Life doesn't always turn out the way we thought. A young lady recently told me about her breakup with a man whom she thought was really special. She thought they were heading in the direction of marriage, but one day he told her that he was moving out of state to take a new job and was so happy. It shocked her that he could decide to just up and leave without even talking to her. It hit her hard that she was not as special to him as she thought she was and that he didn't love her the way she thought.
She said to me, "I began to dwell on those negative thoughts. I tried to make sense of what happened. What did I do wrong? I got so discouraged that I didn't want to go to work or go out with friends. I just wanted to stay home. One evening I saw your television program and listened to the message. I felt encouraged and began to regain a sense of who I was. I realized I had been so focused on what happened to me that I wasn't understanding what was happening inside me. I felt so hurt, so discounted, and so alone that it was causing me to destroy my life. But as I became encouraged, hope rose. I started to like myself again. Little by little, I would look in the mirror and say, 'You are beautiful. You are talented. You are valuable.' Suddenly this fun person came back into my life—the person I really was. I was so excited to get up in the morning and tell myself how well I was doing."
Then she added this, "And I say to myself, 'God is going to bring the right person across my path because I'm in the palms of His hands.'"
I love that! She made a choice about her discouragement. She took the encouragement she received on the inside, and she began to encourage herself. Hope began to rise in her heart, and faith caused her to move forward with her life.
I hope you'll take a moment to read David's story in 1 Samuel 30. He had just suffered the worst defeat in his life, and the men in his army were threatening to stone him. At his lowest point of discouragement, with everyone against him, the Scripture says David "encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God." He rose up, inspired his men to fight again, and they defeated their enemy.
It's great when family and friends are there to encourage us in difficult times, but we can't depend on others to encourage us. We have to learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord every day. We have to remember what God has done in our life. We have to get in agreement with God and say, "Thank You, God, for who You made me to be. You made me to be more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. I'm an overcomer because You back me up, because I have Your Word in me, and I will overcome this."