We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; II Corinthians 4:8-9
It was one of those weeks where so many things went wrong. There was a call from my children’s school, a missed deadline at work, overdue bills, needed car repairs and not enough money in my bank account.
I was a single mom at the time and by the end of the day, I was feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. I felt so defeated. All I desperately wanted was to hear a word of encouragement.
I tried calling a friend, but she wasn’t available to talk. I tried another friend, no answer. There was no one to talk to who would understand my frustration.
Then I remembered what King David did in I Samuel 30:6:
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
When I read the circumstances of why Kind David was so distressed, I immediately felt embarrassed. My problems were nothing compared to his.
The enemies surrounded him, they wanted him dead, yet he did what no one else would do for him. He encouraged himself in the Lord.
I decided to try his approach and encourage myself in the Lord. I prayed, quoted scriptures and thought on good things (Philippians 4:8).
I felt much better but I still felt like something was missing. And then the phone rang. It was a friend who needed someone to talk to.
I listened for a while then she asked for my input. I was able to encourage her and by listening to myself speak, I in turn was encouraged!
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13 (ESV)
But the conversation didn’t end there. My friend began to speak words of inspiration that refreshed my soul. I let her know just how much she blessed me with her uplifting words.
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you. That is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. Romans 1:11-12 (NIV)
It is truly amazing how encouraging someone else also encourages you. And when no one is around to give you the words you need to hear, remember to encourage yourself in the Lord!