Cliffhangers

1Sa 21:1-3 “Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee? And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place. Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.”

1Sa 21:6-9 “So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away. Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul. And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste. And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.”

Cliffhanger endings are tough because we have to wait for a time to find out what happens. The old Batman episodes used those frequently.

The same is true sometimes in life. The things David had to face were tough. He had to run for his life. At first he was everybody’s hero, but then, he became a wanted man. He went to a place that would help him, the church, where there was bread for the hungry. He asked the priest if he had a weapon. Isn’t that strange? What would a priest be doing with a weapon? As it happened, the priest did have a weapon, a special one. David took that sword and remembered that victory. Goliath came at him with spear and sword, but he [David] came in the Name of the Lord. The thing that the Adversary uses against you, God will turn to your favor. That problem can become a blessing in the hands of God.

Those things that weigh you down can work for you a far more exceeding, eternal weight of glory. God wants to shift the weight into glory, evil into good, mourning into dancing. He doesn’t take it away, He turns it into!

He turns it into Glory!

We have a God who can use things that seem useless into something for His glory. In the book of Esther, the gallows were used by Haman who tried to kill the Jews. With Joseph, ‘What you intended for evil, God turned into good!’

Daniel’s co-workers envied him because he was promoted above them. They devised a plan for him to spend the night with lions, but they ended up thrown in and eaten. Moses’ mom had to give up her baby in a basket. That basket ended up in the hands of the Pharoah’s daughter. The very guy who ordered his death, ended up being the one who provided for his food, care, and education. His mother ended up as her baby’s nurse! She got him back! God turned evil into Great Good! Evil became an opportunity for God to get Great Glory!

Sometimes the things that we consider bad news can become good news. ‘He turned my mourning into dancing and my sorrow into joy.’ Jesus is the God who believes that you can have a comeback. It’s not so much the sword for David, it was what it represented. You can defeat a giant without a sword. All you need is the Name of the one true God.

It’s not about being worthy or unworthy. If you’re hungry, there’s bread. If you’re thirsty, there’s water. Come inside and be fed!

‘If the rulers and the governors knew what they were doing, they would never have crucified our Lord.’

‘He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.’ He is faithful to finish what He begins.

Psa 3:1-8 “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”

‘Selah’ means to pause and raise your voice louder and praise God more. Sometimes your voice needs to raise and praise God more, no matter what is going on around you because God is faithful. Raise your praise higher and see God do miraculous things all around you.

In the boat, Jesus was taking a nap and a storm was raging all around. The disciples woke Him up. He said, ‘Peace be still.’ And all the noise stopped. The wind and the storm and the waters obeyed. When you shut out the noise, you can hear the voice of God. ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper.’ ‘Formed’, planned, devised. Whoever drew up those evil plans, God has an answer and a plan to His glory and your good. God has a better plan.

His plans are better than yours. Abraham considered not the things that were against him. Why? He didn’t consider them because God didn’t consider them. If God doesn’t consider that, why do you? Abraham became strong in faith, giving praise to God.

Strength comes from praising God! I don’t know what I’m going to find when I come to church, but all I need is one word from the God who brought me out before. David defeated Goliath without a sword. David had an opportunity to kill Saul, but he didn’t take it.

Every victory isn’t the same. Sometimes you have to destroy completely, but other things you aren’t meant to kill. It is those things that you are meant to praise God in the midst of. Judas cut and betrayed, but it pushed Jesus into His destiny that much sooner. Peter was called a ‘devil’ because he would keep Jesus from His destiny.

Instead of praying, ‘God take this away,’ pray, ‘God turn this into something for Your glory.’ Let this become a blessing. Paul persecuted Christians and God turned him into one of the greatest evangelists of all time.

It’s tough for us sometimes because we are the ones experiencing the story. The guy in the lion’s den had good sleep, but the king didn’t. ‘Daniel, was your God able to save you?’

How is this the same as your situation? Daniel replied, ‘My God sent His angel last night to shut the mouths of these lions.’

In your darkness, when it’s not easy to sing, bless the Lord anyway. Sometimes music and songs can cost a lot. Give praise anyway and God will turn your situation. God doesn’t change, but He will work things to your good and His glory. He doesn’t change, but we must. He will work to your good.

‘By His stripes you are healed.’ Does that still move us today?

David filled up on the bread and then he asked for something to take with him. ‘I look to the hills, where shall my help come from?’ He answered it himself. ‘My help comes from the Lord.’ (Psalm 121). You have questions, but you also have the Answer. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, the Answer is here.

Your life may look like a cliffhanger, but you have the Answer, you know the Answer already!

David encouraged himself in the Lord, his God. ‘My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.’ Make it personal. Let this remind you that the Creator makes a way where there is no way.

The Answer is found in the Presence of the Lord. Just get there. God is here. Don’t stand outside. He has what you need right here.

Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Armando Martinez

If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.

www.thelifechurchofdesplaines.com

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About ChristinaLi

Christina Li, BA, MA, is a wife, mother of five, journalist, and author. She believes life is an adventure and has seen first hand the miraculous that happens when you say 'yes' to God. Besides writing, she loves tea, black, green, or white, and coffee, fresh roasted by her wonderful husband. Check out her books at: amazon.com/author/christinali
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