In the last three posts, we talked about the need for encouragement, that is God’s comfort, strength and hope in the course of our daily lives. No one is immune from the overwhelming circumstances and challenges that we face in our daily lives. Some manage better than others, but all of us, at one time or another, need encouragement.
I want to close this brief series of thoughts on this topic by talking about finding encouragement when you’re by yourself. In my experience, this is the most important source of this great gift from God that we can cultivate. Others can help us from time to time and there’s certainly different resources that we can access such as Bible teaching and worship music, etc.
I have found the greatest instruction on tapping in to God’s encouragement on my own from the very transparent and personally revealing thoughts and revelations given to David, King of Israel, throughout the course of his spiritual journey.
In a time of being exiled from his throne in Jerusalem, wandering in the Judean wilderness without any clear path or strategy to recover his god-given kingship, David needs the encouragement of God Himself. He writes this in Psalm 63:
” O God of my life, I’m love-sick for you in this weary wilderness. I thirst with the deepest longings to love You more, with cravings in my heart that can’t be described. Such yearning grips my soul for You, my God!”
Note that David doesn’t begin by talking to God about his obvious dilemma. He doesn’t focus his thoughts on what he doesn’t have but on where he knows his heart belongs, and that is with the presence of God.
You’ll have to read the entire Psalm to fully grasp just how intent David is on discovering this source of power from God Himself. But know this, he is not timid about just how expressively he desires this intimate connection. In verse 4&5 we read:
“Daily I will worship you passionately and with all my heart. My arms will wave to you like banners of praise. I overflow with praise when I come before you, for the anointing of your presence satisfies me like nothing else. You are such a rich banquet of pleasure to my soul.”
You see, David understood that true encouragement is not necessarily the resolution of a conflict or situation that has brought you down. Rather, true encouragement is a soul connection with God where He imparts to you the sense of favor, grace and confidence that He’s with you and will sustain you and carry you through whatever it is that has brought you into the season of disappointment, doubt, or even despair.
Dear friend, you can apply this in every area of your life; whether it be in your closest relationships, your physical body, your financial or career issues, even your own spiritual dryness.
The beginning of encouraging yourself in the Lord is to make time in His presence your number one priority, no matter what your circumstances dictate. Rise up early in the morning if need be or stay up late at night if that suits you, but be with God in some sort of undisturbed and unbroken way. Use the “weapons of your warfare” including the Word of God, songs of spiritual praise and worship, expressing yourself as honestly and openly as you know how. These are the “on-ramps” that move you onto the highway that leads to God’s “anointing presence” which you will discover satisfies you like nothing else and imparts to you the very encouragement that you need to be lifted up and out of the entanglement of life’s seemingly impossible situations.
If you get a moment to share how you’ve discovered this to be true in your life, I’d love to hear about it. I may not always be able to respond personally, but I read your responses and I value them as I seek the Lord for what to share with all of you in this spiritual journey together.