What do you do when life takes a turn and you face a setback you never expected? First Samuel 30 records just such a period in David’s life. Thirteen years after he was anointed to be the next king of Israel, he was still living as a fugitive from King Saul. Then one day David and his six hundred men came home and found their city had been burned, their possessions taken, and their families taken captive. It was so heartbreaking that David and his men wept until they could weep no more. Then the men in his army threatened to stone him. Yet at his lowest point of discouragement, the Scripture says David “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (v. 6). He rose up, inspired his men to fight again, and they defeated their enemy.
Too often when we go through a disappointment or a setback as David did, we think it must be our fault. I talked with a young lady who had tried to make sense of a painful breakup. She said, “He told me he loved me. I was convinced it was all my fault. I felt so hurt, so discounted, and so alone that it was causing me to destroy my life. One evening I saw your television program and was encouraged, then hope rose and I began to regain a sense of who I was. Little by little, I started to like myself again 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. Now I know that God is going to bring the right person across my path, because I’m in the palm of His hand.”
I love that! Like David, she made a choice about her discouragement. She took the encouragement she received on the inside, and she began to encourage herself. Hope rose in her heart, and faith caused her to move forward with her life.
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. He made us, formed us, and fashioned us just the way we should be. Rather than be critical of yourself and what you think are lacks, start celebrating yourself and all your good qualities. Remember what God has done in your life. 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 I have Your Word in me, and I will overcome this.”