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Lesson 7  Third Week

When In Distress, Believers
Can Call Upon The Lord

Background Reading:                            Devotional Reading:
1 Samuel 30:1-19; Psalms                       Psalms 107:4-20; 28
18:1-6; 25:17-22; 2 Corinthians 4:8-18

Central Verse
"I called upon the Lord in distress: the                    "When hard pressed, I cried to the
Lord answered me, and set me in a                        Lord; He brought me into a spacious
large place."          Psalms 118:5, KJV                     place."                  Psalms 118:5, NIV

Key Terms
Ephod — a linen apron worn in ancient Hebrew rites: a vestment for the high priest.
Encourage — to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope: to make (someone) more de­termined, hopeful, or confident: to make (something) more appealing or more likely to happen.
Tribulation — distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution: distress or suffering resulting from cruel and unjust treatment or misfortune.

Introduction

The Lord told His disciples to take control of their hearts when He told them not to allow their hearts to become troubled and afraid. It gives the impression that things would happen that would cause a person to become distressed and troubled. It is the will of the Lord that every believer is wealthy healthy, and wise in every area of their lives. He has given the believer the power to take control of his own life through the power of His Holy Spirit. Distress means extreme anxiety, sorrow or pain, or someone distraught, filled with anguish; it means a person is suffering or in intense agony. God wants His children filled with hap­piness and comfort in the middle of their distress.

Discussion

Paul reminds the believers that there will be trouble coming from many areas, but the believers must not be distressed. But if they become distressed, they must not be in despair. Persecution may come, but know the Father promised that He would never leave the believer nor forsake them. They may be cast down but not destroyed, for they must always remember that Jesus bore every grief and sorrow when He suffered on the cruel cross. Knowing that the Savior took the scars of His suffering and made provision as the believer goes through the many persecutions, there is a greater glory waiting for the believer when he can trust God and not faint.

David and his men had gone to help the Philistines fight. He had fought honor­ably with Achish and the Philistines for several years, but some of the Philistine princes were not happy with him being there. So Achish told him that he was pleased with him, but it was better to leave them and go back home because the Philistine princes said they would not fight any longer if he stayed. David and his group of men left the next day, returning home to Ziklag on the third day, finding that the Amalekites had attacked Ziklag and taken their wives and children captives burned Ziklag with fire. This caused David and his men much pain and distress, and they cried and screamed until they had no more tears.

Sometimes when people experience great hurts and disappointments, it caus­es them to become greatly distressed. They don't know how to handle what is happening, which causes many people to have distress syndrome. Distress causes strokes, heart attacks, mental breakdowns, and many become suicidal. After David and his men had wept until they had no more power to cry, the men and the people spoke of stoning David. These people were hurting, and hurting people want to hurt other people because their souls are grieved. The men who had served and fought under David's command were now talking about killing him, which caused him great distress. The people who he had been con­fident would have his back were now the ones that he was facing with murder in their hearts. He knew that he could not count on them at that moment, so he turned to his God, and he encouraged himself in the Lord.

There are times when distresses come to the believer, and he must know how to speak over his life and encourage himself in the Lord. He must be aware of the many great and precious promises God has given to the believer and use his authority. He must declare and decree that the Lord hears and delivers him out of all his distresses.

David was very hurt and much distressed, but he sent for the ephod and in­quired of the Lord, asking for direction. Matthew 6:33 tells the believers always to consult God, and God would ever give directions. Just as God told David to "pursue, overtake and recover all." Believers remember that God will always honor His Word because God still has a positive plan. He just wants the believ­ers to keep His Word, ignore Satan's plots, and trust Him.

Believers may encounter many things that can cause him to become stressed, but he can be assured that he will answer his prayers if he calls on Jesus. The Lord did not exempt Israel from attacks from their enemies, and sometimes they suffered injustices, but He always let them know that He was there to help them. God encouraged the fathers to remind the younger generations always to remember what He had done for them.

Conclusion

Many scriptures remind the believers that Israel's children wandered in the wilderness and had no place to go; they met with resistance. They were tired and got weary many times, but they cried unto God. He heard their cries and delivered them out of all their distresses. God wants every believer to know that in this world, they will have tribulations, but He will always be there for them when they call Him.

Questions

Why does God allow His children to become distressed?
What is the responsibility of the believer when he is distressed?

Essential Thought- "When in distress, call Jesus, for He is waiting to hear from you."




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