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Chris Reed: "From Tragedy to Triumph"

Chris Reed
Nov 6, 2022

From the Desks of Steve Shultz and Julie A. Smith:

Steve ShultzWho doesn't enjoy hearing a good "tragedy to triumph" story? The Bible is FULL of are many of our own testimonies!

Chris Reed writes a very detailed message from the life of David that will encourage us all as he says this about victory:

Victory is a keynote of the Christian life. Victory and peace come not from the absence of trouble but from the ability to overcome difficulties. We cannot control how others respond, but we can control how we respond to tragedies. Our faith "is the victory that has overcome the world" (see 1 John 5:4) even on our worst day...

Steve ShultzYou are made to be an overcomer through all the difficulties of life, just like David. Enjoy reading the rest of Chris' word as you too will receive important steps to pursue, overtake and recover all! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

In Christ,

Steve Shultz and Julie A. Smith, Co-Editors
Elijah List Publications

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"Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.

"Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

"Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, 'Please bring the ephod here to me.' And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, 'Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?' And He answered him, 'Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all'...

"So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all." (1 Samuel 30:1-8, 18-19)

We've all had bad days. If you have lived any length of time on this earth, you know what it is to have bad days. But this was no ordinary bad day for David. This was the epitome of bad days; the worst possible scenario that could happen to a man, and the worst day of David's life. After three days of fighting, David and his men were no doubt eager to return home to their wives and children only to see ominous black smoke rising from Ziklag. As a million thoughts ran through their minds, their worst fears were realized. Their city had been ransacked; their homes reduced to rubble. Their gold, silver, and livestock were gone, and their women and children were taken captive by Amalekite terrorists.

David's Roadmap to Recovery

David's response is a roadmap to recovery and a biblical blueprint for all God's people on how to suffer successfully and end up with more than you lost. Everything we go through in life is an opportunity to develop our testimonies as overcomers. Evil happens to everyone. The world, the devil, and the flesh are all primary sources of human suffering. God allows such so we can qualify as overcomers. "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again" (see Proverbs 24:16).

Whatever your tragedy, you can triumph with David's roadmap to victory. The victory we have in Christ, His Cross, His empty tomb, and His resurrection power enables us to face our personal Ziklags as victors, not victims. (Photo via Piqsels)

Victory is a keynote of the Christian life. Victory and peace come not from the absence of trouble but from the ability to overcome difficulties. We cannot control how others respond, but we can control how we respond to tragedies. Our faith "is the victory that has overcome the world" (see 1 John 5:4) even on our worst day. We may get knocked down or even knocked out, but we can all be "comeback kids" by following David's example.

Know That It's Okay to Cry

The first step when facing your personal Ziklag is to know it's okay to cry. David wept among the smoldering ruins. Tears are a language God understands. All of David's mighty men who had faced death daily without flinching also wept uncontrollably. Being strong in faith doesn't mean having no feelings or emotions; it just means not letting your emotions have the final word.

Emotions are an essential part of who we are. You cannot experience true worship or joy without them. David was a demonstrative and emotional worshiper who wrote many psalms and danced before the Lord with all his might. True worship requires a full range of emotions, and God's presence demands a response.

Abraham, the father of faith, wept at the death of Sarah. Joseph wept when he was reunited with his brothers. Hezekiah wept at the news he would die from his sickness. Nehemiah wept over Jerusalem. Jeremiah wept over the sins of Israel. Job wept in his trials. Paul wept. John wept when he experienced his heavenly visions. Even Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus. There is "a time to weep" (see Ecclesiastes 3:4).

Never Grow Bitter

The second step when facing your personal Ziklag is to never grow bitter. While David had also lost everything, his mighty men grew bitter and wanted to stone him. David had been good to them, but now they had turned against him. David learned how fickle people are. Jesus learned the same when the crowds laid palm branches and hailed Him as King, then shouted, "Crucify Him!" just days later.

