R1Sam 30:6 says, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke 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.” Imagine yourself in king David’s position. You return with your soldiers to find your town is burned and all of the wives and children have been carried off as captives. All your men cry and grieve until there are no tears left. Then, they look at you in that “I’m gonna kill you - this is your fault” stare. What would you do? David sought God. David encouraged himself in the Lord.
I believe there is an unhealthy co-dependency In Christianity today. Many church people need to feel needy; and many pastors need to feel needed. Don’t get me wrong - a pastor should be there for his flock, and Christians should be able to come to him, and each other, for prayer and wisdom in times of tribulation. An infant needs a lot of care and attention, but eventually that infant becomes an adult, and shouldn’t need constant encouragement. So it is in the body of Christ. Christians should mature and learn to seek God for themselves. They should learn to encourage themselves in the Lord. We all need encouragement from others from time to time, but this should start becoming the exception and not the rule (Heb 5:11-14).
We must learn to talk to ourselves (Ps 43:5). We need to hope in God and praise Him, even if we don’t feel like it (Heb 13:15). The carnal man lives by feelings. The spiritual man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We must fix and establish our hearts to praise God (Ps 57:7, Ps 112:7-8). Don’t just “wish” that the next time your going through a trial that you praise and seek God first; determine that your going to do it. Pray in the spirit and build yourself up (Jude 20).
The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people - not the complaints of His people (Ps 22:3). Is your time with God a gripe session or a praise session? For the Christian, to praise God is proper, fitting, and right (Ps 33:1). We should be praising God often. We should praise Him seven times a day (Ps 119:64), all day (Ps 71:8), and forever (Ps 145:21)! If you have breath, you should be praising the Lord! Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and see what God has done.
Do you want to be encouraged? Start boasting on God (Ps 44:8). Start talking about how big your God is. Start speaking the Word of God. Start thanking Him for all He has done. Start telling of all the mighty and great things He has done for you, and many others through out the ages. Praise God, we need to brag on God! I challenge you, the next time something comes against you, sing God’s praises and boast on Him. You won’t stay in the gutter for long.
Did you know that Judah means praise and celebration? Jesus is the Lion, or the King, of celebration and praise (Gen 29:35, Rev 5:5). Do you want to be more like Jesus? Praise the Lord. Celebrate Jesus. In Mt 21:16, Jesus said that out of the mouth of babes, Thou hast perfected praise. He was quoting Psalm 8:2, which says out of the mouth of babes Thou hast ordained strength. Do you see the connection? When praise is perfected, strength is ordained. It comes out of the mouth of babes, or those children of God who have been adopted by God into His family through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Do you want to be strong in The Lord? Then start praising God.
I know what I’ve been saying seems simple - and truly it is. However, we must ask ourselves if this is what we really do. Do you really encourage yourself in the Lord when trials come along? Do really practice praise through out the day? Do you constantly speak the Word of God in to every situation? Do you react like the world to situations in life, or do you react like a Christian? Be honest with yourself and God. Don’t let this be just another bit of information that you store in your brain. Put these things into practice, and see what happens. Purpose in your heart to be a doer of these things.
Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!