Hardship is a sad reality of life. Sin, pain, and loss come part and parcel with this mortal existence, and our responses to these negative experiences shape and mold our lives so profoundly. When we overcome these difficulties, we naturally acquire the skills and wisdom necessary to adapt. These skills improve our ability to weather future hardships with greater ease. They also equip us for another important, God given work: offering help to others in similar circumstances.
I call it wielding the sword of Goliath.
If you recall 1 Samuel chapter 21, you’ll remember a young David on the run from a crazed King Saul. Driven to insanity by his jealousy, Saul is bent on David’s destruction in an ultimately futile effort to thwart God’s plans for the young shepherd. David flees to the city of Nob, where the High Priest, famously, gives him the only food he has on hand: consecrated bread. But David also asks for something else: a weapon. The priest’s response to this request? Only one thing:
"The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah..." (v. 9)
Imagine, for a moment, the significance of this sword in David's mind. Not only was it a symbol of victory - the very representation of God's power to overcome seemingly impossible odds - but it was for so long a tool of the enemy. It was the sword of a Philistine champion, a giant that used it to slaughter God's people. Who can count the Hebrew lives that were ended on that blade? Who can measure the amount of Hebrew blood that was spilled by it? Who knows the number of families that were torn apart by the Hebrew husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers slain by the edge of that sword? And now it has been placed in the valiant hands of the man after God's own heart. A great tool of evil that was used to destroy God’s people has now been given the chance to defend them. Rather than destroy the families of God’s people, the sword can build them up.
Today, families are being torn apart by a different weapon. Godly husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers are falling by the score to the dreaded spiritual blade of porn. And that mighty giant, the devil, swings his blade with deadly precision. But just like that young man David, we can conquer the looming giant. Not only that, but we can use the experience of our own hardships to help others do the same.
Our personal stories - those ordeals of sin, pain, and loss which ultimately result in victory - will equip us to help and teach others how to likewise overcome. In so doing, we help them defeat the Goliaths in their own lives and find the ways of escape from sin. That which was formerly a tool of evil can instead be wielded for God’s glory.
This task isn’t just up to Jessica and me. You can help others, too. Hope Talks receives messages weekly not only from those who need help, but also from those who have already conquered. You can be David, defending the people of God with your new found weapon. And your story - a story of victory over pain - can be the sword of your personal Goliath. Wield it wisely, and wield it with strength.
If you want to talk with someone who's been where you are, click here - help is just a conversation away.