Do you ever feel discouraged and think to yourself; “I wish that somebody would come cheer me up”? Sometimes when we’re feeling really down it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. So what do you do when you’re feeling down and no one comes to cheer you up? You “strengthen yourself in the Lord”. What does that mean, you ask. Good question! Check out these verses taken from First Samuel, chapter 30, out of The Message.
“And suddenly David was in even worse trouble. There was talk among the men, bitter over the loss of their families, of stoning him.
6-7 David strengthened himself with trust in his God. He ordered Abiathar the priest, son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the Ephod so I can consult God.” Abiathar brought it to David.
8 Then David prayed to God, “Shall I go after these raiders? Can I catch them?”
The answer came, “Go after them! Yes, you’ll catch them! Yes, you’ll make the rescue!”
David was “in even worse trouble” because his own men were talking about killing him. That’s a pretty good reason to be discouraged, I’d say. When your own friends are talking about killing you, you’re probably going to feel down. I can get discouraged over a whole lot less than that!
I don’t know what’s been bumming you out lately, but hopefully it’s not as bad as your friends contemplating your murder. Not only was he down, but he certainly couldn’t get any encouragement from those around him. They were too busy plotting his death. So what did David do? David, “strengthened himself with trust in his God”. He talked to God about what was going on, and he asked God for direction, knowledge, and wisdom. You know what? He got it.
Often we’re not going to get the encouragement that we need from someone else. We’re going to have to encourage our own selves! Just like King David we’ll have to go the Lord and ask for what we need. We can seek to get the encouragement that we need from praying to God and also through His written word. As we meditate on The Truth in scripture we’ll find ourselves getting stronger and stronger.
I’ve learned that I can’t rely on anyone else to give me the encouragement that I need. So I encourage myself by seeking God, by meditating on what God has already done for me in the past, by listening to “happy” music, and by getting to the root of why I’m discouraged. But getting to the root of a matter is for another day…