Imagine going bankrupt, having your house burned down and discovering your family has been kidnapped by terrorists—all in one day. Wouldn't that be the worst day of your life? That's what happened to David around 1012 B.C., when he lived in the village of Ziklag (see 1 Sam. 30).
The biblical account says that while David and his men were away in Aphek, their enemies, the Amalekites, ransacked their village, stole all their goods and kidnapped all the women and children. To make matters worse, David's men blamed him and threatened to stone him.
The way David responded is a model for anyone going through difficult times. And during a season in our nation's history when the economy is struggling and many people are hurting, his story about how God brought victory after disaster is a real encouragement.
Few of us have experienced tragedy as devastating as David's. But all of us can learn from the 10 steps pastor Brian Zahnd gives in his new book, What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life, for how to respond when facing painful circumstances. The book is based on David's experience and hits stores March 3.
I also encourage you to leave me a blog at the end of this newsletter telling me about your worst day or commenting on the message of the book. Our new Web site had previously required you to register in order to leave a comment. As a result, we've received very few responses. So we've turned off that feature, and anyone can leave feedback this week.
In addition, I just signed up for Twitter, and I invite you to register at http://www.twitter.com/sstrang.
Zahnd, who pastors a successful church in Missouri, first preached about David's experiences a few years ago after his assistant commented to him that many people in the church were going through hard times. Tapes of the sermon were widely distributed, and people encouraged him to put the message into print. Jentezen Franklin, pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia, told us about it. Now it's a new book release that we believe is the right book for the right time to bless the lives of countless people. You can hear the author's comments about it by viewing the video below this blog.
I've been sharing prepublication copies with friends, and the responses are amazing. What makes this book so incredible? Well, I want you to read the book! But I can give you a sneak preview here, and if you go to our Web site, you can read a sample chapter we selected for you titled "Reorient Your Vision."
Zahnd says the first thing you do "when trouble hits you so hard that it knocks the wind out of you and makes you feel that it must be the worst day of your life" is "go ahead and weep." He points out that this was David's first response to what happened in Ziklag.
Weeping is a normal response to deep hurt. According to Scripture, David and his men "wept, until they had no more power to weep" (1 Sam. 30:4, NKJV). That's serious mourning!
But David didn't stop there. The next thing he did was refuse to get bitter. Many people become bitter about the things that happen to them and, as a result, are unable to move forward in their lives. Each of us, no matter how full of faith, will face hardships—the death of a loved one, a terrible diagnosis from the doctor, a tragic divorce.
But instead of getting bitter, we must "encourage ourselves in the Lord." This was David's third step and should be ours as well. It brings us to the place where we can "get a word from God," and that gives us the ability to "reorient our vision."
I could tell you more, but I want you to download a chapter at whattodoontheworstdayofyourlife.com and then read the book. And be sure to pass the book along to your friends.
Zahnd told me the message of the book is hope. "Where there's hope, there's always grace, and then miracles can happen," he said in a short interview that you can listen to online.
Pastor Jentezen Franklin says he highly recommends the book, "especially in the financial times we're facing." He told me every believer will face a "Gethsemane sooner or later."
"It's so important in the walk of the believer to know that it's not just the mountaintops and the great things, but that God does speak to the low places in our lives," he said. You can hear his interview and Zahnd's at whattodoontheworstdayofyourlife.com.
If you feel discouraged, be sure to turn to the Word of God. That's where the solutions are. And through his book, Zahnd can help you understand the Scriptures in a way that will give you real hope and victory.
Remember, only a few days after the worst day of his life, David got everything back that was taken from him. You can do as he did-attack, recover it all and make the devil pay! The video below will whet your appetite to read his story of victory.
Please be sure to add your comments to my blog. It's easier now; you don't have to register to leave a comment as you have the last several weeks. I'd like to know how reading the free chapter—and the rest of Zahnd's book—made a difference in your life.
Recently in going over the reports I found out that in November the Strang Report had 1,200 bounces, in December another 1,200, and in January only 260. When I asked our Digital Media group about this they said there is nothing we can do. The bounces occur because an e-mail address is no longer in use, somebody let their e-mail box get too full and it won't accept any more incoming mail, or the e-mail was blocked due to content.
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