Encourage Yourself

After a war, David came back to his hometown, only to discover it had been burnt to the ground. The women and the children were captured and destined for slavery. The men, seeing their families gone, wept and wept and wept.

No one was there to encourage David. There will be times like that in your life when there will be no one around to encourage you.

If we are always waiting for people to encourage us, we will be waiting a long time. God will sometimes just put us in a place all alone to wean us from our dependency upon people and to restore our hearts to Him.

We need to allow God into our situation and not be so quick to run from Him. God knows that, before we need to be rescued, we may need to be refined so we emerge from that season better instead of bitter, drawn closer to Him rather than drifting farther apart. God’s main goal in these times is to bring you nearer to Himself and not allow you to drift further away.

God knows that even if we clamor for some inspiration to get us going for a little while, outside of His Spirit’s encouragement, we can only get man-made and short-lived encouragements. The side effects of this can be worse than the original problem.

The first step in preparing for encouragement to flood you is to immediately:

  1. Renew Your Heart to God

Whenever you are in a season of isolation, God’s primary goal is to bring you closer to Himself. The first thing you need to do is to get back to God because He alone will provide everything that you need. Whatever is needed to be done to restore your relationship with God, do it! Let everything between you and God drop away. You cannot make any progress until that is done.

God may want to fix hearts that we have been tolerating — wrong hearts, broken hearts and hearts going astray. In reality, those kinds of hearts are just about to take us under, so He gives us a mandated time-out.

Be Your Own Best Friend

The Bible tells us that David and his men wept until they could weep no more. David’s soldiers wanted to stone him. The Bible tells us when there was no one else to encourage him, David encouraged himself.

“‘Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him …’” (Ps. 42:11a).

David actually counseled his own emotions and refuted his own tendency to give up.

Stop letting what could go wrong fill your mind. Don’t be worried about why people don’t like you. Don’t meditate on why you should call it quits. Don’t let those things fill your mind. Only let what is honorable and right and pure into your mind. When you do, the God of peace will be with you.

  1. Reflect on What God is Teaching You

Don’t make mistakes and then not be better because of them. You must gain wisdom from your mistakes.

In tough times, press in to God as much as you can. Surrender to His will. Don’t surrender to the circumstances, but to God.

  1. Respond

What are you going to do as a result of your situation? In other words, make the changes and make them permanent. Otherwise, when things get better, you will forget the lesson that you learned and you will have lost the experience. What is God teaching you? How will you be different today because of what you learned yesterday?

When you are feeling isolated and marooned, remember first to renew your heart to God. Then reflect on what God is teaching you and don’t you dare miss the lesson. When He restores you again, please don’t ever forget what you were taught. God got your attention; there is a message He wanted to deliver to you. Take it; don’t throw it all away, because if you don’t change, it will only be a matter of time before you end up in the same boat over and over again.

In these waiting seasons, God will reveal what caused the breakdowns in the first place, so reflect on those lessons. Make a deep commitment to change and follow through. You will be a far greater person if you don’t forget the lessons or the commitments you have made when you were all alone. Remember, a life of faith is based on obedient action and a life of fear is based on the avoidance of action. Take action!

Learn to encourage yourself. If you are to grow in Christ, encourage yourself. God will be delighted to do His work in you. When He is done, He will always show you the road back. Follow it; follow it as a new person and you will be closer to Him and much wiser about life.

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