Stress and Distress: How to Deal with Stress from Broken Relationships

Sunday Sermon Series Stress and Distress

2 Samuel 15-19

There’s good stress in life. For example, the strings on a guitar are under stress and make beautiful music, but if you tighten them too much, putting them under too much stress, they’ll snap. 

Ten years before the events we’ll look at, Absolam killed his half-brother because David, who was furious, refused to punish him for raping Absolam’s full sister. Absolam then fled the kingdom. David longed to be reunited with Absolam but there was this barrier that kept them from each other. 

David’s son, Absolam, rebelled against him and tried to take the kingdom from his father. David’s reaction models how to deal with relational distress. 

David’s encounter with Ittai, Zadok, and Hushai reminds us to focus on good relationships in times of distress (2 Samuel 15:14-34). … Ittai, one of his sons, is an image of loyalty here. Zadok the priest also shows his loyalty to David. Then David heard that one of his elder advisors was helping Absolam, but another of his advisors (Hushai) offered to help counter any knowledge the traitor gave to Absolam. … We all need people in our lives we can count on in times of need. This is why being in a connection group and part of the local church is important. 

David’s encounter with Shimei reminds us not to retaliate in times of distress (2 Samuel 16:5-13). … Shimei is throwing rocks and cursing at David from above, so one of his people takes offense and offers to cut off Shimei’s head. David stops him and allows God’s plan to play out. 

During this time of distress, David wrote Psalm 3. … Absolam’s spy gave him some good advice on how to defeat David, but Hushai gave Absolam some different advice and gave David time to get away.

David affirmed that God was his shield (Psalm 3:3-4). 

When you are in distress, don’t focus on what you don’t know; focus on what you do know. … We know God has promises that He will keep, than we can rely on Him. 

David determined that he would sleep (Psalm 3:5-6). 

When you are in distress, you need to talk to God, but you also need to talk to yourself. … It often helps to give ourselves a good talking too. 

Eventually Absolam died in a rather dramatic way (2 Samuel 18:9) and David went back to Jerusalem to retake his seat on the throne. Remember Shimei? The man who threw rocks and curses at David? He came crawling back to David seeding forgiveness and David forgave him.