Jentezen Franklin - How To Recover It All
Look with me in 1 Samuel 30 for just a few moments this morning. I do believe that what I'm gonna share is for people under the sound of my voice like never before. Like never before. God, I believe has a word for people today. 1 Samuel 30 begins with, "Now, it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day. The Amalekites had invaded the south and Ziklag. And attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire. They took captive the women and those that were small and great". And I won't take time to read it all.
Verse 4 says, "David and his people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep. They were taken captive, their families, their children". Verse 6, "Now, David was greatly distressed for the people spoke of stoning him because the soul of the people was so grieved, every man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God". Verse 8, "So David inquired of the Lord and said, 'Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?' And He answered," The Lord did. "'Pursue for you shall surely overtake them and without fail, recover.'" And just one more quick reference to this amazing story.
It says in verse 16, "And when they brought him down," speaking of David, "And he found what the people who had done this horrible thing that they had done, they were spread out over all the land," Notice this, "Eating, drinking, dancing because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah". That's David, that's his people. "Then David attacked them". Everybody say: Attack. "Then David attacked them from twilight into evening the next day. Not a man of them escaped except for 400 young men who rode camels and fled". Verse 18, "So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away and David rescued his wives". The next verse ends with, "David recovered all". He recovered all.
I wanna speak to you for a few moments this morning about this story because there's some powerful steps to victory that David took, that everyone can take on the most devastating, broken day of your life. How do you go on? What do you do when you face day like David had to face? And every one of you are going to end up in Ziklag at some point. It's the worst day of your life. And we can pretend this is not gonna happen, but you will have a day where you will find yourself standing in the ashes and the smoke of something that just absolutely devastated your life. David could not avoid Ziklag, you will visit it somewhere between the prophecy and the destiny.
John 10:10 said, "The thief comes to everyone's life to kill, steal, and destroy". But David took some steps to victory, some practical things that you ought to do when you're at the worst place in your life. And the first thing that David did was, number one, he wept. He wept. I think it's so significant that he stood in the midst of the smoldering ashes of everything that he had lost, and he began to weep. He wept for his city. He wept for his home. He wept for his children, and his family, and his wife. He began to weep, and not only did David weep, but this is so amazing to me. Those mighty men, those powerful, we would call 'em Navy Seals and then some. Because these men, if you read the Book of Samuel, were warriors on another level, hand to hand combat.
In other words, they had faced death many times. They had become used to bloodshed. They had faced tragedy so many times, but on this day, grown, massive, strong, powerful men wept your Bible, said, "Until they could not weep anymore". They wept. That's what you do on the worst day of your life. There was no more strength to weep. A lot of people think that if you have faith that somehow if you live by faith, you'll be immune to your feelings. That somehow you shouldn't let anything affect you, that any sign of tears, and sorrow, and grief, and pain, and devastation is somehow a failure of faith. But the Bible doesn't teach that. Many of the greatest people in the Bible wept. Abraham wept when he stood at the tomb of Sarah, his wife. We know that Joseph wept when he was reunited with his brothers after the family had been so divided, and he had been estranged from them for years, and years, and years.
And when he finally revealed himself, they all joined each other and grabbed each other, and they wept. The Bible said that "Hezekiah, when he received the news that he was going to die, set your house in order". He wept. The scripture said that Paul in Acts 26 said, "I serve the Lord with many tears". And we know that even Jesus at his friend's grave site, Lazarus, Jesus wept. He was moved. He was God, He was all powerful and yet, there was something that made Him weep. He wept because He felt the emotion and the sorrow of the moment. And so, when you understand that Ecclesiastes' said, "There's a time to weep". Psalms 30:5, gives us a great promise about weeping. He said, "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning".
If you have a night of weeping, you will have a dawn of faith. There will be another season of joy if you won't give up in the night of weeping. As a matter of fact, there is a weeping that can go beyond normal grief and you begin to enter into unbelief and self-pity. That's why God got angry in Numbers 11 when the people of God were in the wilderness and they began to weep and say, "We wish we were back in Egypt". And God said, "That's not a weeping of sorrow. That's a weeping of unbelief". The tears don't have hope in them. The tears don't have faith in them. And it's all right to weep, but you weep knowing a season of joy will return. In 2 Samuel 5, the Bible talks about David, and he was in the valley of Rephaim. And Rephaim is a Hebrew word that means giants, it translates giants. He was in the valley of gigantic trouble and the Bible said, "He got under a weeping tree," which the Hebrew word is Baca, B-A-C-A.
