We have all been through tough seasons; those times that make us question whether God still loves us or if He has forsaken us. It is true that He always has a good plan for our lives but it is not true that trials, hardships and pain will not be a part of that plan.
Some time ago I was reading the books of Samuel and considering the lives of both King Saul and David. In 1 Samuel chapter 8, Israel asks for a king to rule over them. The prophet Samuel was naturally disappointed because they already had God as their king. He prayed to the Lord and got this answer, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but have rejected Me from being king over them.”
Thereafter God selected Saul and the prophet subsequently anointed him saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over His people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies…the Lord has anointed you to be prince over His heritage.”
So we observe God anointing a king that is going to rebel against Him, lose the ability to protect Israel, kill eighty-five of His priests, but most significantly, cause David untold misery as he relentlessly pursued him. Saul would even turn to sorcery as he desperately sought protection before fighting the battle that would take his life.
Let us focus on David though. He too was anointed by the same prophet after God rejected Saul. David represents one of us, the person pursuing God: the believer. He like any of us received a promise of the good plans God had for him. None greater than Samuel proclaiming he would be king of Israel some day.
But alas! Soon Saul was trying to kill him. Do not skim over those words, ask anyone who has received death threats how it feels. And these were not mere threats: Saul was equipped with a large army of thousands of men with swords, arrows and spears to ensure a painful death. David spent countless days running in the wilderness and fearing for his life. Even when he tried to make peace with Saul (having the opportunity to take the king’s life) it did not avert his suffering. Do you ever feel like your adversity will never end? You know you live the right way but trouble seems to follow you like a shadow.
Well, David could say he understands exactly what you are going through.
Ultimately though, God kept His promise. Saul was defeated in battle and at the right time, David took over the kingdom. The days of his fearful nights spent in the wild were over. His difficult season gave birth to a new and good season.
So as I considered David’s suffering I wondered why God had to anoint Saul in the first place. The Lord knew all the distress the man would cause David. Then the answer came, Saul’s pursuit of David produced a significant part of the book of Psalms. David wrote many of the verses before he became king.
Question: can you measure the positive effect the book of Psalms has had in the last 2000 years? Can you measure how much more it will have till the end of time? So we see what God was up to, He indeed had plans for good and not evil.
If you’ve been through so much do not think God has forsaken you. Hold on and you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living—and that by the way, is from a Psalm that David wrote.