Have you ever seen the television commercial with the famous catchphrase, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” (I see that Life Alert actually has a registered trademark on those words!) I didn’t realize that a version of that commercial was still running until I saw it again recently.
While a physical fall can definitely be a problem, sometimes we fall down spiritually and have a hard time getting our footing back. Satan’s tool of discouragement can be well-aimed and effective.
Sometimes there are specific circumstances we can point to in our lives that get us down. Other times, we may just have a general feeling of discouragement, and not be able to find any particular reason for it.
In I Samuel 30:6, we are told that David was “greatly distressed…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” David found himself in a very upsetting situation, but he recognized what he needed to do in order to move forward.
When we find that we’re in a spot where we’ve lost our courage or are lacking hope, let’s follow David’s example and find some ways to encourage ourselves in the Lord. Here are a few ideas to try.
1. Listen to Christ-honoring music. I’ve been neglecting Alexa. One of the reasons I wanted that “toy” for Christmas was so that I could have an easy way to play music as we started our day. Last week I determined to get better about using her! I want to send my family out the door each morning with uplifting music in their ears – and it’s helpful for me, too. Find favorite hymns or other songs of praise, and listen to the words as you work around the house or drive in your car. Or you could find a message from a preacher you enjoy or catch a particular podcast that has an encouraging message.
2. Meditate on a Bible passage of praise. Psalm 27 and Psalm 91 are two of my favorites passages to read when I need encouragement. It may even help to write or type out the words of a Psalm and post them where you can see them throughout the day.
3. Make a list of answered prayer in your life. From the time you were saved up until the present, there are certainly a host of prayers that have been answered. Write down physical needs that were met, but also remember the spiritual needs that have been fulfilled. Read over the list; perhaps even share it with your children, if appropriate.
4. Choose a promise of God to focus on. Are you discouraged because of a financial need? God is the great provider. Think of verses like Philippians 4:19. “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Are you struggling with guilt? I John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God forgives us. Are you anxious about something? We’re told in I Peter 5:7 to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us.
5. Write a thank-you note. This is another habit that I’ve not kept up with lately, but need to get back to. Think of someone who has positively impacted your life, either recently or in the past, then write and mail them a note that expresses your appreciation.
6. Pray for someone else’s needs. Remembering our family members, friends, or fellow church members who are going through a difficult time gets our eyes off of ourselves. By setting our focus first on Christ and secondly on others, we will often find that we can encourage ourselves in the Lord.
I hope that you’ll find one of these ideas helpful when discouragement tries to get a foothold in your spirit. Can you share some other ways that we might encourage ourselves in the Lord?