Thursday, January 27, 2011
David's Great Distress - I Sam 30:6
1Sa 30:1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
"Greatly Distressed" - pressed, feeling extremely pressured. We call it stress.
What Is Stress? Stress is a feeling that's created when we react to particular events. It's the body's way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness.
The events that provoke stress are called stressors, and they cover a whole range of situations — everything from outright physical danger to making a class presentation or taking a semester's worth of your toughest subject.
The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Blood vessels open wider to let more blood flow to large muscle groups, putting our muscles on alert. Pupils dilate to improve vision. The liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase the body's energy. And sweat is produced to cool the body. All of these physical changes prepare a person to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. Working properly, the body's stress response enhances a person's ability to perform well under pressure. But the stress response can also cause problems when it overreacts or fails to turn off and reset itself properly.
Good Stress and Bad Stress
The stress response (also called the fight or flight response) is critical during emergency situations, such as when a driver has to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. It can also be activated in a milder form at a time when the pressure's on but there's no actual danger — like stepping up to take the foul shot that could win the game, getting ready to go to a big dance, or sitting down for a final exam. A little of this stress can help keep you on your toes, ready to rise to a challenge. And the nervous system quickly returns to its normal state, standing by to respond again when needed.
But stress doesn't always happen in response to things that are immediate or that are over quickly. Ongoing or long-term events, like coping with a divorce or moving to a new neighborhood or school, can cause stress, too.
Long-term stressful situations can produce a lasting, low-level stress that's hard on people. The nervous system senses continued pressure and may remain slightly activated and continue to pump out extra stress hormones over an extended period. This can wear out the body's reserves, leave a person feeling depleted or overwhelmed, weaken the body's immune system, and cause other problems.
Signs of stress may be cognitive, emotional, physical or behavioral. Signs include poor judgment, a general negative outlook, excessive worrying, moodiness, irritability, agitation, inability to relax, feeling lonely, isolated or depressed, aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, eating too much or not enough, sleeping too much or not enough, social withdrawal, procrastination or neglect of responsibilities, increased alcohol, nicotine or drug consumption, and nervous habits such as pacing about, nail-biting and neck pains.
I think that one of the devil’s sharpest tools in his box is stress. It is what he uses to wear us down and make us ineffective, unhappy and tempted to throw in the towel.
Why was David so distressed?
1. His two wives were kidnapped and taken captive.
2. There was talk of stoning him
3. People were grieved
a. because they had lost everything they knew,
b. they had been in exile
c. their city had been destroyed by terrorists
d. their wives, sons and daughters were gone
e. They had wept until they had no more tears
What did David do about his stress?
There are many ways to deal with stress, (exercise, pill popping, diversion, meditation, aroma therapy, etc.) but David employed the best method...he encouraged himself in the Lord!
There wasn’t anyone else close by that was going to encourage him! Listen, people are busy. It is not that they don’t care, they do! People care. But we fail sometimes in praying for and encouraging one another. Don’t blame the other folks, just learn how to encourage yourself in the Lord. Then you won’t have to depend on others who forget, who get too busy, who neglect us sometimes.
1. He got into the Word - He wrote Psalms (blogged). The Word of God is alive, Heb. 4:12
2. He employed good, uplifting, music. He sang and played his instruments
3. He prayed (Repentance, wisdom, praise, complaint, trust, intercession, etc.)
4. He Talked things through (to the Lord). The typical Psalm; stated the problem, saw the Lord in that problem, trusted the Lord, praised the Lord.
5. He exhibited faith and trust – ours is based on what God has promised and what we have experienced in the past.
6. He took care of business. Go on and do what you have to do.
A few other things we can do when stressed…
7. Realize, this too shall pass.
8. Cast your care upon the Lord Mt 11:28-30, I Pet 5:7
9. Simplify your life, prioritize
10. Quit sinning. Sin is a drag because of the guilt and the consequence and causes great stress.