Encouraging yourself in The Lord, when you feel like giving up, is not always easy. In fact, it requires living in the truth when every emotion is contradicting the truth.
When you feel numb, when you feel hopeless, when you feel like doing anything but praying…it is important to focus on a few things.
- God loves you. God wants a relationship with you and is not sitting around tapping his foot in disapproval. If you are in a bad place because of sin, God is ready to give you grace and to deliver you from your sin, when you repent. Do not think you have to get everything right before you come to God. Come to God. Admit you are broken. Repent. He will put the pieces back together. It is humility that he desires.
- God understands you have emotions. God has emotions. Jesus was fully God and fully man. He was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. You may FEEL like life isn’t worth living and that God has abandoned you, but the Father didn’t abandon Jesus and Jesus was full of sorrow. Sorrow and grief are a reaction to what is going on inside of you. If you are grieving a friend, spouse or child who is in distress or walking away from God or if you have lost someone, remember that it is spiritual to cry and to weep. Jesus wept.
- We need to be ministered to, even if we are leading others. If you are a husband or wife, a father or mother or a leader in the church or simply committed to helping others and using your spiritual gifts, you need ministered to, as well. A verse that struck me this week is in Daniel 7:10 where it says that The Lord is on his throne with thousands upon thousands of angels ministering to him.
Daniel 7:10 “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”
If God needs ministered to…we need ministered to. Surround yourself with people who can pray with you and for you. Do not have a martyr attitude that you have to carry all the burden yourself and you don’t want to burden anyone else. Pray for yourself, but be sure to have a prayer partner or two or four or more to pray with.
- The truth of God is eternal. God’s plan isn’t finished playing out yet. We are in a battle between right and wrong. If the battle is raging, remember that God wins. Too many people want to look at church like a garden party or club of sorts. They do not realize that the Bible describes our walk with Christ as an all out war between good and evil. When you accept Christ you go from being a prisoner of war to a solider in training for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will not send you into a battle ill-equipped.
Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;
As you approach The Lord in prayer over every difficult issue, even if you are questioning and asking, “Why?” and “When?” and “How?” questions, God will answer you and will train you. This resistance training is where you are tempted by the devil and or your own evil desires and you learn to apply the power that raised Jesus from the dead, with your faith, to the situation. You will feel the fatigue and exhaustion that you probably felt in times of physical training in your life. (Football practice, basketball, running, or any other discipline where you applied yourself to increase in skill and to fight off discouragement.) Remember, that if you resist, you will feel the pressure coming against you, and you may even feel torn down. But, just like with weight lifting or exercising, God will build you up stronger when you have recovered. Think of Simon Peter. Jesus said, “Simon, Simon. Satan has desired to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you and when you recover, TURN AND HELP your brothers.”
- Look back and rejoice in all the times The Lord has delivered you before. Do not forget his mercies.
- Look forward to all he will do for you in the future.
Based on Psalm 16
A miktam of David.
“Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge. I am being bombarded from every side. I am being (tempted, lied to, attacked, insulted, discouraged.) I am struggling to keep my head above water and sometimes I feel numb. Sometimes I can’t even feel you there. BUT, I ask you to increase my faith in your protection and your love for me. Increase my faith, Lord, in Jesus name. Protect me with your powerful name. I stand against all of hell that would come against me and my family, in the name of Jesus Christ. I rebuke Satan’s plans against me. May his plans only turn back against himself and bring down his kingdom to ruins. May my life and family be protected by the angels of God. May the protection of the blood of Jesus Christ be placed over my life and over my family, in Jesus name! I worship the name of Jesus! I adore the name of Jesus. May all of the accusing words and false accusations that the enemy brings against me be overwhelmed by the truth of Jesus. God, protect me from his lies. Keep me from being deceived, in Jesus name. Protect my family from the lies of Satan and from the waywardness of this world. Expose Satan’s plans and put a sword in my hand to fight against evil, in Jesus name!
Right now I command myself to remember the goodness of The Lord. I remember the Lord’s mercies. I thank you Lord for all of the miracles and answers to prayers. (List some here.)
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Not only are you a place of safety, you are the source of everything good in my life. I now thank you for every victory you have ever given me in my life. I praise you for every trial and struggle that has taught me to fight, revealed my sins and weaknesses and placed me on my knees before your throne. I praise you for taking the darkest times and turning them into light. Illuminate my life, Oh Lord my God. Shine your beautiful light into the darkest places, in Jesus name. Remind me of where I would be without you in my life. I know that feelings aren’t everything, but give my heart encouragement today, Oh Lord!
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” I love you for giving me such amazing godly friends. When I look at all of them, I think of your beautiful redemption in their lives. I thank you that I have hope and encouragement because of their lives and testimonies. Thank you that you make men and women holy by the blood of Jesus. I thank you that I have unity and commonality with those who love you. Increase our unity and increase our camaraderie. May we work together for your kingdom to see many more people become disciples of Jesus Christ. Thank you for these people you have put into my life, Lord:
(List the lovely believers who God has blessed you with.)
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips. God help me to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good. Please remove my “taste” for sin. I want to hate the sin of idolatry in this world. I do not want to run after the gods of money, approval of men, the lust of the eyes or the pride of life. I do not want to come to the end of my life, having investing in the physical, only to be bankrupt in the spiritual and to spend eternity separated from God. God, help me to consider the words of my mouth holy to you. May I not speak the profane things of this world….even the idols made with the hands of people. May I not take your name in vain, but only in praise and prayer. Teach me what it is to have a holy mouth that is purified, as my heart is purified, in Jesus name.
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure. You are my great reward. You are my place of satisfaction. Everything else is pleasurable for a time, but leaves me empty. You fill my cup with goodness.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance. Thank you for my inheritance in Jesus. Thank you that I am your child. Thank you that I belong to you. Thank you that nothing in heaven, hell or on the earth can take away my inheritance in Christ. You love me and you have sealed me with your name. You have bought me with the blood of Jesus Christ. I am yours. Thank you for all the newness of my life in Christ. Your mercies are new every morning. Thank you that I can let go of my past and let it fall into the trash heap of history and take up a new mantle of praise and worship, healing and wholeness, in Jesus name.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me. May my thoughts ever be upon you, Lord. On my commute, when I work around the house, when I am with my family, when I lie on my bed, when I lie down and when I get up, may my mind be given over to you, Lord.
I thank you for this prophecy, Oh Lord. I thank you that this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus. I thank you that in the same way you did not abandon Christ, you will not abandon me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
I am yours, Oh Lord. In Jesus name, Amen!”