And as he was under the.. see the picture, he's under a weeping tree. He's got gigantic problems. He's in a valley, a dark deep valley, and he doesn't know what to do, and he feels overwhelmed. And suddenly the word of the Lord comes to him, and the word of the Lord says, "Listen for the sound of rusting above the weeping trees because when you hear that sound, David, advance quickly. The Lord has gone before you to give you the victory over your enemy". In other words, He said, "David, there's a sound above the sound of your weeping in your lowest valley surrounded with gigantic problems. And if you will listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, He will not leave you in the valley weeping. But there's a sound above the sound of your weeping that's saying, 'Victory is coming, I'm going to restore onto you what the enemy has taken. You shall recover it all.'"
And if you can't recover it, God can replace it with something even better. But the point is, there will be another season of joy. God will wipe every tear from your eye. God will take what the enemy meant to destroy you, and He will get glory out of it. If you believe it, say, "Amen". You will never receive a miracle feeling sorry for yourself. At some point, you've gotta come up out of the tears of unbelief and self-pity and say, "I'm crying, but I'm also believing that if weeping endures for the night, joy is coming back to this family, to this marriage, to this life, to this situation". Clap your hands if you believe it and say, "Praise the Lord".
Don't let grief conquer you. Don't let it conquer you. The second thing that you do when all awful things happen is, number one, you weep, but you weep with faith knowing that another season of joy is coming. That's God's promise. Number two, you refuse to get bitter because the Bible said that "The men began to blame David". David who had helped these men immensely, David, who had done all kinds of things for them. But in that moment, when tragedy hits human nature, inside of all of us is to blame someone. We start blaming one another. We start blaming this person and that person. And then we begin to get bitter once we move from tears. If we don't control ourselves and line up with the word of God when we're going through a grief, and a tragedy, and the worst situations that life can offer us. If we don't watch it, we get bitter at people, and we blame people or we get bitter at God, and we blame God.
And this is what David refused to do about, Hebrews 12:15 said, "Be careful that a root of bitterness not spring up in you". When something happens that you don't understand or somebody does something wrong to you, "That a root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble and many there be defiled by it". In other words, a root of bitterness, the text said, "Causes trouble". Trouble in your health, if you get bitter. Trouble in your mind, trouble in all your relationships. When you carry bitterness and unforgiveness, it will destroy you. "Well, how in the world do I get beyond the bitterness, Pastor? How? How do I do it"?
The Bible said that the children of Israel, in Exodus 15 were in the wilderness, and they were thirsty, and there was a pool of water that they found, but when they tasted the water, it was bitter. But God showed Moses a tree and He said, "Take a limb off that tree and put it in the bitter water and the bitterness will become sweet when the tree gets in that bitter situation". What is the tree? Proverbs 15:4 tells us how to turn bitterness into sweetness. "A wholesome tongue is as a tree of life". And what Moses put that tree in that bitter water, and it turned its sweet. Our tree is our words. In other words, speak words of healing, not words of criticism. Speak words and use your tongue for healing. Use your tongue in bitter situations and begin to speak the word of God and begin to speak life.
If your marriage is bitter, if your life is bitter, our tongues can be the healing force that turns bitterness, and roots of bitterness, and anger and unforgiveness into healing. The tree of life is right there in your mouth, it's called your tongue. And when you speak, a wholesome tongue is as a tree of life. Proverbs 4:23 said, "Keep your heart with all diligence". Watch this, "For out of its springs," Water. That's speaking of water. "springs the issues of life". And so, you speak healing words, and you turn bitter into sweetness. He made up his mind and he wept, but he wept in faith. And then he refused to get bitter. And then thirdly, this is a powerful step to victory that David took on the worst day of his life. He encouraged himself in the Lord. He said, "I am not encouraged by my circumstances. I am encouraged because I'm focused on God".
He wept, he refused to become bitter and then he encouraged himself in the Lord. His own men talked about stoning him, but he encouraged himself in the Lord. He's standing there and his house is still smoking, and on fire and the whole city. His children have been kidnapped; his finances have been devastated. He's lost everything, but in that moment, he said, "I still can find the courage to get up and do what God called me to do. He knew I would be here. He knew this would happen". And he encouraged himself in the Lord. What do you do when tragedy hits your life? When you lose your job? When you lose your business? When the doctors report is bad? When you end up in a divorce that you didn't want? What do you do?
