Life they say is full of ups and downs, so many experiences and struggles. There are some people that have never experienced the down side of life before, they were born with silver spoons. I personally know a lot of people like that, people who have never suffered in their lives before, people who were just born into riches and I would just be there looking at my life and asking God why? While I was in junior secondary school, majority of my class and school mates were already using Nokia 3310, a phone of high standards then; while my father and mother were still sharing one phone. Week after week, these people kept advancing, bringing new phones, while I was there preparing for how I would be thrown out of the exam room because I had not paid my school fees. Yes, there are people that have never tasted the up side of life, never; but at the end of the day, we say life is full of ups and downs. Somebody once said that it is not your fault if you are born poor, but it is your fault if you die poor; well, to some extent, I agree. I tend to agree because I have realized that a major problem with mankind is that many are so conscious of their predicaments, to the extent that they blame everything on the environment; they blame their parents, they blame their teachers, they blame the government, and they even blame God. Hardly do they actually sit down to think clearly, they don’t even believe in themselves; how can you be encouraged, if you don’t even believe in yourself, not to talk of God? You need to discover yourself before you can recover anything, but first, you must be encouraged.
The Nature of Predicaments
As earlier noted, there are some people that are born rich and there are some that are born poor. You cannot change that fact, but what you can change is the future. I personally am proud of all the uncountable sufferings I’ve been through, because now I’ve realized that they were the defining points of my life. I am only happy because I have discovered myself, I have discovered the truth and now I can recover and rewrite the story of my life and family. The truth is, without predicaments, the success story of a man would be boring; that is why many so-called celebrities these days are trying to affiliate themselves with past sufferings and hustling. I was laughing seriously when I mistakenly watched an interview with a popular Nigerian ‘fresh boy’ artiste (His name is not ‘fresh boy’, I mean he is a fresh boy). He said, “I remember those days, when we used to go and sell agege bread on the streets…” And I was like, “My friend will you shat ap ya clean mouth dia? Agege bread ko, ewa goin ni!”
Difficult situations present themselves so that we can triumph over them and be stronger. People have heartbreaks so that they can be stronger and know who and who not to marry at the end of the day. People are duped so that they can become financial security experts. We are all aware of ‘419’ in Nigeria because majority of us are now security experts as a result of our past financial mistakes. Predicaments are meant to make us stronger not to defeat us, only if we encourage ourselves and fight; that is why they say “once beaten, twice shy”. The richest men in the world today have sweet testimonies because of the things they went through and how they encouraged themselves and came out triumphant. In Bill Gates’ profile on Wikipedia, his education status reads “Harvard (Dropout)”. He doesn’t even need to tell you anything, his story alone is sufficient enough to ginger you. Go and confirm, there is always a place of self-encouragement, which leads to further discovery and opportunities, and then triumph.
A very dangerous attribute of a predicament is its empathic nature. Predicaments always draw people of like situations together to identify with each other and sink deeper in the problem, thereby accepting the situation. For example, when people are blaming the government for their sufferings, they’ll always find people of like minds and then, they’ll jointly criticize and curse the government to the point of relief in their souls. At the end of the day, no problem is solved, rather, they only sink deep in their predicaments. It is very dangerous, that is why the Bible says “come out from among them and be ye separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17). In situations like this, you need to be pushed to the wall before you realize that you need to get the hell out. A course mate of mine told me about a friend of his whom he had once helped. Things seemed to have gone well for his friend and he bought a car. One day, he received a lift from his friend and they had a little misunderstanding in the car, the next thing that happened was, that guy parked by the side of the road and asked him to get out of his car. Can you imagine? He was already feeling comfortable riding in his friend’s car until that moment; then was he pushed to the wall. Other people would bury themselves under that issue, but that should be enough to push you to encourage yourself to work hard and buy your own car.
The Story of David: A Practical Scenario
It is not possible to talk about discouragements and predicaments and not make reference to the story of David. Let us look in detail at the events that took place in 1 Samuel 30:1-6,
“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; 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. 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. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 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.”
We have all seen the predicament that David faced above, now that wasn’t a ‘small boy’ predicament at all. His enemies had just taken all their wives, their sons and daughters and burned their city. David and the people with him cried and wept until they had no more power to weep, can you just imagine? But it wasn’t until the people started contemplating stoning him that he came to his senses and encouraged himself in the Lord. Like I said earlier, predicaments have a way of bringing affected minds together to sink further in defeat, but it is mostly until someone is pushed to the wall that he comes to his senses; that’s what happened to David there. He was weeping with the others, it wasn’t until they start thinking of stoning him that he encouraged himself.
The Place of Encouragement
So David encouraged himself, as we have seen above, but note that it was because he was pushed to the wall, if not, he would have just continued to identify with the others and continued weeping. Now, what self-encouragement does is that it opens doors for ultimate discovery and recovery. Let’s see what David did after encouraging himself in 2 Samuel 30:7-10,
“And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor. “
So after encouraging himself, the first thing he did was to go to God in prayer. God plays an indispensable role in our lives, we must always put Him first and commune with Him. God answered David and told him to pursue, further assuring him that he will surely overtake and unfailingly recover all. I am praying for somebody here that has been seeking the face of God, that God will manifest Himself in your life today in the name of Jesus; and anybody seeking encouragement and discovery for any difficult situation, I decree that the Lord Himself encourages you tonight and pulls you up in the name of Jesus.
Finally, in 2 Samuel 30:17-20, we can see the triumph of David over his enemies, it says,
“And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David’s spoil.”
So David pursued his enemies, he smote them all, except those that escaped; he recovered all that they had stolen, and then he also took the properties of his enemies as his own spoil. He had taken so much spoil that started sharing them with people all over the city (2 Samuel 30:26-31). This is the work of self-encouragement and discovery.
Predicaments are difficult situations which stick their heads out in different times of our lives. God wants to make you stronger and more glorious by encouraging yourself and triumphing over the situation. On the other hand, the devil wants to bury you in that situation by making you lose hope and surrounding you with people of like situations to make you comfortable and agree to the terms of that situation. You decide, but I advise that you go for the first option.
Enough has already been said, I don’t know what to say again. Just remember all I have said above and apply them; and always talk to God and He will surely manifest Himself in your situation.
Cheers and God bless you infinitely!!!
© 2013 Godsplan Uzoaga.
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