I am so excited to write to you this week. Many of you have been doing the encouragement challenge. I hope that you have enjoyed sharing God’s love with others. There is such a joy that comes from spreading the love of God to others. Keep going! The seeds you plant today will yield a bountiful harvest of love and encouragement.
I hope you notice one of the Encouragement Challenge tasks is to ‘encourage yourself.’ When trials hit you out of nowhere, or if you are just at a low point (and we all have them), you need to encourage yourself!
In 1 Samuel 30:1-8, David gives us a pattern to follow.
David set up a temporary residence in Ziglag while on the run from Saul. One day, David and the fighting men returned home from battle to discover the Amalekites had raided the area. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it down. They captured the women, children, and others and took them away.
When reading this, the pain these men felt is almost palpable. The Bible tells us they cried so loudly and so much until they were physically too weak to cry anymore. To make matters worse, David’s pain was compounded by the fact that not only were his two wives, Abigail and Ahinoam, taken away, but his faithful followers had now become an angry mob insistent on stoning him!
But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. In the presence of the Father, David was strengthened and fortified, emboldened to take the next steps.
Encouraging yourself is not about counting on yourself or having confidence in your ability to pull yourself out of a pit. To encourage yourself is to reach out to the Lord with urgency and fervor, knowing that there will be a lifting by His divine power and strength!
Go ahead and cry. It’s ok!
God cares for you. He knows about every heartbreak, every devastation, every bit of pain you have faced. He has accounted for every single tear. He is not unaware of your pain. He sees, He knows, and He is working on your behalf.
Psalm 58:8 You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?
Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness.
The love of the Lord is unfailing. You can count on Him to be there in every circumstance. Remembering what He has done can help you hold on during difficult times. David knew this and often remembered past victories to help him overcome the challenges he faced.
1 Samuel 17:37 Moreover, David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
Talk to God and Get the Plan
In the midst of his pain, David inquired of the Lord. He prayed and asked God if he should pursue the invading troops and whether or not he would succeed. God affirmed David’s course and assured him that he would have divine success.
In times of pain and uncertainty, pray. Talk to the Father and let Him lead the way. He will tell you whether to move or wait; go or stay; pursue or avoid. Follow His leading, and you will have divine success.
1 Samuel 30:8 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”
Go ahead and cry. God knows and understands. When you are ready, dry your eyes and steel your resolve to encourage yourself in the Lord!
Your friend in the journey,
Do you really believe God? Explore how to believe God in uncertain circumstances, and in the face of opposition in Unfamiliar Answers, a topical Bible Study based on the biblical account found in Acts 12:5-17.