Encourage Yourself––When No One’s Around

Photo from FlickrIt’s 2:00 a.m. and you’re feeling as if the world is crashing around you. You feel it is, but it’s not. What do you do? Call and get a friend out of bed? If you’re a considerate friend, you won’t. More than positive thinking, encouraging yourself when no one is around can sometimes be a difficult thing to do, especially at 2:00 a.m. So what should you do? Find hope in the circumstance. There’s always a ray, but sometimes you have to search for it. Click to Tweet #encourageyourself #rayofhope

The first great king of Israel, King David, learned as a shepherd boy, to encourage himself. Imagine this: you’re the baby of the family, always getting stuck with the jobs no one else wants to do anymore because they’re older. Several of your older brothers are in the King’s Army, living an exciting life.

Is he discouraged?

Is he discouraged?

Eventually, you’re in the king’s household to play the harp, to soothe the king’s soul. Then, you’re persecuted by the very one you’ve come to help. He becomes jealous of your gifts, and you have to flee for your life.

When you’ve finally found a cave to be safe from the murderous intentions of the king you serve, you’re discouraged. You’re alone in the cave, and you feel like crap. Back in those days, there weren’t telephones. There was no one David could call upon to encourage him. His brothers were in the army and his father was at home. None of his childhood friends or relatives were with him.

What could he do? Read the Psalms. They’re so interesting because David lets it all hang out. He spills his guts about how awful he feels. If he begins the psalm with a lament, he usually ends it with praise for his Creator. How does that happen?

He learned to encourage himself in the LORD, his God. You can too. This is much more than “positive thinking”––although training your brain to let go of negative thoughts is helpful. We are made up of body, soul, and spirit. Discouragement happens in the soul, where the mind, will, and emotions are housed. Click to Tweet #encourageyourself #rayofhope

What about you? How do you encourage yourself when it’s 2:00 a.m. and everyone else sleeps? Leave a comment and let me know.

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