5 Steps to Deal with a Distressing Situation

Friend, do you know that there are 5 steps to deal with a distressing situation biblically and successfully?

Based on 1 Samuel chapter 30, I want to share with you these five biblical steps when we face adverse situations which cause great distress and bitterness.

5 Steps to Deal with a Distressing Situation

In 1 Samuel chapter 30, David and his men face such a distressing situation. They have just come from the land of the Philistines to Ziklag and were very tired. “When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.” (1 Samuel 30:3)

This was a heavy blow and an extremely distressing situation. No wonder “David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” (1 Samuel 30:4) Not only that but David’s men were talking of stoning him, giving him the blame for this unfortunate event. David was greatly distressed.” (1 Samuel 30:6) 

What would we do if we were in David’s place? Let’s take a look at how David dealt with this awful situation as a good example. David went through 5 steps to successfully handle this adversity.

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5 Steps to Deal with a Distressing Situation

#1 Finding Strength in God

The first step David took was to find strength in the Lord, his God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

What does it mean to find strength in God, and how are we to do this? We find strength in our God when we decide to look up to Him and acknowledge His constant care, providence, and provision.

What happened at Ziklag was not a surprise to God. He knew that this would happen, and He had already provided a way out. We are on the right path, when we, like David, remember who God is and that He is always on our side, ready to help. 

We find strength in our God when we decide to look up to Him and acknowledge His constant care, providence, and provision. #BibleStudy #encouragement #motivational Share on X

#2 Asking God What to Do

Since David found strength in the Lord, this helped him to take the next step: to ask the Lord what to do and how to deal with this distressing situation. “David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” (1 Samuel 30:8)

God is delighted to answer our questions and pleas for help. He has already a ready plan for action that involves our trust, so we can step in and do what we need to do. God is ready to help and support us with His strength, wisdom, peace, grace, and resources so we can take action and handle the scary situation.

#3 Following God’s Instructions

After hearing God’s instructions to pursue the raiding party and God’s assurance that David and his men would overtake them and succeed in the rescue, David immediately obeyed. He started his rescue mission with 600 men. 200 of them stayed at the Besor Valley because they were too tired to continue.

God providentially provided for David by letting him find an Egyptian, who was a slave of an Amalekite. With the help of this Egyptian, David and his men found the Amalekites. They “fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away.” (1 Samuel 30:17)

The amazing result of David’s obedience was that he “recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives.” (1 Samuel 30:18) “David brought everything back.” (1 Samuel 30:19)

When we also decide to inquire of the Lord and follow His instructions, He gives us the strength and all the resources we need so we can experience victory and successfully deal with a distressing situation.

When we decide to inquire of the Lord and follow His instructions, He gives us the strength and all the resources we need so we can experience victory in a distressing situation. #trustGod #encouragement #Biblestudy Share on X

#4 Giving God the Glory with Our Words

After recovering everything, David faced another challenging situation. This happened when they reached the men who were left behind at the Besor Valley. All the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers didn’t want to share the plunder with them.

David resolved the situation by giving God the glory for the victory. He said, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us.” ( 1 Samuel 30:23)

How many times do we forget to thank the Lord and give Him glory after He has helped us? Let’s follow David’s good example. 

#5 Giving God the Glory with Our Generous Deeds

David not only glorified God with his words, but he also glorified God with his deeds by setting this dispute fairly and in a way that honors God.

He decided that “the share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike. David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.” (1 Samuel 30:24-25)

David reached even further in his generosity and thankfulness and sent gifts from the plunder to his friends, the elders of Judah. (1 Samuel 30:26). He also sent gifts to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed. (1 Samuel 30:30).

More Resources to Encourage You

If you need more resources to encourage you in the Christian life, I can highly recommend these books. Check them out.


How to Find the Courage and Strength Your Heart Craves by Hadassah Treu

Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings by Hadassah Treu

Transforming Your Thought Life by Sarah Geringer

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

How to Walk Away from Toxic People by Gary Thomas

Kissing Guilt Goodbye by EnLiven Devotionals

A Testimony of Voices: 100 Devotionals Rising as One by EnLiven Devotionals

A Movement of Hearts: 100 Devotionals Beating as One by EnLiven Devotional

Letters to the Church by Francis Chan

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig

Faith Talk: Christian Women & The Gospel  by Heather Hart and contributing authors

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Your Turn

Which of these 5 steps is the most difficult for you? Do you have other tips on how to deal with a distressing situation? Share in the comments and on social media. Thanks.

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5 steps to deal with a distressing situation biblically and successfully, based on 1 Samuel chapter 30. #BibleStudy #encouragement #trustGod Share on X

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12 Replies to “5 Steps to Deal with a Distressing Situation”

  1. Thanks for sharing these steps Hadassah. I would say – asking God what to do. Because sometimes we seem to forget God in the equation and just follow our desires. May i always be bold to ask God what to do at all times.

    1. Thanks so much, Ufuoma! You are right: we tend often to forget to ask God what to do. But this step is essential if we want to live a life of faith. Blessings!

  2. Finding our strength in God is so key to moving forward in difficult situations, Hadassah. Having His wisdom and perspective gives us the next steps in moving forward in a life-giving way.

  3. This is one of my favorite posts from you. I’ve always loved the way David encouraged himself in the Lord here, but you brought out more beyond that in dealing with a distressing situation.

  4. Hadassah, Thank you for these steps to deal with a distressing situation. What stood out for me was the last one. That we are to give thanks to God and to give thanks to God with our deeds. Going forward I am being mindful of this. Thank you!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing these 5 steps to deal with a distressing situation. So often, I will pray but then forget to listen to what God might be directing me to do. I appreciate your thought-provoking words.

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