Encouragement – something that gives hope, determination, or confidence; the act of giving hope or confidence to (Merriam-Webster).
Encouragement. I have heard it said that too much of anything can be bad for you but I do not believe that this saying applies to encouragement. There is so much in life that can attack our hope, weaken our determination, and decrease our confidence, encouragement is always needed. It is one “vitamin” on which we cannot overdose.
What encourages you? How do you encourage yourself? Chapter 30 of the book of 1 Samuel, documents a distressing time in David’s life when he was in danger of being stoned by his men who were bitter over the loss of their children in a raid. “But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6, AMP). Many times in Scripture, God is referred to as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (click here for examples). But not here. It is David’s personal relationship with God which is highlighted here. He “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (bold emphasis added). Indeed, there is encouragement and strengthening that come from a personal, intimate relationship with God. From knowing that we are His. There is encouragement in belonging to Christ.
3 [a]Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, 4 just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will— 6 to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ]. 7 In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and understanding [with practical insight] 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10 with regard to the fulfillment of the times [that is, the end of history, the climax of the ages]—to bring all things together in Christ, [both] things in the heavens and things on the earth. 11 In Him also we have [b]received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior] would exist to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. 14 The Spirit is the [c]guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14, AMP)
Whatever you are experiencing, whatever you face in this new month, you can, like David, encourage and strengthen yourself in the Lord your God.