A small flame

A small flame

to encourage yourself


I have said - and I believe that Scripture commands - that believers have a responsibility to actively, regularly encourage each other. That said, there are times when that is not possible. Perhaps the trial you are going through is not one you feel you can share with others, or perhaps the believers God has placed in your life are unable to encourage you due to their own sin-weaknesses or lack of Christian maturity. During those times, we need to know how, as David did in 1 Samuel 30, to encourage ourselves in the Lord.

I appreciated that Dr. Jeremiah included a chapter on this in his book, and I thought he had some good suggestions for how we can encourage ourselves.

Solitude - David was a man who knew how to get alone with God. Evidence of that is found all through the Psalms. Jesus also knew the importance of getting away from the crowds and spending some time alone with His Father. Dr. Jeremiah writes,
'If you want to find some encouragement for your soul, start first by pushing everything away and finding time to be alone. The purpose of this solitude is to talk with God and let God talk to us.'

This one really made me think. As a momma of 3 busy boys, it can be very difficult to intentionally cultivate solitude. In fact, this account of Jesus in Mark 1 made me smile :
'And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37and they found him and said to him, "Everyone is looking for you." '
That sounds like the story of my life..... at least if 'everyone' is my kiddos ;o) I wonder how it would benefit my spirit and my spiritual growth if I purposely found more time to spend in solitude with my Abba.

Scripture -
Romans 15:4 - 'For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.'

I have found reading in the Psalms to be a great way to encourage myself. There are so many great verses! Psalm 46 is one of my favorites:

1God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

10"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
11The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Songs - I loved that Dr. Jeremiah included this in his list. If you read this blog regularly, you know how much I love songs; how often I find comfort and strength in words that remind me of who God is and how much he loves and provides for me.

There is a beautiful hymn written by Habakkuk during a very discouraged time in his life. God had called the prophet Habakkuk to minister during a time when Israel was wicked. He had difficulty understanding God's ways of doing things. Out of that time of discouragement and frustration came the words of this beautiful song:

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
{from Habakkuk 3}

How do you encourage yourself in the Lord?

thoughts from Acts of Love - the Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah

{read the rest of the series here}

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