Encouraging Yourself in the Lord ─ Part III Handout

Encouraging Yourself in the Lord - Part III

By Mike Davis, Ph.D.

I Samuel 30:1-6

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.

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

Lesson #3 - "You are 100% responsible for your emotional well-being."

How do we exercise this gift?

Strategy#1 - Get some distance between yourself and the negative, unresourceful emotional state you find yourself in.

Strategy #2 - Remember and rehearse (especially out loud) the great things God has done for you in the past

Strategy #3 - Maintain a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving! Create a "Gratitude List" and review it often!

Part III follows:

Strategy #4 - Think about and Meditate upon Eternity

1.   In II Corinthians 4:8-9 the Apostle Paul writes about the various tests and trials he has experienced as he preaches the Gospel. In verse 16 he writes "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man  is being renewed day by day"

2.   How did Paul remained encouraged, renewed day by day?

1)   In II Cor. 4:17 -18 Paul writes "For our light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary but the things which are  not seen are eternal".

2)   How did Paul stay encouraged in the midst of tests and trials? He focused on eternity.

3.   I (BB) have done this many, many times. Revelations 21:4 lets me know that "over there" I will have "no more pain".

4.   We in the Christian faith hold that this world is not the only world there is, there is a wonderful glorious world to come.

1)   Spend some time thinking, meditating upon, and imagining it. It can and will refresh your soul!

2)   God gave us this awesome power of imagination no doubt, among other things, to help us "dream" about what is to come.

3)   Neuro-Science has proven time and time again that our power of imagination to the mind-body is as if you are really doing what you are imagining.

Strategy #5 - Remain in contact and fellowship with others who can and will encourage you (and you them)!  

1.   In the book of Hebrews 10:24-25 we are told "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another and so much more as you see the  day approaching".

2.   One of the most dangerous things we can do when we are feeling down, discouraged or depressed is to isolate ourselves from others.

3.   Taking 100% responsibility for your emotional wellbeing does not mean that you don't need others or that you have to go it alone.

4.   Do you have people around you that you trust; who can be and are a source of encouragement?

         Remember what Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "Though one maybe overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken"

Strategy #6 - Do things that you enjoy!

1.   We often quote Nehemiah 8:10 "The joy of the Lord is your strength". But what many do not realize is that the verse is a part of a larger context.

1)   Nehemiah 8:9-10 - The verse is quoted in the context of Nehemiah telling Israel " 'do not mourn nor weep' For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law [and realized how far from it they had come]."

2)   Nehemiah then tells them "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow for the joy of the Lord is your strength!"

Strategy #7 – Make it a regular practice to feel good on purpose!

1.   Dr. Barbara Fredrickson in her book “Positivity” tells how she found in her research that one of the key components of resilient people, of people who are able to bounce back from setbacks, disappointments and traumas is that they feel more positive emotions than negative emotions on a regular basis.

2.   How do you increase the ratio? By feeling positive feelings on purpose!  And, of all people, we Christians should have no problems feeling positive.

1)   Meditate on positive thoughts, images, and memories (remember the gratitude list?).

2)   Philippians 4:8 tells us “Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be anything praiseworthy think /meditate on these things”

3.   Whatever we give consistently our minds to we develop a mind for.

Invitation - Someone on our email list asked Mike,  “What is the difference between just encouraging yourself and encouraging yourself in the Lord?”

3.   It is similar to what God reminded Israel in Deuteronomy 8:18 - After Israel had entered into the promised land and partook of the blessing of that Land God told them “You are not to say ‘the might and power of my own hand hath gotten me this wealth’, but you are to remember the Lord your God that it is he who hath given you the power to get wealth”.

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