Encouraging Yourself in the Lord ─ Part I Handout

"Today I Choose to be Happy!"

By Mike Davis, Ph.D.

I Samuel 30:1-6

And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;

And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.

So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.

Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

Today I want to share about encouraging yourself in the Lord. Hopefully it will be encouraging to you!

"Whatever things were written before were written for our learning that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4).


1.   "When it comes to the situations you are facing -no matter how bad - you have a choice about what and how you feel in the situation. You have a choice about how you will go through and experience your situation."

In the midst of devastating lost, in the midst of his men blaming him and talk of killing him David decided  to encourage himself in the Lord. David decided that he would have a different experience of his situation. David decided this in the MIDST of his situation.

2.   In the MIDST of all the mess David decided to experience something different..

3.   David, as he strengthen and encouraged himself in the Lord, took positive action.

4.   But the main point I want you to get from this is that in the midst of the problem David had a choice about how he was going to experience the situation.

Jesus said "....in this world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer I have overcome the world".

Lesson#2 - Your emotional experience in a situation is not determine by the situation. it is determined by you.

Said another way "it is not what is happening on the outside that determines how we are feeling rather it is what we are choosing to do on the inside that determines how we are feeling".

1.   David, in the midst of the situation went from feeling afraid to feeling encouraged.

2.   I love that. This let me know that my emotional life is not limited to or dependant on what is happening around me.

3.   And the same goes for you. We are not limited emotionally to what is happening to around us. This is reiterated over and over in the Scriptures.

4.   Again - you have a choice.  You determine how you will experience the events of your journey. The events of the journey do not determine the experience for you.

1)    So know that whatever we are going through we can choose what and how we will experience it emotionally.

2)    And this is meant to be encouraging -not condemning. The enemy of our souls would lie to us and tells us, "You don't have a choice, things are too bad." He will try to get us to give up our freedom from the Lord-our ability

3)    Don't fall for it. You get to choose how to respond mentally emotionally and behaviorally.

1997-2010 Bobby G. Bodenhamer and Mike Davis All rights reserved.