Learning how to encourage yourself in the Lord is so important to living a victorious Christian life.
We all go through hard situations and the encouragement we receive from friends and family is very helpful; but there will be times in everyone’s life when you must be able to encourage yourself in the Lord.
In 1 Samuel, the Bible records that David made the decision to encourage himself in the Lord while he was in the middle of a huge crisis. David and his men had just returned home to find their city invaded by the Amalekites. Not only did the Amalekites plunder and burn the city, they also took the wives and children captive.
Can you even imagine something so tragic? The Bible records that they wept until they had no more strength to weep. David was experiencing incredible grief, and this was on top of the last thirteen years of his life being threatened, chased, and persecuted. This was a time in David’s life where it looked like he was facing complete defeat and severe consequences.
Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:6
David’s men had turned on him and were blaming him for this complete tragedy. I could imagine most people in a situation like this would call it quits.
David chose to inquire of God, build himself up, and encourage himself. If he hadn’t made this choice, his men most likely would have killed him. But because he chose to encourage himself in the Lord; his destiny and dream came to pass within forty-eight hours- he became the king, thirteen years after Samuel had anointed him. He finally saw his dreams fulfilled.
If David would have given up, he would have quit within days of seeing his destiny. He never would have become king.
If you are in a place where you are thinking “What’s the use? What’s the point in living now? I should just give up”, then I encourage you to think about the situation that David was in. If it was possible for David to encourage himself in the Lord at such a trying time, it’s possible for you too.
David and his men ended up getting back all of their women and children, all of their livestock, and even all the spoil of the Amalekites. Not only that, David was crowned king. David encouraged himself in the Lord and that’s when he saw the breakthrough!
11 Ways to Encourage Yourself in the Lord:
1. Remember God’s Faithfulness
Most people can look back over their life and see how the Lord has been faithful to them.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV
Take time to remember the Lord’s faithfulness to you. Remember promises that God gave you that have already come to pass. Remember times when it looked like you were hopeless but God led you out of the situation.
Rehearse times in your life when there was no one there but God. Rehearse the times when He showed up in your darkest hour. This will help you to know that He will never leave you and He will never fail you.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV
2. Connect with the Lord
God is all about relationship. He wants intimacy with you, and this is how you are strengthened. His perfect love drives out fear and He is the God of all comfort. (1 John 4:18, Corinthians 1:3)
Everything in God’s kingdom happens through a relationship with HIm. Don’t bypass this step. When you need to encourage yourself, take time to get alone with the Lord. Even if it’s just sitting in His presence and acknowledging that He’s there, His presence will change things.
While you’re spending time with the Lord, ask the Lord for a rhema word – something that He’s speaking to you for the present situation. One life-giving word from God can change everything. Faith and encouragement come as you hear Him. Jesus knows how to speak a word in season to you when you are weary.
The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. Isaiah 50:4 NKJV
3. Remember Past Victories
I believe part of the reason David was able to defeat Goliath is because he remembered the past victories the Lord had given him.
Goliath wasn’t David’s first experience with an enemy that could have defeated him. The Lord had delivered him from the lion and the bear.
Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37 NKJV
Remember situations in your life when God gave you the victory. Remember that what He did once, He’ll do again. God always has victory for you!
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV
4. Meditate on the Integrity of God’s Word
In 1 Samuel 30 when David encouraged himself in the Lord, the first thing he did was call for the ephod. The ephod was a breastplate that the priests wore. God communicated through the stones that were one it. For us, this would be comparable to the Bible.
When you need encouragement, the best place to turn is to the Word of God. The Bible is full of promises, for every situation you could imagine. God’s Word is completely trustworthy. Meditate on the surety of God’s Word. It is unfailing.
The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Psalm 119:160 NKJV
5. Pray in Tongues
Speaking in tongues is an incredible gift that many people do not take advantage of. The Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 14:4-
He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, 1 Corinthians 14:4 NKJV
To edify means to build up. When you pray in tongues, you build yourself up. You encourage yourself.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 20 NKJV
As you speak in tongues, it allows the Holy Spirit to pray for exactly what you need. The Holy Spirit will bring things Jesus has said back to your remembrance.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26 NKJV
For more about praying in tongues read: 9 Reasons We Need to Pray in Tongues
Worship is one of the best ways to change your perspective. Worship forces you to put your focus on God and what you are thankful for. Even a few moments of worship can make a dramatic difference.,
Scripture says that when we worship, it silences the enemy. Much discouragement is caused by the lies of the enemy.
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger. Psalm 8:2 NKJV
Jesus translated “strength” in this verse to praise (Matthew 21:16). Praise releases strength and silences the enemy!
Another way that worship is encouraging is in the fact that God inhabits the praises of His people. God’s presence is always encouraging.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3 KJV
If you want to feel the security, joy, and peace that comes with being in the presence of the Lord, spend some time in worship. Even when you don’t feel like it, just begin to praise Him and your emotions will soon follow.
7. Listen to People of Faith
There are certain people who walk by faith more than others. When you get around these types of people or listen to them, it ignites the spirit of faith on the inside of you.
These are people with victorious mindsets. Spend time listening to them and allow their champion attitude to rub off on you.
that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:12 NKJV
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Hebrews 13:7 NKJV
8. Speak to Yourself
In Psalm 103, David instructed his own soul to bless the Lord. Again in Psalm 62, he commands his soul to rest in God. You can speak to your own soul. Your soul is your mind, will, and emotions.
Take a look in the mirror and tell your mind, will and emotions what to do. Speak to yourself what you might tell someone else going through this situation.
Speaking the Word of God over yourself is so valuable. The Bible tells us to guide our heart in the way it should go (Proverbs 23:19). We do this by the words of our mouth. Remind yourself who you are and who you belong to!
9. Look to Jesus
It sounds simple, but keeping yourself focused on Jesus will encourage you. He is the very author of encouragement and faith.
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
Jesus is able to sympathize with the struggles we go through (Hebrews 4:15). As you keep your eyes focused on Jesus, He will lead you out (John 10:3).
As you look unto Jesus, you can walk above the situation just like Peter walked on the water.
The Word of God tells us to keep our eyes on things above rather than things on the earth. What is unseen is eternal, what is seen is temporary. Keep your focus on spiritual things!
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2 NKJV
while we do not look 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 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV
10. Grab Hold of Your Emotions
You are not just a human, you’ve got the Holy Spirit of God living on the inside of you, and therefore you can walk in authority over your emotions.
You don’t have to submit to every emotion that you feel. Jesus told His disciples to not let their heart be troubled at an extremely difficult time. If He told them to do this, that means it is possible to not allow your heart to be troubled.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 NKJV
When you choose to get hold of your negative emotions and “reel them in”, it will be much easier to then begin to encourage yourself without the distraction of overpowering emotions.
11. Remember Your Authority in Christ
There’s a scene from the Disney movie The Lion King where the young lion is reminded by his father who He is. It strengthens the young lion to go back to the land he is destined to rule over and take his rightful place.
As you remind yourself of who you are and the authority God has granted you, you can begin to rule over the situation as you were designed to do.
The very authority of God has been delegated to you. You are not a victim and not powerless, no matter the circumstances. For more about your authority in Christ, read: Does God Control Every Little Thing?