Thursday, January 14, 2016

Encourage Yourself

One time in my bible reading I came across a verse I’ve read before, but this time the last part of it really struck me. “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (1 Sam 30:6) I began thinking about the people I’ve spoken with recently and that many of them are facing difficult times.  So, I’d like to share some pointers to help you get through your difficult time.
     The presence of God
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; he heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears. (Psalm 18:6)  Here we see that that the psalmist David makes it a regular habit to spend time in God’s presence. Especially when going through difficult times we have to make a deliberate choice to get into God’s presence. We need more than just a Sunday morning service with the Lord. We must make time to be with him everyday.
     The people of God
     ”Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.”  (Acts 16:34) Sometimes we just need to go spend some time with other Christians and share in their joy. There was a time I taught  two bible studies every week. One is a group of men and women; the other is a ladies only study. Even though I was the leader, there were some weeks when I could’t wait to be with these people because they encouraged me in some many wonderful ways.
     Focus on others instead of self
    “And the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”  (Job 42:10)  I have found this to be true. When I pray for others God always comes through in some way and I am blessed. Often times I will sit and make a list of friends & family that are having struggles. That helps me to gain perspective of my situation and it helps me to stay focused in praying for their needs.
     Rely on the promises of God
     “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”  (Isaiah 43:2)  What a wonderful promise from the Lord! But we tend to forget God’s promises when trials hit. Believing God’s promises is an antidote for those times of difficulty. And, the only way we’re going to know what those promises are is to read the bible.
     In reviewing these principles I was reminded of Psalm 56:3,4, which says,
“3 whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. 4 In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?”  Now I don’t claim to have perfected taking everything to the Lord immediately. The thoughts that I have shared with you today I often have to remind myself of them. No matter how long one has walked with the Lord doesn’t make them immune to difficulties in life. We all have to trust Him just the same.
     So my friend, press on in these difficult times. Don’t give up; don’t lose your trust in the Lord. Push through the obstacles.
         Until next time, simply, Pray Until Something Happens! PUSH!

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