At times, it can seem as if the struggles we face are impossible for us to overcome, or as if we just aren’t strong enough to weather the storms of life. Things can happen in an instant that we never expected, like the sudden death of a loved one, or a tragic accident or sickness that leaves us or a loved one with lifelong difficulties.
Life can be full of challenges and obstacles that can sometimes overwhelm us, but thanks be to God that we do not have to face the giants of life alone. We can have confidence, as born-again believers in Jesus, that God will fight for us. No matter what we may face in our lives, we can have great confidence that we are not alone and that the God of all creation is walking with us.
David and Goliath: Courage in the Face of Danger
Today we will examine the story of David and Goliath for truths to apply to our own lives. David was just a young shepherd when he heard of the giant who challenged his people. David had no special training as a warrior, no special armor, and no one to fight alongside him, but he chose to face the giant head-on with the confidence that God was with him.
The story of David and Goliath is found in the Book of First Samuel chapter 17. The armies of the Philistines gathered for battle against King Saul and the armies of the Israelites. The Bible tells us that the men of Isreal were gathered on one mountain, while the Philistines were gathered on another mountain with a valley between them.
A Deadly Challenge
The Philistine army sent out their champion of champions, a giant named Goliath from the land of Gath. Goliath was over 9 feet tall and wore specially made armor that, all together, weighed more than most men. The head of his spear alone weighed 15 pounds/7 kilos.
Goliath taunted the Israelite army and issued his challenge:
“I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send a man who will fight me!” – Goliath, 1 Samuel 17: 8-10
For 40 days, the Philistine champion rose up each morning and taunted the Israelite army, yet none was brave enough to face him in battle.
An Unlikely Hero Emerges
The Bible tells us that the three oldest sons of Jesse joined to fight with King Saul’s army, but Jesse’s youngest boy, David, was out in the fields tending his father’s sheep. One day, Jesse asked his son to take some bread and cheese to his brothers and bring back a report of the situation. David left the sheep with another shepherd and rushed out to the ranks to meet his brothers.
Just as David was talking with his brothers, Goliath came out from among the Philistine army, taunting the Israelites again, and the Hebrew soldiers ran away in fear of the terrible giant. David approached some of the nearby soldeirs and asked,
“What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” – David, 1 Samuel 17: 28
David asked several of the soldiers this same question and soon his question made it back to King Saul, who summoned David before him. With bold confidence, David proclaimed to the King,
“Don’t worry about this Philistine, I’ll go fight him….I have already killed a lion and a bear and I’ll do the same to this pagan Philistine, for he has defied the armies of the living God!” – David, 1 Samuel 17: 32-36
Young David Prepares for Battle
Saul was shocked by David’s bravery and couldn’t believe that such a youngster could defeat a giant who had trained for warfare from the time his youth, but finally agreed, offering for David to use his own armor and sword.
David tried on the large armor but immediately knew it would not work for him. David was used to carrying a shepherd’s staff and a slingshot, not heavy armor and a sword.
As David walked out from the Israelites to meet the dastardly giant, he bent down to pick up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag…he was ready for war!
Shepherd Boy Vs. Giant Warrior
Goliath saw the boy and walked toward him with his shield bearer.
“Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you would come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.” (1 Samuel 17: 43-44)
“David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have taunted.” “Today the LORD will conquer you and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle!” David shouted! (1 Samuel 17: 45-46)
“As Goliath moved in closer for the attack, David ran out quickly to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down to the ground.” – 1 Samuel 17: 48-49
The young ruddy shepherd had defeated the giant Goliath with only a sling and a stone. He then took Goliath’s sword and took off his head. Immediatley the armies of Israel, seeing the victory, rushed after the Philistines and chased them far away.
David trusted that God was with him and had the courage to face the giant in his life… and he was victorious!
What We Can Learn:
- Trust God: In the face of danger, David trusted in God and did not run away in fear. When he put his trust in God, the Lord strengthened him and gave him the courage to face the giant.
- Be Willing: David saw a need. He saw that no one else was stepping up to face the giant and was willing to risk his life. He was willing when no one else was.
- Will we be willing to serve the Lord even when no one else will?
