Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Encourage Yourself

I have been talking about how to encourage others in the last couple blog posts on here but I think this post is the most important post of the series.  Hopefully the title of this post grabs your attention and makes you want to read what is going to follow.  See it seems pretty simple to encourage others around you but the only way we can do that is to be full of encouragement!

Every single one of us is going to encounter difficult situations in life, the thing that matters is how we respond to these situations.  There is a great story in the Bible where David (not yet king) encounters a pretty sketchy leadership situation.  Now before you say: "I'm not a leader, keep reading."  David is leading a band of the toughest dudes that have ever walked the earth and one day they are out doing what they do best but they come home to find that their camp has been ransacked.  The men get home and find that their possessions and their families are missing.  The Bible tells us this:

"David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God." 1 Samuel 30:6 (NIV) 
When is the last time you encountered a time and instead of venting, calling a buddy, crying or just giving up you went to God to find strength?  Who do you think would be the biggest encouragement in your life?  If you have read through the Gospels there are a handful of times that we even see God being a cheerleader (for lack of a better word) for his Son (Matthew 3:17, 17:5)

Here are some thoughts on how to encourage yourself:

If you call yourself a Christian I want to ask you a tough question: "When the last time you spend time with God?"  When was the last time you just created some space in your life to hang out with God?  When you chose to spend time with God there is something special that happens.  The Bible is very clear that David made a choice to spend time with God when he was feeling discouraged.

We live in an extremely busy culture.  With that said have you taken time to follow the command, found in the Old Testament, to take a day of rest?  Our bodies are not meant to go, full-time, for 365 days in a row.  God is very clear that He desires us to take one day a week to slow down and rest in Him.  I have found in my life that if I don't do this intentionally God will figure out ways to make this happen.

There is a great verse is the Psalms that encourages us to be still and listen to the voice of God (Psalms 45:10).  When you spend time with God, resting in His presence, you will begin to create space that will allow you to listen to the voice of God.  Now when God begins to speak get ready because these are going to be some of the greatest times of encouragement in your life!

In conclusion the best way to encourage yourself is to rest in the presence, the comfort, the strength, and the power of the Lord.

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