David said to himself, “One of these days I’ll be swept away by Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape immediately to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me everywhere in Israel, and I’ll escape from him.” (1 Samuel 27:1)
In today’s reading of 1 Samuel, we can see the impact of what we are thinking will influence our decisions. In verse 1, David said to himself (or some versions, said “in his heart”) some words that sounded like he was ready to give up against Saul. We don’t know if David said these words out loud, or if he said it to anyone else, or even if he said it to God. But David did say it to himself. What we say or think to ourselves has tremendous power to shape our thinking, our actions, or even the rest of our lives.
David was discouraged and told himself that one of these days Saul would kill him. These were words of discouragement coming from a heart that was tired of trusting God for his continued deliverance. David had forgotten how God had delivered him before. Before, David had trusted in God to protect him from the hand of Saul. But now, David gave up trusting in God and instead left the land of promise and the people of God, to find protection in the land of the Philistines (of all places). Saul couldn’t drive David to the Philistines, but discouragement and despair were able to drive David to the Philistines. We need to realize that we have the power to speak words of life or words of discouragement to ourselves.
When we are going through a trying situation, we need to remember to draw closer to God and recount the ways that He has rescued us and brought good out of a bad situation. It is easy to give up and be discouraged when we rely on ourselves. We live in a world that says it’s ok to give up when tough times come. Yet God can use difficulty to build in us perseverance and greater trust in Him and His ways. Let’s remember to be in God’s word daily and to speak God’s promises to our hearts, especially in times of discouragement.