Do you ever feel you're getting overwhelmed? Too caught up with the speed of life? Too many people sick around you and perhaps you're struggling to recover yourself? It's when we are overwhelmed that we realize the power of encouragement. Sometimes it comes from friends, church members or family, but more often than not it's the best time to draw personal encouragement from God's Word. I have a family member who suffers from anxiety and I've had to educate myself on the fact that they can't just "speak" themselves healthy. It's a process they walk through daily, but encouraging themselves in the Lord and his love for them, is part of the process. Encouraging yourself in the Lord and what he says about you, can be a very important healing factor.
Paul was writing to Christians, explaining what the walk of the believer should look like when he wrote, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 5:19-20). When you've lost your song, sing.
When a person is in need of encouragement a song is often the right medicine. We once had a pastor who's most remembered for saying, "Never lose your song". We can get so caught up in trying to "keep up" with all the goals we've placed on ourselves and the demands placed on us by society that we lose sight of the things that really make us happy. Are you happy in your job? Have you become stagnate? Or, are you so busy that you've lost balance and have no energy? What's causing the anxiety?
Doctors say the most common complaint they get from their patients is fatigue. There may be a hundred medical reasons for fatigue, but along with checking that out to make sure it isn't medical, consider encouraging yourself in the Lord. Consider developing relationships outside your own little circle. What advice would you give to someone who is in need of encouragement? Give the same advice to yourself and then follow through.
Paul said: "Comfort yourselves together, and edify one another ..." (I Thess 5:11). When King David was about to be stoned by his own army, the Bible says "he encouraged himself in the Lord his God".
How can we encourage ourselves in the Lord? Sometimes, you just need to treat yourself like you treat everyone else. You're patient and forgiving to others, but are you as patient and forgiving of yourself? You advise others to rest, but do you rest? Are your personal demands too heavy to bear and is it causing anxiety and stress? So many of us know there is something that needs to be changed but we feel we have no time to change it. Life is too busy. Too demanding.
Take the few quiet moments you're given to meditate on God's love for YOU. "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (I Peter 2:9-10).
In How to Give the Encouragement You Give Others to Yourself, Cally Logan wrote: "What is most important in encouraging ourselves is to remember Who we belong to: God. We belong to the Creator of the Universe, of all that is and will be. Remember the truth of Isaiah 43:1, "But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" When we take on the mantle that we are children of God, something stirs within that empowers us to move forward. You are not here by accident, and you are meant for something meaningful in this world that God has planned specifically over your life. Do not let the Enemy or anyone else convince you otherwise; you belong to God, and He loves you."
How true that is. How encouraging it is to know you belong to God who is Creator of all things and he knows where you are and what you need. Jesus said, don't be anxious for tomorrow or for what you'll eat or wear or drink. Then he explained why we should not be anxious. He said God takes care of the birds, the flowers and the grass and aren't you much more important than they are? (Matt 6:25-34). When he said "behold", if he had been speaking in our 21st century language, he may have said "Look around you. Encourage yourself by thinking on what God has done for even the smallest life form."
You're very important to God. Encouraging yourself in the Lord and what he says about you, can be a very important healing factor.