We sometimes find ourselves in a situation where the only way out of gloom and depression is to encourage ourselves in the Lord as David did in today’s story. After friends, colleagues, and church members have come and gone, and you are left alone; what happens next?
A gnawing sense of loss returns, especially if you have lost a loved one, be it an aged or middle-aged parent, friend, spouse, or younger individual, etc. Even the loss of a job or property because of natural disasters like floods or fire often triggers similar emotions.
Regardless of the nature of the loss, a tested and proven way out is TO ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD or as another version puts it ‘FIND STRENGTH IN YOUR GOD. (NIV)
Refuse to slip into depression, and if you are already there; determine to get yourself out like David did, for he was in a similar state of mind at the point where we take up the story:
So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; their wives, their sons, and their daughters were taken captives.
Then David and the people that were with him lifted their voices and wept until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
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 his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (I Sam. 30:3-6 KJV)
Did you notice that what David lost was different from the others? The bandits kidnapped his two wives, but the sons and daughters of his men. Apart from that, his men threatened to stone him to death. His men were desperate and wanted to vent their desperation on David. Surely, David had a reason to be depressed, but he did something different. He tapped into the strength of his God.
When the going gets tough, encourage yourself in your God or find strength in your God like David did when things turned badly against him.
But you ask: “How can I encourage myself or find strength in my God”?
First, since you believe He exists; then, stop and recall something or anything good that God has done for you lately. That is your starting point for finding strength and encouragement.
Secondly, because He does not change; being the same yesterday, today and forever, He will do something good for you and see you through once again this time. If He did something good for you before, He can, and will do it again if you ask Him.
Did He not say:
“’ For I know the plans I have for you… ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope.
‘In those days, when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT)
Whenever facing serious challenges, adversities, loss, or discouragement,
boldly declare the following:
“I will never surrender to discouragement and despair no matter the odds I face.
I will take strength from the knowledge that ALL successful men/women had to fight defeat, discouragement, and adversity at one time or the other.
I believe everything will work out for me as I hold on to God and do my best. I will not permit anyone or circumstances to intimidate me or deter me from my goals.”

Because all power belongs to your God, you can count on Him for unlimited strength, and remember ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.’ Ps.30:5

By James Aremu-Cole

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