Kick the Discouragement Habit
It’s possible to be in the worst predicament and still win. David and his men returned home to find their worst nightmare; their homes burned down and their wives and children stolen by their enemies. David and his men wept until they had no more strength to mourn. Pain turned to anger and David’s faithful men turned against him wanting to kill him.
In this terrible moment David didn’t run or get angry, instead he strengthened himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6). This is a key for us, not only for a bad day but a key for every day. David lived in a place of self- encouragement. He was used to encouraging himself in all situations; good times and bad. When the enemy showed up, David flowed out of a place that was familiar to him. Though he was weak and in pain, his instincts knew what to do. These ‘good instincts’ were formed in David through his partnering with God during all seasons of his life. David didn’t first learn how to encourage himself on this terrible day. He had learned this during the ‘normal days’ of his life.
We train ourselves every day by partnering with God. If we allow our minds to continually slip off what God says, we fall into the bad habit of discouragement. We can get prayer and be healed, but if we keep living in a pattern of habitual discouragement we train ourselves to be self-discouragers- undoing what God is doing in our lives. The way we react on good days and stress days is how we train ourselves to react when we are faced with a giant. The key is to train ourselves to be self-encouragers on good days.
Learn to kick discouragement:
We all need encouragement, every day (Hebrews 3:13), no exceptions. But it’s unrealistic to rely on people to encourage us. That’s why it is critical we learn self-encouragement. David encouraged himself in The Lord. He made a decision to set his mind on God’s love and faithfulness even when he felt God had forgotten him. He deliberately focused his soul (his mind, will and emotions) on God; remembered Gods promises and past victories.
Self-encouragement is not selfish. It is Godly. When David encouraged himself he enquired of God and heard God, and spread strength throughout the whole camp. A broken army rose up under the catalyst of David’s self-encouragement in the Lord. These men defeated their enemies and rescued all their loves ones! When you live in self-encouragement you change atmospheres and are used as a catalyst for others’ victories. If David sunk into disillusionment with the rest of the army think of what would have happened? Good is waiting and heaven needs our partnership.
Train yourself. You can create your own weapons of self-encouragement:
1.Your EYES. Focus on God’s strength and power for your life. This adds courage to the heart. (Make your greatest goal to know His goodness personally. We must know His love by experience; another’s experience is never enough. David knew God, he had a history with God. He had invested everything into knowing God; his time, resources and his life.)
2.Your MIND is a tool. It either builds you or undoes you. Remember what God has done personally for you. Let your good stories rule and dominate your mind. We don’t have to pretend bad never happened, but that shouldn’t dominate our thinking. Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think about good things every day, not only when times are difficult. This does not mean we must set our mind on pretty sunsets and butterflies, but on the concrete goodness of God that is shown personally to us (and the world).
3.Your MOUTH. Thank God aloud for the good in your life. Our own tongues will stir up hope and encourage our hearts.
4.Your MOMENTS. Practice being in His presence as much as you can, not only in designated times with Him, but at other times too, (try this at the store, a sports game, at work; practice knowing His presence in ordinary places). We need to be self -encouragers while we live life and not only when we are in church or prayer. The Holy Spirit is our source of all self-encouragement. When we are hearing His voice during our day we are training ourselves to become aware of His encouraging voice above other voices. Excellent habit!
Tip: The Holy Spirit’s voice will always encourage you. He will never condemn you. He will always give you hope to move forward in your life. He will always flow in forgiveness toward you. He will always encourage you to do good and believe for greater and higher.
To learn more about Mandy, visit her blog at MandyAdendorf.com