In 1st Samuel 30 the Amalekites had attacked Ziklag, a city in the Negev region, which was southwest of the Kingdom of Judah. They burned it, and took the women and everyone else in it, both young and old captive. When David and his men got to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives, sons and daughters had been taken captive. Verse 4 says David and his men wept until they had no strength left to weep.
Have you ever cried so hard until you had no tears left, no strength left to cry? I believe at some point everyone will come to such a place because life sometimes deals us a difficult hand. Frustrating situations arise, problems show up that we did not expect. You thought things would be so much different from they are. You kept believing God through the accusations and the mocking of "where is your God, why hasn't God blessed you yet?" Like Joseph and Abraham you've been believing God for years to manifest the vision He's given, and despite your faith and best effort it just hasn't happened yet.
David had trouble on every side. His family was gone. His men abandoned him and wanted to kill him. What do you do when you find yourself in a David situation? What do you do when you've done your best and nothing is going right? What do you do when your finances are out of whack, when your family is messed up, your children not acting right? What do you do when the people who should be in your corner turn their back on you? What do you do when the people talk about you, speak lowly of you, mock you, and to destroy your character? What do you? You do what David did. David encouraged himself in the Lord.
“And David was greatly distressed…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
God told me to tell you hold on. Everything you’ve been going through should have caused you to fall apart. Yes, you lost your car; you lost your house; you lost some stuff, but you didn’t lose your mind because you have the mind of Christ! We’re going to get your stuff back! Stop your crying, come out of that pity party. It's time to get up and praise God instead of the problem.
David encouraged himself in the Lord. He sought the Lord for instruction. There is a season for crying, but this isn’t it. Crying cuts you off from instruction. Crying and complaints don't bring God in. God inhabits the praises of His people. Walk up to the throne of Grace like the child of God that you are and praise God.
The battle always begins in your mind and it either increase, or decreases with what you say out of your mouth. The source of most of your problems could be found within you. Your mouth will follow where your mind goes so think about good things. Proverbs 30:32 says, "If you have done foolishly in lifting up yourself, or if you have thought evil, put your hand over your mouth.
How do you encourage yourself in God? Sometimes it's hard to know how to encourage yourself in the Lord, but you can pull yourself out of despondent situations. Think good thoughts. Remind yourself of the things God has blessed you with, think about the trials He has brought you through, remember where He brought you from, and think yourself happy! I put on some praise music and sing songs of praise that come to my heart. I read and meditate the psalms of praise.
The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 that life and death are in the power of the tongue. A lot of people mock those of us who believe speaking life into our circumstances will change our circumstance. The label us as name-it-claim-it-blab-it-grab-it folk. Well, call me what you want. I believe what the Bible says. Besides, we know Satan and his demons are behind the mocking, don't we? No matter what you do and how well you do it, there will always be people who will criticize and mock you. You will always have those who disparage you and attempt to break you down with their words. Remember, it is not the person, but demonic forces behind it all (Ephesians 6:12).
The words we speak are powerful. When this happens, pray the word of God. Speak life, rather than death. Pray that the person Satan is using is released from his bondage and grows stronger in the Lord. Read and meditate on encouraging scriptures. Journal your thoughts and prayers. Paul wrote the book of Philippians while he was in jail. Rather than focusing on his situation, he focused on God and what God had to say. I spend a lot of time in the word of God. It's like medicine and food to me. It encourages me. David wrote most of the book of Psalm and encouraged himself. You will find a great deal of encouragement in the Psalms.
Watch who you fellowship with. Attend a Bible believing, Bible teaching church as much as possible. Not only is this sacrifice pleasing unto God, but it’s encouraging to be in an atmosphere where His presence is sought. Taking ungodly counsel is one of the worst things a Christian can do when we are struggling. Ask God to give you friends who can lift you up both physically and spiritually, and encourage you through the times of sorrow.
Do something that makes you happy. I enjoy fishing, sitting on the water, and singing karaoke. I do these to release stress. Do whatever you like to do to unwind.
What are some things you have done to encourage yourself in the Lord?