Encourage Yourself!

May 20, 2011

Just a few days ago, I passed by a co-worker whom I had not seen in a while.  When she saw me, she leaned back in her chair, tilted her head to the side, and said, “Did you lose weight?—Wow!”  Of course, her comment made me feel pretty good—so good that I exercised even harder that afternoon!  You see, I was determined to make sure I stayed on the path that led to the compliment I had received.

Later that evening, the Holy Spirit pointed out to me that whether that young lady realized it or not, she had encouraged me.  She had “inspire[d] [me] with courage, spirit, or hope” (in the words of Merriam Webster) to pursue my fitness goals.  But what happens when that friend, that family member, that co-worker, or that spouse does not encourage, compliment, or support you?  What do you do then?

Let’s turn to the Bible for our answer, more specifically, 1 Samuel 30:1-20.  In these verses, we see David and his men return home, only to discover that all of their possessions, including their wives and children, had been taken by the enemy.  I mean, they had been wiped out!

Of course, the men were full of sorrow, so much that they wanted to stone David—as if doing so would bring back their families.  But David was a true leader at heart and, even more importantly, a true believer.  He didn’t succumb to the discouragement and pressure; instead, he took charge of the situation and, as the bible tells us, “encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (v. 6).

Have you ever been in a situation where it seemed like everyone had deserted you?  Instead of picking you up, those around you wanted to put you down, throw you under the bus, and kick you while you were down?  Please know that in some instances, these people’s actions may have been misdirected anguish, as was the case with David’s men.

They were so distraught and so discouraged that they had to find someone to blame.  They were so disillusioned and so downtrodden that they didn’t even realize that David had also suffered a great loss. But David didn’t allow their anguish or even his own distress to deter him.  Instead, he went to his strength; he relied on his help: the LORD!!

Now as Pastor has pointed out in his teachings, whenever the LORD is printed in the Bible in all caps, it refers to Jehovah God, “the life-generating power of God.”  So we see that David went to his Source of life, his Source of encouragement.  And the LORD told him to “pursue” and “rescue all” (v. 8).  God gave him the courage to pick himself up, dust himself off, and take back what the enemy had stolen.  David was so inspired that he “smote [the enemy] from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day” (v. 17) and recovered everything, everyone, and then some.  Now that’s some encouragement!!

Today, know that you, too, have the “life-generating” God who can breathe life into your deferred dreams and your abandoned hopes.  He is the God who can give you the power to keep on keeping on, even when it looks like all the odds are stacked against you.  So don’t be discouraged, and don’t you fret.  Encourage yourself in the LORD your God, and get movin’!

In His love,

Veronica Yon