The people we least expect can turn their backs on us. Maybe because of jealousy, maybe because of their own personal agenda, or maybe just because the Christ inside of us causes them to face their own sins. We may suspect that they are there to tear us down, but what if they are ordained by God to somehow build us up? Sounds absurd, right?
Now Saul was king at the time, and young David came around and was shocked that no one had the guts or belief in God to take down Goliath. David said “who is this?… that he should defy the armies of the living God”? (1Sam. 17:26) Saul saw David’s confidence and let him have a go. We all know the outcome that David won, but people started to praise David more than Saul, and the jealousy and hate that arose in Saul made it his main mission to kill David.
On one hunt, Saul went into a cave and David cut off a piece of his clothing instead of listening to everyone else to slay him. David could have easily took the throne that day but God was building character in him – character to say “I will not stretch out my hand against him”. (1Sam. 24:6) If David would have killed Saul it would have made a precedence for anyone to take his throne in the future. Instead, David sent a message loud and clear that he was doing things God’s way, and showed great courage going against his own men not to kill him. It actually took greater strength not to kill Saul than to kill him.
Now, what has God shown us about our future? Has God called us to something great, but instead we are running around in the wilderness because of our enemies? Do we seek revenge? Do we take things into our own hands and leave God out of it, or do we stand firm in His ways and trust Him for His ultimate outcome? Even Saul, David’s enemy took notice of the God that he served and repented. What if all those enemies we are consumed with fighting are actually there to build the character of God inside of us? Are we pulling out our swords and swinging, or are we putting them back into our sheaths and showing everyone the God that we serve? Do we fight them with hate instead of fighting them with mercy? I believe God uses our greatest enemies to develop our greatest strengths!
Elder Steve Smith