Don’t wait on encouragement from others, encourage yourself | Faith
by The Press and Standard | September 22, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 18, 2019 at 11:02 am
No matter what status or position you may have in your life, every now and then, you need to be encouraged. Every day is not going to be like Sunday; therefore, trials, disappointments, sadness, missed opportunities and the like are going to rear their heads.
During these times, you may have a tendency to hold your head down and wonder why nobody cares. When this happens, remember that God always cares. You might even ask the question, “God, where are you?” God is always in the midst, and just believe that He is working “it” out for you.
Further, remember that God’s kingdom is not of our world, for He comes in His own time, and He truly is “an on-time God!” While you wait on encouragement from others, it is not always going to come. Therefore, encourage yourself in the Lord. I Samuel 30:6 (KJV) offers a very vivid example of this: “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
To further prove this concept, Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV) declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
Have you ever made a decision to do something, and it seemed as if everyone close to you in your life was against it? However, you had already prayed about it and had received a positive answer from on high. Yet, you decided to tell others about your decision and the positive answer that you had received, expecting encouragement from them. Then it did not happen!
A valuable lesson to be learned — you cannot tell everyone your dreams and desires because not everyone is going “to feel it” as you do. If you want firsthand proof of this, read about “Joseph’s Dreams,” in Genesis 37 (KJV). Joseph’s own brothers turned against him because of his dreams, and the story goes on…
I will leave you this week with a portion of Debra K. Matthews’ Bible Message, “Encourage Yourself in the Lord.”
“Ever have one of those days, or maybe the week from you know where? The Bible tells of just such a day in the life of David, a man after God’s own heart.
“David and his men had returned to their hometown one day, only to find that the Amalekites had raided the city. The raiding party had taken all the women and children captive, including all their belongings, and then burned the city.
“The Bible says David and his men lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more power to weep. Then, in all their anguish and helplessness, David’s men turned on him:
“And David was greatly distressed: for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (I Samuel 30:6 KJV).
“Those words — ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God’ — are awesome to me. At last mention, David had 600 men. Can you imagine 600 guys standing around and blaming you for the loss of their families?
“‘It’s all your fault!’
“‘If we hadn’t come out here after you, none of this would have happened!’
“‘Stone him! Stone him!’
“Did David panic? No, the Bible said he was initially ‘in great distress,’ but then he did what we should all do. He remembered the Lord. He remembered God’s promise to bring him into the kingdom. He remembered that the Lord was the great shepherd looking out for him. The Hebrew word used here to say he ‘encouraged’ himself tells us he fastened his mind on the Lord; he seized or grabbed hold and hung onto the Lord in his heart and took courage in God’s ability to help.
“He encouraged himself in God’s promises, and then he sought God’s guidance. He asked the Lord if he should pursue after the Amalekites. He asked if he would overtake them if he did. The Lord told him to pursue after them, and promised David that he would overtake them, and ‘without fail recover all.’ And that’s exactly what happened. They got their families and all their belongings back, and some more besides, but only after David had encouraged himself in God’s ability and faithfulness.
“If only we could always remember as quickly as David to turn our thoughts immediately on the Lord when we, ourselves, are in ‘great distress.’ God has made us some awesome promises of His love and care for us, if only we will stop and remind ourselves that He really is here. And he’s ready, willing, and able to help — if we’ll just let Him.”
Finally, I invite you to listen and be blessed by Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers’ rendition of “Encourage Yourself:” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRl7TRoqmNg).
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at email@example.com)