In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men had returned to their city to find it had been attacked by an enemy while they were gone. Their houses had been destroyed and their wives and children taken captive —“both young and old”. They had lost EVERYTHING, and it was more than they could bear! “David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.”
To add further insult to injury, David’s own men—his friends—turned against him.
David needed courage, and there was not one soul he could turn to for hope—so he “encouraged himself in the Lord”!
Encouragement can be the difference between getting up, or giving up. It has the power to lift us up and brings hope to the soul—and out of hope COURAGE arises.
The purpose of encouragement is to put courage on display—to make it stand up and stand out: en-COURAGE-ment!
The opposite is true of DIS-courage-ment—it plunders courage! Discouragement is the loss of a GOD-inspired (or GOOD-inspired) perspective, and it paints a grim and distorted picture of the future.
If you are feeling discouraged today—if your courage has been plundered and your heart is heavy—if you have lost hope for a brighter future, I want to remind you that Jesus loves you and He has a very different perspective for you to see: one that will infuse your soul with hope and give birth to courage!
If I can encourage you in anything, it would be for you to do as David did and encourage yourself in the Lord!
How do I do that? Encouragement comes from hearing what God has to say about a matter:
Whatever was written beforehand is meant to instruct us in how to live. The Scriptures impart to us ENCOURAGEMENT and inspiration so that we can live in hope and endure all things.Romans 15:4 (TPT)
Open your Bible and read or listen to the Word of God. Getting God’s perspective changes your own.
Secondly, pray in the Holy Spirit:
But you, beloved, build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith [continually progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], pray in the Holy SpiritJude 1:20 (AMP)
Thirdly, practice being still; quieting your thoughts as you lift up your heart to God. We’ve lost the art of listening and waiting for Him to speak. He is waiting for you:
But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.Isaiah 40:31 (AMP)
Jesus wants you to draw near. He wants you to receive hope and find your courage by having an expectation of His GOOD for your life!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.Romans 15:13 (AMP)
One last thing—and it’s very important:
In the example of David, he sought the Lord. David and his men found their courage in the Word of the Lord for their situation. They eventually overthrew the enemy, getting back EVERYTHING that was stolen! Did you hear that—EVERYTHING! But I want to bring this to your attention: in their moment of despair, discouragement hijacked their imaginations and painted a very bleak and very different outcome in their minds to what God would eventually do.
Feelings and emotions need to come with a warning label! They are not always your friend! Emotions have no brains: they don’t think; they’re not logical; they’re not always reasonable! They just “feel”… and feelings, not anchored in TRUTH, mislead!
Your Word is truth! So make them holy by the truth.John 17:17 (TPT)