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.” – 1 Samuel 30:8
In ancient history, somewhere off the coasts of the Middle East, a young king returned from the battlefront with his knights and generals. However, something was amiss: Their city had been invaded, their wives and children captured, and their land desecrated. The loss was sharp and unexpected, so much so that the generals thought about killing their young king. This event occurred in the city of Ziklag, and the king in question was none other than David. Yet, the story does not end there. We follow the story to find the grieving king asking God in the place of prayer:
Shall I pursue, will I overtake them?
The story is striking because it embodies the recurring human themes of loss, failure and defeat. But it also radiates the bright hope of restoration and victory after the storm. Consider the life of former boxing heavyweight champion George Foreman. He had earlier retired from boxing to settle into life as a preacher. He set up a youth centre to empower young boys through sports. But he soon found himself at the edge of bankruptcy. In the face of this loss, his advisers pressured him to close the centre and declare himself bankrupt. But he refused. Instead, at 45, he returned to the boxing ring, from which he won 23 subsequent matches – the oldest fighter to do so at the time. Today, he has published five books, runs his youth centre and has a net worth of over 230 million dollars.
If there is one parallel to draw from these two examples, it is this: Failure is not the end. Defeat will always be temporary. No matter the loss or setback, restoration is always on the horizon. However, it is how you view the situation that determines if you would pursue further, or surrender to the tides.
In our opening scripture, we see God’s response to David’s enquiry:
Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.
We can see, then, that even in the face of loss and debilitating defeat, God only sees and speaks victory. His answer is always yes. Yes to victory. Yes to restoration. Yes to miraculous breakthroughs and turnaround. The reason is simple: He is a covenant keeping God. He will not let His covenant children go defeated. In other words, with God on the scene, there will always be a comeback. This should inform our attitude to challenges. Rather than languish in self-pity over your situation, believe in God’s ability to turn things around. That overwhelming loss you think you have experienced will be upturned. The injustice and false accusation levelled against you will turn in your favour. Your marriage and finances will be revived. Your medical report will be rewritten. To put it simply, whatever the enemy has stolen from you will be turned back in your favour.
So, let your praises be an expression of your pursuit. Let the Word of God be your weapon of warfare. Let your attitude and expectation mirror your faith in God. Things are turning around. They are getting better. In every place you were put to shame, you will experience honour. So, go back for that medical test. Register for that exam once again. Give your marriage a fighting chance. Try that business idea. God is with you. You will undoubtedly recover all in Jesus name.
The question is: Do you have a personal relationship with this God who is specialises in turning bad situations around? If you do not, you can start one right away by praying this prayer: