How Not to Encourage Yourself
When David and his men arrived home from battle at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had carried off the women and children. David was in great danger because his men were bitter about losing their families, and they began to talk of stoning him.
"But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God" (1 Samuel 30:6 KJV).
We are not told how David encouraged himself, but I learned the hard way, one method that does not work.
I was trying to write a Bible study about twenty-five years ago, and decided to try to teach this new lesson to a group of ladies in our neighborhood Bible class. Obviously from their responses, the women didn't understand much of what I wrote. Amazingly, despite this discouraging fact, I still sensed a confidence that God would guide my efforts.
That night a friend asked, "How is your writing progressing?"
"Oh, I am really discouraged," I said, and then told her about that day's Bible study. After our conversation, I discovered I truly was discouraged! If only I had expressed confidence to her that God would help, I could have encouraged myself in the Lord.
Our words have impact not only on others but also on ourselves. What we say can either give us confidence or draw us into despondency.
Guard me, dear Lord, so I speak and think only what is "of good report."
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things" (Philippians 4:8).