorious over one of Israel’s most feared enemies, Goliath. When King Saul struggled with emotional issues, David was there to comfort him. If there was ever a guy who was on a roll, it was David. It appeared that nothing could go wrong for him. Then, one by one, the tables turned. Look over this litany of loss in David’s life:

• He lost his job. He went from shepherd boy to acclaimed warrior to fugitive.
• He lost his popularity, status and income.
• He lost his wife when King Saul gave her to another man.
• He lost his mentor when Samuel died.
• He lost his best friend Jonathan.
• He lost his home. The Bible tells us that he eventually ran to Gath, the land of Israel’s enemies.

After all that David went through, he ended up in the cave of Adullam. He expected a palace but got a cave! Devastating!

Does a cave sound like a place you’ve visited before? The Cave is where you go when all the props, crutches, and all that hold you up gives way; when suddenly, things don’t work out as you’ve envisioned. Maybe you’ve lost a job, financial security, spouse, dream of family life, mentor, friend or health. We’ve all been there. The truth is, sooner or later, everybody logs some serious time in The Cave.

The Cave is where God does some of His best work. God molds and shapes us in The Cave like nowhere else. When you end up in The Cave, I encourage you to embrace it. Why? Because when all you’ve got is God, you quickly come to the realization, that He is enough. Mother Teresa once said, “You’ll never know Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you’ve got.” He is able to transform discouragement into encouragement. He transforms fear into confidence. He is able to bring new life out of the most desperate of circumstances. Are you in The Cave? Look for Jesus.