Where Do You Get Your Encouragement?
What do you do when a problem crops up? Run to the telephone to call your Mom, your Pastor, talk to your husband, or maybe go online to tell your cyber friends?
In simpler times, when believers found themselves isolated on the frontier (or even now, missionaries may be in the bush on the foreign field,) they would have no other recourse but to go directly to the Lord.
The advent of the telephone, vehicles, the Internet with e-mail and godly message boards, has provided wonderful resources for the Christian, yet I greatly fear that they have become the “cursed thing” (ie. and idol) as mentioned in Deut. 7:22-26. That may seem harsh, but remember an idol is ANYTHING that takes the place of the Lord, whether a thing or other people.
Of course other Christians are a blessing and a source of encouragement! I am not saying we should never go to other Christians, but our first thought should be to go to the Lord, not another sister in the Lord. There are many examples of this in the Scriptures, but our main source must….MUST come from The Only One truly capable of doing so.
Like many, I tend to be very tight-lipped about my problems. Too often; however, rather than taking my concerns, hurts and problems to the Lord, I internalize them and end up frustrated and even mad or bitter at the person that âmightâ? have done something wrong.
In my own life, more often than not, God himself has sent the encouragement I have needed, without my having to utter a word to another human being. A note. A call. A cyber hug. All done by surprise by someone whom the Lord laid me on their heart. God is soooo good!
Let’s dig in the Lord’s precious Word and see some examples He has left for us.
The Bible tells us that he was a man after God’s own heart who “encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”
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. 1 Samuel 30:6
Here is David, serving the Lord, refusing to harm God’s anointed king yet having to run for his life from the very king he refuses to harm. Now, another enemy has wiped out the town where the families of David and his soldiers had been staying. Not only that, but the enemy had taken the wives and children captive! Now David’s own men wanted to stone him!
Yet, â…David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.â?
How could he do this? As I stated in a personal testimony and study on Depression – It is all in the focus.
A) David focused on the Word of God â David did not have the completed Scriptures, but he was writing them! By reading the psalms, it is abundantly clear that God’s Word was precious to him. I’ve heard over and over how it is better to meditate upon small portions of Scripture rather than read chapter upon chapter, yet never considering what God has said or trying to apply it in our lives. Here are SOME verses in Psalms dealing with the Word of God: 18:30, 33:4 , 33:6, 56:4, 56:10, 105:8, 119:9, 16, 17, 25, 28, 41, 42, 43, 49,50, 58, 65, 67, 74, 76, 81, 82, 89, 101, 105, 107, 114, 116, 123, 133, 140, 147, 148, 154, 158, 160, 161, 162, 169, 170, 172, 130:5, 147:18, 148:8
In Psalms 119 alone, there are 36 verses that of His âwordâ?. This does not take into account any verses dealing with judgments, commandment, or other variants.
These verses in particular caught my attention:
The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Psalm 68:11
Are we publishing God’s Word????
Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: Do I believe His Word Psalm 106:24
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Am I hiding God’s Word in your heart??? 119:11
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
– Notice how important God considers His Word â He has exalted it above His own name! Psalms 138:2
B)David focused on the Rock of his salvation â In Psalm 18 alone, David mentions the Lord as his rock (foundation, stabilizing force). Psalms 18:2, 31, 46
C)David focused on his Deliverer from earthly troubles â Psalm 7:2, 18:2, 40:17, 70:5, 144:2
D)David focused on the Lord his shield – Psalm 3:3, 5:12, 18:35, 28:7, 33:20, 35:2, 59:11, 76:3, 84:9, 84:11, 89:18, 91:4, 115:9, 115:10, 115:11, 119:114, 144:2
E)David focused on his Redeemer
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Psalm 78:35
Do we really focus on Who our Lord really is?
There is so much more that could be written on how David could encourage himself in the Lord, but I’d like to move to a few others in the Scriptures who had the right focus.
2. Hannah: What grief she must have endured in her barrenness and then to have her adversary distress her, yet she went to the Lord. Not even when approached by the man of God did she express any of the details of what she was going through. 1 Samuel 1-2
And Hannah answered and said, … I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I … have poured out my soul before the LORD … out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. 1 Samuel 1:15-16
3. âConsider Job.â? (Job chapters 1 and 2)
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Job 19:25-26
4. Personal Testimony: I am mere flesh and bone. I have my good days and bad days; however, I can truly say that the right focus plays the biggest part in whether I have the joy of the Lord despite the difficulties, or a miserable attitude unless everything goes right.
When needing encouragement, here are a few simple things that I try to remind myself of:
1.Who I am and what I deserve: a sinner deserving of Hell
2.Who I am and what I get: a sinner saved by grace on my way to Heaven
Let’s face it, as long as we live in this flesh, we will go through trials and tribulations, but the question remains: Where do you get your encouragement? What is distracting you from seeking encouragement and support from The Lord God, our Counsellor, our Saviour, our Redeemer, our Comforter, The Prince of Peace….
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Our main source of encouragment must….MUST come from the only one truly capable of doing so.
For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. Psalms 89:18
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
So the next time you need encouragement, I hope you will first and foremost take it The Counsellor, Comforter, Prince of Peace.
March 15th, 2007