by Rodney Francis
In our last Bulletin I spoke of the need for encouragement; how
we all need to be encouraged as we journey through life.
Encouragement encourages us! We live positively different when
we are encouraged! When we are discouraged we can make
decisions that we live to regret. So let us all make sure that we are
ones who encourage others to be all that God wants them to be.
There is another ministry of encouragement and that is the
ministry of encouraging ourselves. In 1 Samuel 30:6, we read
these words: "But David encouraged himself in the Lord His God"
(KJV). The Amplified Bible says: "But David encouraged and
strengthened himself in the Lord his God." (Many of the Bible
translations use the word "strengthened" rather than "encouraged").
The reality is that when we are encouraged we are strengthened to
do the will of God.
Why did David need to encourage himself? While David and his
men were out fighting the battles of the Lord, on the home front his
city was burned with fire, and their wives, sons and daughters were
all taken captive. David returned to find the enemy had wrecked
what he had in Ziklag. The men with David were also heart-broken
and full of grief. In their time of distress they blamed David for the
cause of this (human nature always wants to blame someone else).
Suddenly David is standing alone, with the finger of accusation
being pointed at him for the loss of family and houses, etc. As
broken-hearted as he was, David demonstrated a quality of
character that we all need. In his hour of distress he knew how to
encourage himself. How would he have done that? I believe he
would have reminded himself of God's faithfulness to him, His
promises and how God had delivered him in times past ~ that this
was not a time to get a wrong spirit and hardness of attitude toward
God because of the circumstances, and other negative people,
around him. So David encouraged himself. He talked to his own
spirit and told it to rise up, to not be beaten by what the enemy had
done. He encouraged himself enough to seek the Lord to see what
He wanted him to do in this situation. God answered him with
these wonderful words of comfort: "You shall surely overtake them
and without fail recover all" (1 Samuel 30:8). The circumstances
looked hopeless and lost; but through David encouraging himself
He was able to look beyond the tragedy and hear God's promise
on the outcome. The result was that the men who accused him
were able to also rise and go with him to recapture their wives and
families. And that is exactly what happened. If David had not
known how to encourage himself, that day could have spelled the
end of numbers of peoples' faith in the Living God.
Do you know how to encourage yourself? Do you know how to
speak the positive promises of God...? Do you know how to look
above and beyond the negative circumstances that come to us
all at different times in life? We need to. For, often, in those
times, there are no others who are around or with us to speak
encouragement into us. So we have to do it ourselves!
Did you know that one of the greatest "tools" of self-encouragement
that God has given us is the gift of speaking in other tongues? The
Scripture tells us: "He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself"
(1 Corinthians 14:4). When we are edified we are encouraged and
strengthened personally. I know for me, when I need to be
encouraged more, I go pray-walking and speak in other tongues
out loud. It is not very long before I am built up in my faith and
inspired to keep pressing on with the Lord and His call on my life.
Consider this verse: "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on
your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in
the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto
eternal life" (Jude 20-21). Surely this also is telling us of the power
of speaking in other tongues? When we speak/pray in other
tongues we are speaking spirit to Spirit directly to God. How good
is God to enable us to have a spiritual language that causes us to
rise up above all our discouragements and disappointments!
I want to encourage you to speak in tongues more. If you do not
have this God-given gift, let me encourage you to seek it. Ask God
to fill you to overflowing with His Holy Spirit and to give you that
ability to talk "spirit to Spirit" with Him. You will be so blessed
when you can communicate with God in this way, and it will build
you up personally to do more of the will of God in your life. I have
had that gift since I was 18 years old, and it has helped me
enormously over the years to be able to discern and continue in
the will of God for my life. He wants that for you too.