There can be many discouraging things that happen in life. Maybe even today you have received some news, or are facing something that is disheartening.
As a freshman at Heartland Baptist Bible College, I remember having a hard time adjusting. Coming from a church where I did almost every ministry, to such a large church where I was only helping in a Jr. Church once a month was hard. I also was still wrestling with dysentery from my recent trip to Africa. On top of that, I was confused and floundering in my budding relationship with my future bride. Needless to say, my first month at Heartland was rough. I distinctly remember feeling disheartened, and feeling I only had the Lord to lean on.
I am so thankful for the Lord’s close abiding presence in the midst of our times of despondency. When we feel lost, He never is, and He has given us the Comforter to aid us. There is nothing sweeter than spending time with the Lord, and feeling His comfort and reassurance.
I have fond memories of the couch in my dorm room at Heartland where I spent hours with the Lord. Many tears were shed there, and many spiritual victories were won. There truly is nothing quite as wonderful as having the Lord available to encourage us, and strengthen us in our moments of weakness.
David came to one of the lowest points in his entire life. He is living in the land of the Philistines, and has now been rejected by Israel and Philistia alike. Returning home, he and his rag tag band of men find their city destroyed, all their possessions gone, and the families kidnapped. David is broken, but to put the cherry on top of this nightmare, his own men are seriously talking about killing him.
This was a new low for David. At this moment, everything in his life has gone wrong, and there is little glimmer of hope. He was supposed to be king… now look at him. He has tried to do everything right, and now he finds himself being “punished”.
Instead of getting discouraged, disheartened, and despondent, David encourages himself in the Lord. What does it mean to encourage yourself in the Lord?
David did not attempt to encourage others before he had first encouraged himself. I can almost hear David say, “Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why are thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him how is the health of my countenance, and my God.” – Psalm 43:5 David did not attempt to psych himself up or look inward for encouragement and strength. Instead, David turned to the Lord who He knew was sufficient to meet everyone of his needs. David was encouraged IN THE LORD.
It is an amazing experience when turmoil has you freaking out in your life, and then you enter the quiet place of prayer and the Lord encourages you. To encourage yourself in the Lord, is to simple bring yourself to the place where you trust in God’s absolute sufficiency. When His will, His timing, His adequacy come to the forefront of our minds, we will be encouraged, calmed, and comforted.
Today, if you are facing adversity, encourage yourself in the Lord. Take some time to bow before Him in prayer, not to ask for anything, but to simple bask in His sufficiency amidst your great dependence upon Him. You will be amazed at how quickly he calms the spirit and brings peace to your disquieted soul.
Daily Scripture Reading
1 Samuel 28 - 31
1 Samuel 31:6 – “So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.”