Handling Success with Grace

by Rick

(1 Samuel 17:52-57)

This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing.”  By this point in David’s story we know that his victory over Goliath stirred up the faith of the Israelite army and they rushed the Philistine army prepared for battle.  The Israelites chased the Philistines as far as Gath and to the gates of Ekron. The bodies of the dead and wounded Philistines were strewn for miles.  The Israelite army then returned and plundered the deserted Philistine camp and with that, the battle was over.

David took Goliath’s armor off of his corpse and kept it as a trophy, but he carried Goliath’s head with him, because he wanted to present it to the king.  While this was going on king Saul asked Abner, the commander of his army (who was clearly not in command that day), “Abner, whose son is this young man?”  This is an interesting question.  Saul already knew David as his harp player, but while David was playing the harp king Saul never thought to ask who his father was, or what family he came from.  David’s  lineage did not seem important to Saul when David was just a harp player, but now that he was going to be hailed as a mighty warrior, Saul wanted to know more about him and his family.  Abner replied, “I really don’t know.”  Saul responded, “Well, find out who he is!”

When David returned from the victory General Abner Abner brought him to king Saul.  David walked up to the king, with the giant’s head still dangling from his fingers, and the king said, “Tell me about your father, young man.”  David replied, “His name is Jesse, and we live in Bethlehem.”  We will stop here for today.

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things:
1.  Private victories precede public ones.  The Lord made sure David experienced killing a lion and a bear, in private, without any fanfare, well before he killed the giant.  Why?  Because if you can’t handle private success, you will certainly not be able to handle public success.  Pride has been the downfall of many great people.  So, while you are winning your battles in private and asking God when he is going to expose you to the public, don’t worry, keep winning the private battles and the time will come when the Father shines His spotlight on you.

2.  You have the grace to handle success.  Handling failure is difficult, but handling success can be even more difficult.  Success has a way of chewing you up and spitting you out, if you are not ready for it.  But just like the Father will not allow you to face challenges you are not ready for, He will not allow you to face success you can’t handle either.  So, if you are experiencing it, then you can take.  Accept the success with grace and it will not destroy you.

3.  Never forget where you came from.  David knew he had just won a great victory and he knew his life was about to change forever.  But when asked about his Dad, David said, “His name is Jesse, and we live in Bethlehem.”  Notice that David said, “we” and not “he.”  Although David would soon leave Bethlehem, he was proud to say that he lived there and that he was from there.  David also brought honor to his family name that day.  Here’s the point: while God wants to deal with your future, and not your past, God does not want you to be embarrassed of your past.  The mess of your past becomes the message of your story!  Look back and be thankful, just never judge your future by your past.

Closing Confession:  Father, I thank You for this teaching.  I am extremely thankful for my time of preparation.  All my life You have been preparing me for this moment.  I have had many private successes and I have often wondered when You would expose me and elevate me, but I don’t have to wonder any more.  I simply trust You.  I know my private successes are preparing me for public ones.  When You do open the door and bring me before great men and women, I shall be prepared to accept and handle the success with grace.  Your grace is on me to experience everything I experience.  Good or bad, easy or tough, up or down, I am prepared to handle everything that comes my way.  I know who I am and whose I am.  I know where I come from and I am not ashamed of it.  I am ready to bring honor to my family name.  I shall leave a legacy of righteousness for my children and their children.  I look back and say, “Thank You!”  But I don’t judge my future by my past.  I have not always been perfect, but my mess will become my message.  My stress will be part of my story.  My tests will feed my testimony!  And even with all the mistakes I have made, my past can’t disqualify me from what You have qualified me for.  I am ready for this day and for every day that comes next, because of Your immeasurable grace.  In Jesus’ name.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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