YOUTUBE Why does the Bible instruct us to “encourage one another” over and over again? Because God knows we live in a fallen world and we need encouragement.
I need encouragement.
You need encouragement.
All people need encouragement.
We often cannot see the soul’s true condition behind the curtain of persona. The truth is that behind every face is a drama.
You may have just come out of a valley.
You may be coming down from a mountain-top experience.
You may be just coasting along.
In any case, you never know what situation awaits you right around the corner. If you are currently on the upswing, ask God to open your eyes and show you who you can encourage today. Ask Him to give you the words that will be encouraging to them. If on the downswing, ask Him to send encouragement your way. Then be open and ready to receive it.
What do you do in life when all hell breaks loose?
When the bottom falls out?
When you get blindsided?
During these times, if and when there is no one to encourage you, you must remember to encourage yourself. This is why God gave us His infallible, immutable Word because it provides us with failsafe Truth especially precious in our deepest times of need. His truth pulls back the curtain of chaos and reveals settling and stabilizing realities we may have forgotten.
In 1 Samuel 30:6 we read that David hit a cruel rock bottom –all alone. And what did he do? He encouraged and strengthened himself in the LORD! If he had failed to encourage himself at that time, God only knows what could have happened to him. At such a low point in his life, he had nothing but God. Just like David, when we have nothing left in life but God, that is an undeniable sign that He is seriously at work in and around us:
“When you’re down to nothing God is up to something.”
With David as our example, how do we encourage and strengthen ourselves in the LORD? We all have different approaches and different needs according to the circumstance. And although every situation is different, God is always consistently and creatively faithful to His own.
For instance, I tell myself, “God is in total control of this situation. He knew that this would happen. He is not at all surprised. This person’s life is in His hands. He is the Author of Life and the One Who calls us home. We all have an appointed number of days here. My relationship with Him is the only sure thing I have in this world. Nothing can take Him from me. He is my Protector and Provider. He will show me what to do. I can hide in the cleft of the Rock and rest in the LORD and He will work it out. I will wait and follow His lead,” and so on.
Meanwhile, I let my emotions (especially grief) run their courses to purge soul static and regain balance and clarity. Then I wait for His leading. Sometimes He leads me to intervene in a situation. Other times He leads me to be still while the dust settles. And I witness over time how He works it out.
Encouraging yourself does not negate the basic necessity of regular connection with other safe people, counselors, small groups and so on. Safe community provides the structure and support we need to stay sane in this crazy (and getting crazier) world. Self-encouragement, on the other hand, can be a merciful lifeline to ourselves when we encounter overwhelming and isolated circumstances like David did in 1 Samuel 30:6.
People are needy and hurting all around you.
Take the time to ask God who you can encourage today.
1 Samuel 30:6
David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it.
But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.
But the Israelites encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day.
2 Samuel 19:7
Now go out and encourage your men.
But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.