Some days come at you with a one-two punch. First, something discouraging happens, then something takes the wind out of you. Yesterday you were encouraged, today, the desolation seems unbearable.
David had a whole season like that. He was on the run from Saul. Saul was a bit crazy. David already knew he was supposed to be king. Saul knew it too, but Saul was determined to stay in power. So he chased David all over the place, looking to kill him. David would have good days where he heard from God, or where he was able to encourage himself. Then there were the discouraging days. That’s when you need an advocate.
1 Samuel 23:16 says “Jonathan (Saul’s son) went to David and helped him find strength in God.” Some days you just can’t find your way into the throne room of heaven. Black clouds seem to surround you, and God’s voice is a whispered memory, almost like a dream or fantasy. On days like that, you need to encourage your heart…somehow. For some, turning on the radio will work. For many of us, we need a good friend who will march us into the throne room and pray for us.
Notice Jonathan “helped him find strength.” Jonathan didn’t find the strength for him. Jonathan helped David find the strength. Jonathan was an encourager, an advocate, one who stands beside. He couldn’t do for David, but he was with David. I had one of those days yesterday. I called my friend Amy, and, already scrubbed for surgery (she’s a vet), she prayed for me, lifting my spirits and helping part the clouds so I could hear God again.
Do you feel like you have no advocate, no one who will be that kind of friend? The bible is very clear that Jesus is our advocate, and the Holy Spirit is our encourager, one who stands with us and guides us. God will do it for you. In that case, the verse I read today applies: It’s in Isaiah 62 starting in verse 6: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” In other words – commit yourself to prayer and don’t give up, God already has “watchmen” praying day and night.
Life is never without its rough times, but when we are in rough times nationally, it is compounded by the daily bombardment of messages from the press. I want to encourage you today to be an advocate to someone, to find that network of people who you can be walking with, and to strengthen your relationship with God – pray without ceasing until you see your breakthrough. God is listening.