David / Day 18 / Defeating Discouragement


1 Samuel 17: 31-33

What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.’

Saul replied, ‘You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.


Immediately after David has dealt with the harsh criticism from his brother, he goes to see King Saul. Look at Saul’s first words: "You are not able….."

Why?  First of all, he's too young.

Secondly, He doesn’t have enough experience.

He's told: 'You can’t do it.'

The amazing thing is this: Those who are criticising David and telling him why He can’t fight Goliath – what have they done to deal with the problem? What have they done to get rid of Goliath? Absolutely nothing. All they are doing is looking at Goliath, terrified, paralysed with fear, passive, doing nothing to deal with him. And yet they still feel they have the right to tell David why He can’t fight him.

I have found that often the people who are the most critical are the one’s who do the least. Because you are doing something, you have a passion, you are stepping up – it makes them uncomfortable and shows everyone just little they are doing. 

As someone once said: "If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticise it."

When we aren’t doing what we know we should be doing, it’s very easy to turn our criticism towards others. We dump our own insecurities and issues onto those who are genuinely trying to do the right thing.

Instead of fighting the giant, we fight our brothers. Instead of using our energy to deal with the real problem, we use it to fight those who we should be encouraging and supporting.

Some of you reading this have dreams inside your heart, things that you know God is calling you to do. It could be starting your own business, recording an album, initiating a ministry to a group of people, volunteering to serve, going overseas to do mission work - it could be anything. But people keep telling you that you’re not ready, to give it a few more years, don’t take the risk of failing, you’re not the right sort of person.

If you know that God has clearly called you to do something, don’t wait around for the perfect time. It won’t come. Don’t wait around till everyone supports you. It won’t happen. 

If you believe in your heart God has called you to do something – then at some point you need to step out in faith and do it. There’s a famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;......if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Nowhere do we read in the story that God told David he would definitely going to win the battle. Nowhere does God say: ' If you fight Goliath and I’ll give you the victory.' There were no guarantees. Yet in David’s heart I think he had heard the still small voice of God. As we’ll see later, David had a deep powerful confidence and assurance of what the outcome of the battle would be, before it even began.