Thursday, February 25, 2010

Encourage Yourself

David's life sometimes seems to be a collection of difficult situations.  1Samuel 30 is probably as bad as anywhere else.  The Bible says the Amalekites had burned down the city and taken the families of David and his men.  These men were so upset they wept until they couldn't weep any more.  David's own men were playing with the idea of beating him to death with rocks.  Probably not the way I'd pick to embrace eternity.

How did David deal with this situation?  "David found strength in the LORD his God."  He encouraged himself in the Lord!

How Others Encourage Themselves
Some people encourage themselves in themselves.  The fictitious Stuart Smalley (Pre-politically-insane Al Frankin) used to encourage himself with, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!"  The only problem was Stuart's addiction to...  therapy for addiction!

Muhammad Ali encouraged others in himself!
“I am the greatest”

“I've seen George Foreman shadow boxing and the shadow won.”

"Clay comes out to meet Liston/And Liston starts to retreat/If he goes back any further/He'll be in a ringside seat!"

"Archie Moore, will be on the floor, in round four!"

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee/Joe Frazier can't hit what he can't see."

"Joe frazier is speaking out of tune cause his face is blown up like a balloon"
How David Encouraged Himself
I can imagine David sitting on the heap of ashes that used to be his home.  He looks to the right and sees another pile of ashes. - the storehouse for animals and food.  He looks to the left and sees these guys with rocks in their hands trying to decide whether to stone him to death.  Have you ever had a day that went so poorly?  What did David do?
* David was a psalmist
* David was a song writer
* David was a composer
* David was a musician
Musicians are a strange crew - there was a guitarist in high school -  I never saw the guy without a guitar pick in his mouth.  It was his trademark!  Maybe David carried a portable harp with him everywhere.

I can just see David reaching into his flowing robe, and pulling out his little portable harp. He starts to tune up the strings, and he starts to hum, and tune, hum and tune...

Maybe he sang things like, 
 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.  For who is God besides the LORD ?  And who is the Rock except our God?  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (Psalm 18:30-32)
The point is, after David spent time encouraging himself in the Lord, he was strengthened and ready to take the next step toward defeating the enemy.  Something happens  when you start putting God first, exalting his name and worshiping.  You realize that you're in His presence.  In His presence is fullness of joy, encouragement and strength to continue in the fight! 

So whatever the situation, wherever you are, encourage yourself in the Lord!

[Photo by James Jordan, Flickr's Creative Commons]

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