The one translation said, "When he encouraged himself in the Lord, you limit your focus to God". You get God tunnel vision. You focus on how mighty He is, how powerful He is, how faithful He is, how He'll never leave you and He'll never forsake you, no matter what happens. In Acts 26:2, the Apostle Paul said, "I think myself happy. I think myself happy. I think myself happy". One translation said, "I command my emotional state to be one of joy and happiness". Another translation said, "I choose the joy of the Lord as my dominant emotion". Hallelujah. In other words, you just get up and you say, "I can have a cheerful consistency. I don't have to be laying down in depression, and fear, and worry all the time".
That's not God's will for your life. Encourage yourself in the Lord your God. He's still mighty, He's still powerful, He's still fighting for you, He's still on your side. Shout, "Depression will not dominate me. Fear will not dominate me. Worry, and defeat, and failure will not dominate me. I will encourage myself in the Lord my God". But then he did something powerful. He inquired and said, "God, should I pursue, or should I just give up on this dream"? And when he inquired of the Lord, here's the fourth thing he did. He got a word from the Lord, listen, that gave him a vision on the inside of total victory. Nothing had changed. He got a word from the Lord.
There are two Hebrew word in your Bible for "the word". There is Logos, that's the word of God in general, from Genesis to revelations. That's a general, that's the Bible, that's God's word, that's Logos. Then there's a word called Rhema. And Rhema is a spoken specific now word for the right person at the right time. And when you get it, it is not some kind of vague impression. When God is speaking a rhema to you, it's not like its kinda, sorta, you're trying to apply it to your life somehow, but it really doesn't fit.
But when God speaks a word to you, it's like thunder in your spirit. It's like suddenly, even though you are in the same situation, he still had the smoke, he still had the fire, he still had the missing kids, he still had the family devastated. He still had the money messed up, but right in the middle of it, when he got a word from the Lord, suddenly he had a vision of victory in the same circumstances. It was a specific word for a specific person in a specific situation, and when you get a word like that, God says, "Now it's up to you to stand up and take what I gave you and fight. And when I tell you to move, move for you shall recover it all". Give God a big praise, if you believe it.
Your vision is your future. He got a vision of total victory. He got a vision of restoration. And the Lord said to him, "You shall recover it all". I'm telling you, I read this verse this week and I wrote it down. Genesis 13:14 and 15. God said, "Abraham, lift up your eyes now". God helped me to preach to somebody watching me on television, somebody watching online. And you're having the worst season, and the worst situation, and the worst days, of your life. You're crying yourself to sleep, and you're broken, and I don't minimize it. We've been there, we've been there as a family. It felt like we lived there for a couple years, but I'm not living there now. And He said, "Lift up your eyes". Listen to this, "And look from the place where you are, for all the land north, south, east and west that I show you, I will give you and your descendants after you".
Don't be confined to where you are. Lift up your eyes from where you are and say, "I won't always be depressed. I won't always be defeated. I won't always be alone. I won't always be struggling. I won't always be an alcoholic or a drug addict. I won't always be in a position and a place of failure. But God opened my eyes", and he got a vision, David did, on the day the worst tragedy of his life. He got a vision of victory. I'm telling you today, the last thing he did, and this is so important. I feel this thing down in my bones, can you tell? I love this last point. David got mad as Hades. That's the Greek word for Hell. He got mad at the devil.
Now, his soldiers got mad at him, but he knew who the real enemy was. My battle is not with flesh and blood. And the Bible said that they took David down behind a rock or a boulder. And when he was eavesdropping on the Amalekites that had kidnapped his family, and burned his city, and stolen all of... he looked and saw the gold and silver on the camels. He looked and the Bible, your Bible said that they were laughing, and they were dancing, and they were drinking wine... put the verse up. They were drinking, and dancing, and partying. I could see Abigail, David's wife, being forced to get out there and men walking up and putting their hands on her and hugging her. And David's, I mean, he was not a girly man. David was a killer. David was vicious. David was so bloody.
God said, "I can't let you, you've done, you've been in war, and you've done things, I can't even let you build my temple. I'm go use your boy, 'cause you got a lot of blood on you". And David has sees them touching his wife, and sees his children huddled up over there crying, and scared, and holding one another. Sees his gold on their camels, and suddenly something hit him. He said, "I'm not a victim. I'm not go sit back and just take this. I'm mad at that spirit that thinks that he can come in... you can't have my family. You can't have my children. You can't have my church. You can't have my nation. You can't have my, oh, you can't have my world. You can't have it. If I'm here, greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world". Come on and clap your hands in faith right now.