When offense comes and bitterness infects the soul, human nature looks for someone to blame. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and people have been blaming everyone else since. Once bitterness takes root, if left unchecked, it can spring up, cause trouble, and defile many (see Hebrews 12:15). It can wreak havoc on our health, emotions, spiritual walk, relationships, and finances.

But if we choose to forgive instead, we will stay connected to to the divine life and to God's forgiveness: "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matthew 6:12). Our vertical relationship is affected by our horizontal relationships. "Guard your heart" (see Proverbs 4:23 NIV) by not allowing evil thoughts toward others, and remember, vengeance belongs to the Lord (see Romans 12:19).

Encourage Yourself in the Lord!

The third step to recover all is to encourage yourself in the Lord. David likely encouraged himself with the psalms he wrote: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1). There will come a time when you must also encourage yourself in the Lord. This is not because people don't love, care about, believe in, or want to help you. It is because people get caught up in their own cares...

When this happens, don't wait for something to trigger your praise. Do what Paul and Silas did when their backs were laid open and they were locked in prison with no way out. At midnight, they prayed and sang praises, and God helped them escape (see Acts 16:25). When you can't get out, let God in! Praise is the language of faith. David likewise decided to stop magnifying the ashes and start magnifying God. He knew, "We become what we behold." (Photo via Unsplash)

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4 NKJV). The purpose of trials is to perfect you.

"Counting it all joy" when you lose everything is counterintuitive, yet that is our Christian nature. Responding to a fallen world with a fallen soul will only bury you deeper. A ditch is just a grave with no sides or ends. Again, "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again" (see Psalm 24:16 NKJV) and dig himself out.

"Count it all joy" means "I think myself happy," like Paul before Agrippa, despite false accusations, death, or imprisonment (see Acts 26:2). To exhibit joy in trials is counterintuitive, yet we are never more like Christ than when we choose not to get bitter, angry, retaliate, or seek vengeance but to encourage ourselves in the Lord.

Get a Clear Word from God

The fourth step to full recovery is to get a clear word from God. David went to the high priest, laid down his sword and shield, and put on the linen high priest garment. He did not look for a prophetic word but went straight to God in prayer, knowing his priestly authority as king. He has also "made us kings and priests to our God" (see Revelation 5:10 NKJV).

"Shall I pursue this troop?" David prayed, waited, and listened. God said, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all." Nothing will give you more boldness and courage in uncertain times than a clear word from God. Then it doesn't matter what people think or say.

Refocus Your Vision

The fifth and final step to full recovery is to refocus your vision. As a new day dawned over Ziklag, a new day dawned in David's heart. David's fresh word from God refocused his faith and gave him a fresh, new vision for victory. The glimmer was back in his eye, the smile was back on his face, the spirit of heaviness had lifted, and David was vision-casting again, while his men were tired and famished.

David rose and smote the Amalekites from dusk till dawn, while his men grew even more tired. David had renewed vision and passion, while everyone else wanted to rest. Then they recovered all, and all celebrated. Some of the men felt those who did not fight should not share in the spoils. David said, no, this victory is for the team.

When you're tired, frustrated, hopeless, or on your last leg, follow David's roadmap to recovery and turn your tragedy into triumph!

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Chris Reed
Lead Pastor at MorningStar Ministries

Email: Click here

Chris Reed first felt called to minister at the age of twelve. He started accepting invitations to minister on a regular basis at the age of fourteen, and after turning nineteen, he began serving as an assistant pastor. After turning twenty-five, he was elected senior pastor of The Revival Center in Peru, Indiana, where everyone present witnessed significant advancement in the kingdom of God. In July 2021, Chris, his wife Missy, and their children relocated to Fort Mill, South Carolina, where Chris now serves as Lead Pastor of MorningStar Church. Chris is also
actively training to become President of MorningStar Ministries as Rick Joyner's successor. Chris has a mandate to train, equip, and help believers step into their ministries and find their purpose and role in changing the world.

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