• Laura Hardin

The Weapon of Faith in the Hard Days of Motherhood

Updated: Mar 19

This article was first published at Risen Motherhood.

Imagine it’s been a long hard day of mothering. A friend stops by because she hears you’re discouraged. She tells you she recently read 1 Samuel and thinks that you may find encouragement from the story of David and Goliath.

If you’re anything like me, you would smile but half listen to what you think will be the cheesiest, most frustrating advice. Because the last thing you want to hear is an oversimplified comparison between you and David with Goliath representing your challenges.

But what if 1 Samuel 17 is more about the God who saves and fulfills his purposes than it is the young shepherd and his slingshot?

In this chapter, Goliath—the nine-foot, Philistine warrior—challenges the Israelite army for 40 days, arrogantly demanding they present him a champion to fight. The stakes are high. If anyone stands against Goliath and fails, Israel will be forced into servitude. So no one steps up to fight until a young shepherd arrives at the scene.

As David runs to the battle line, he hears Goliath’s threat and witnesses the Israelites retreat in terror. Zapped of courage, these men are in desperate need of the king they requested in 1 Samuel 8, who would go out before them and fight their battles [1]. That warrior-king was supposed to be Saul, but even he wouldn’t face Goliath.

The question of how this is going to end permeates the camp like thick smog that surprisingly breaks around a young man saying aloud, “Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam. 17:26).

When pressed further about why he has the courage to face the giant, David references his experience as a shepherd, “Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God...The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of the Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:36-37).

David has unflinching confidence about who God is and what he will do. He knows the power of God, and he knows what God cares about the most—his own glory. Thus, he’s not scared to face Goliath. As the anointed, soon-to-be king of Israel, David knows God will rescue his people [2].

God was faithful to give David victory over Goliath, but he’s also faithful in the bigger battle. Christ, the Son of David, the culmination of God’s faithfulness to a young shepherd and the people of Israel, the Savior King of the world, has already destroyed the works of the devil [3], triumphing over sin and death so that we might live abundantly in him. No matter the season, the job, the crisis, or situation, we are his. And that means his spirit works powerfully in us to overcome anything that threatens his glory or our good.

If you read over David’s account, you will see the word “will” in almost every statement he makes, evidencing his faith in God’s character. He believed God would deliver Israel, and because of that he also believed he would be able to carry out the actions needed to defeat Goliath.

What do we know today as “risen” mothers who live on the other side of the victory at the cross?

  • God will complete the work he started in us [4].

  • God will be a very present help in our time of need [5].

  • God will give us peace as we submit our concerns to him and set our minds on him [6].

  • God will help us grow in his likeness as we abide in him [7].

  • God will work all things for our good with the purpose of making us like his Son [8].

  • God will and he has flooded us with grace for this moment [9].

  • God will and he is working in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure [10].

God will do these things and more because it’s been his plan from the very beginning—to shine his magnificent beauty through the glorious rescue of his fallen creation. Nothing will stand in his way.

What do we believe God will do? And what faith-filled actions will we do today as evidence of our belief?

The truth is, we’re not David. We haven’t been anointed to be king over Israel. This story isn’t about us facing our greatest fear or a beast of a circumstance. This story is about a faithful God, who mightily saves and empowers his people to live for his name. The same God who empowered David in his very, real life, empowers us now in Christ by his spirit.

So imagine again that long, hard day alone with your littles. Imagine your friend coming over to encourage you from 1 Samuel 17. You sigh because you don’t think her words are going to help but you listen anyway.

She tells you that the days are hard but that they don’t have to cripple you, that the calling feels impossible but those feelings don’t have to derail you, that you’ve been given something—a powerful weapon against despair, defeat, and the enemy who devours [11]—and that is your faith in Christ [12].

She tells you that you can be as fierce as David with his Spirit in your heart and his promise on your lips—a slingshot and a stone against anything that stands between you and the fulfillment of God’s purpose in your life. When you feel the pushback, when you’re tempted to expect only sinfulness and failure, she tells you to open your mouth and say, “He will.”

1] 1 Samuel 8:19-20

[2] 1 Samuel 16:11-13

[3] 1 John 3:8

[4] Philippians 1:6

[5] Psalm 46:1, Hebrews 4:16

[6] Philippians 4:8, Isaiah 26:3

[7] John 15:1-8, Galatians 5:22

[8] Romans 8:28

[9] Ephesians 1:9

[10] Philippians 2:13

[11] 1 Peter 5:7-9

[12] 1 John 5:4, Ephesians 2:8-9