- Be Confident: David had confidence that no matter how dangerous the challenge might be, God would fight with him. David said: “This battle belongs to the LORD!”
5 Powerful Strategies for Facing the Giants in Your Life
Although we may not do battle with actual giants like David did, we do face giants of our own throughout our lives. Our struggles, hardships, obstacles, and problems are our giants and sometimes facing them can seem just as scary as Goliath must have seemed to the Israelites. While these situations can seem overwhelming, we have an Almighty God who will never leave us nor forsake us in our times of need.
Here are 5 powerful strategies to overcome the giants in our lives:
As Christians, prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have to overcome the giants in our own lives. Prayer is an open line of communication with the same God who created the Heavens and the earth.
- Psalm 91: 16 – “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”
The Bible reminds us time and time again of the power of prayer. No matter what we are facing in our lives, we can take it to the Lord in Prayer and we can be confident that He hears us. I thank God that He answers prayers.
2. Reading the Bible
Psalms 46 tells us that God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in our troubles.
- Hebrews 4: 12 – “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The Bible is our offense and our defense against the giants of life. When we are facing something and we do not know what to do, we can go to the Bible for answers. The Bible is our living roadmap for living life and overcoming even the most difficult of trials.
3. Meditating on the Scripture
This is similar to the last one but takes it to the next level. Reading the Bible equips us with the scriptures; we cannot meditate on God’s Word if we have not read it! Reading the Bible helps to encourage us and teach us about the Lord, but meditating on the scriptures day and night is a strong shield against the fiery darts of the wicked one.
If we are meditating on the Holy Scriptures throughout the day, we already have our defenses ready for whatever might come our way. Just think of how comforting it can be to think about our favorite scriptures!
For example, one scripture that I meditate upon often is Romans 8: 28, which says, “All things work together for the good of them who love God and are called according to His purpose.”, and this gives me great strength in the face of difficult situations.
Meditating on the Scriptures is a discipline; we must cast down our ungodly thoughts and replace them with the Holy Scripture.
4. Bearing One Another’s Burdens
- Galatians 6: 2 – “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
One of the best ways to overcome our struggles is by sharing our situations with a brother or sister in Christ. When the weight of our burdens seems too much to bear, it can be one of the greatest blessings to have a support system of like-minded believers who are willing to pray for you, encourage you, uplift you, and help you during your time of need.
Being a part of a local church community is vital for a healthy and whole Christian life. We were not created to go through our lives alone and what we cannot bear by ourselves we can more easily overcome with the help and support of others.
5. Think on the Good Things
- Philippians 4: 8 – “Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
It is so important for us to think about the good things and not the negative. When we constantly focus on the negative things, we are giving a foothold to doubt, fear, anger, and depression!
Dwelling on the negative or things that we cannot change will only drag us even further down in despair.
Have you ever heard the old saying, “There is no use crying over spilled milk.”? When we allow our minds to dwell on the things that we cannot change, all we are doing is creating more heartache for ourselves and sometimes others too.
The Bible tells us to “take every thought captive”:
- 2 Corinthians 10: 5 – “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”
Every thought we have that is against what we know to be true about God, we must cast it out of our minds. If you ever think you are worthless, cast that thought down because the Bible says you were worth a great price. (1 Corinthians 6: 20) If you ever think you can’t carry the weight of the struggle on your own, cast that thought down because you are not alone. (Zephaniah 3:17) If you ever think that things will never get better, cast that thought down too because the Bible says that weeping may last the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30: 5)
God Bless You
Whatever you are going through and whatever giants you are facing in your life, just know that through prayer, reading the Bible, meditating on the Scripture, leaning on others, and thinking about the good things, God will help you to be victorious!
I pray that you have been both encouraged and equipped with tools to help you defeat the giants in your life today!
God Bless You!
Join Me In a Short Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your strength and thank you for reminding me that, through You, I can overcome the giants in my life.
Lord, thank you for the reminder from the Bible about David and how he overcame Goliath despite all of the odds against him.
Help me, Oh Lord, to trust in You and help me to use the strategies that You taught me today to be victorious against my trials!
I know that You are with me and You will never leave me! Thank You JESUS!
In the most Holy and Precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!