In 1 Samuel 1 David faced one of the most discouraging days of his life! He and his army returned from the battlefront to find their homes looted and burned. Their families had been taken captive by the evil Amalekites. He and the hardened warriors cried “until they had no more power to weep.”
The already dismal situation worsened as the soldiers looked for someone to blame. The Bible says, “David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him because the soul of the people were grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters.” Anyone would have been distressed. Many would have run away in despair, “but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” (1 Samuel 30:16).
The Bible is the ultimately honest book.
Rather than hiding David’s discouragement, it tells us how the good-hearted king overcame this crisis. He chose to avoid the traps of self-pity and blaming others. He did not merely hope that time would heal the pain or that someone would come and make him feel better. He refused to lash out at God and be defeated.
David took responsibility for his feelings. He worked at improving his attitude and emotional state. Rather than be controlled by the situation, he took control. He prepared for action by encouraging himself in the Lord and seeking God’s guidance.
How we need to learn from David. God sustains His children in life’s crises. He gives strength and hope. He blesses us with the power to overcome our hurts and fears, to draw courage from within. He asks us to call on him for help. “Humble yourselves therefore the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your cares upon him, for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
Next time you are in the grip of discouragement or during a crisis, think of 1 Samuel 30. Gladly accept the help of others, but remember your own God-given ability. Set a glowing example of faith by encouraging yourself in the Lord
Bill Bagents, Via The Exhorter 12 30 1984
IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD
A competent scientist conducted a test with three soldiers. The test was designed to determine the effect of their mental attitude upon their physical strength. The strength was to be determined by a single gripping device operated by the right hand. In their normal state, these three men have an average grip strength of 101 pounds. When under hypnosis and told they were very weak, their best effort averaged only 29 pounds. However, under hypnosis, they were told that they were very strong, and the result was that the average strength of the men rose to 142 pounds. They were 40% stronger when they believed they were strong and were 70% weaker when they believed they were weak.
Perhaps that is why so many people do not do more work for the Lord. Perhaps they do not believe they can do more. Is it possible that we have conditioned people to believe less of (p 2) themselves than they should? Is it possible that people have not been properly challenged within the church? We can only do so much with our efforts. BUT GOD EXPECTS US TO DO WHAT WE CAN AND HE WILL TAKE CARE OF THE THINGS WE CANNOT DO. Whatever the case may be, there is one thing for certain, and that is that the Lord taught us we will receive as we believe. What do you believe?
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
ARE YOU AN ENCOURAGER?
CHRISTIANS NEED EACH OTHER! In a world where we are surrounded by temptations and trials of all kinds which daily threaten to weaken our commitment to serve Jesus, we need the encouragement to faithfulness which comes from being with other Christians. You need help and you need to help your brothers and sisters along the way. “. . . woe to him that is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:10).
Are you an encourager to others or a discouragement? A part of the problem or a part of the solution? “EXHORT ONE ANOTHER DAILY . . .” (Hebrews 3:13). Paul told Timothy, “give heed to reading and EXHORTATION, to teaching. . . “ (1 Timothy 4:13). To exhort simply means to encourage or incite; to arouse to action; to spur or urge on. Is that the effect you have on other members of the Lord’s church? Is your life and your example something that encourages others on to greater service?
One of the ways we are to encourage each other is in the assembly when we come together to worship the Lord. Did you ever wonder why God required Christians to get together if we don’t need it and can be strong on our own? Hebrews 10:25 says, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . . but EXHORTING one another . . .” This does not mean to exhort to come to the assembly (although that needs to be done) but this is exhortation in the assembly. Meeting together to worship God is one of the best ways to encourage each other to a faithful life.
Are you an encourager?
Robert Martin Via Forest Park Newsletter 11 30 1988
ENCOURAGEMENT – WE ALL NEED IT!
Psalms 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? HOPE IN GOD, for I shall yet praise him, for the help of his countenance.”
I have shared with you some articles on encouragement in the hopes of encouraging YOU to look at your Christian walk, and hopefully become better in your faith in the Lord. FURTHER, I hope that it will encourage you to encourage others in the church and in the world. For us to be able to do that we need to realize how everyone needs encouragement; we need to open our eyes, ears and hearts to those who are downtrodden, discouraged and ready to give up. THEY ARE ALL AROUND US!
To encourage means you “put courage in” someone. You let them know they are not alone as they face whatever is being thrown at them. As you all know this last year has been tough for our family in the loss of Shane. Yet, the overwhelming encouragement shown by you, and that continues to be shown by you, has helped us more than you will know. THANK YOU!
HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE YOU?
I will always try to preach the truth in love. The greatest encouragement we will ever have and need is the encouragement that comes from God and from His word!
I will try to be there when you need me and at least try to give you a good word. Proverbs 12:25 states, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.”
I will try to listen to you without judging. I will try to love you enough to correct you when you sin, but not be so mean spirited that I will not listen to you, or leave you with the idea that there is no hope.
I will always try to remind all of us that this life is not the end of the story – it is just a small part of a bigger story — a story that begins with a relationship to God and ends with us being there with him forever.
In essence I will strive to encourage you with the kind of love that God has for all of us — a perfect love that. . . .
PERFECT LOVE is
SLOW TO SUSPECT — QUICK TO TRUST
SLOW TO CONDEMN — QUICK TO JUSTIFY
SLOW TO OFFEND — QUICK TO DEFEND
SLOW TO EXPOSE — QUICK TO SHIELD
SLOW TO REPRIMAND — QUICK TO FORBEAR
SLOW TO BELITTLE — QUICK TO APPRECIATE
SLOW TO DEMAND — QUICK TO GIVE
SLOW TO PROVOKE — QUICK TO CONCILIATE
SLOW TO HINDER — QUICK TO HELP
SLOW TO RESENT — QUICK TO FORGIVE
May we all seek to encourage one another on our journey to heaven. Don’t quit. Don’t let discouragement keep you from what God has in store for you.