Encouragement: Strength when you feel like quitting
Where do you encourage yourself when it feels like your world is falling apart? How do you find encourage when you feel like you are all alone? Who motivates the motivator? Who encourages the leader?
“It’s lonely at the top, so you better know why you are there“.- John C. Maxwell
When I about to launch my first corporation (a nutritional network marketing company). We invited Kevin McCarthy, author of “The On-Purpose Person” to be the key note speaker. At dinner afterwards, he said to me, “Brenda, do you have a female mentor who is in leadership?” I was young (28) and ambitious. “When you are a leader of a large corporation everyone will look to you to be their leader and inspiration.” He went on to explain, “At times you will feel alone. You will need someone to confide in that understands your situation. You need a female leader, like a Pastor’s wife, that you can go to for wisdom and encouragement.” Decades later, I can say this was sage advice!
But what about those times when there doesn’t seem to be anyone around to encourage you?
David (the one who killed Goliath in the Bible and rose to be one of Israel’s greatest kings) faced that. His story holds some powerful lessons. Like most of us, David did not go straight to the top. He would first navigate through a decade of trials (personal development opportunities)! He faced persecution, betrayal and rejection. You can read the story in 1 Samuel 30. It goes like this. David arrived home to find his enemies had taken their women, and burned the village to the ground. Worse yet, his own army wanted to stone him! Encouragement was the last thing available to David at that moment.
“…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Sam. 30:6 KJV
How David Encouraged Himself
This is a powerful commentary on David! After he wept till there were no more tears and felt distressed he picked himself up. There was no one there to encourage him. He had to encourage himself. He had a Divine purpose and promise to fulfill! Here is how he encouraged himself:
- He meditated.
Psalms 199 written by David, says he meditated on the Word day and night. In fact, the thing he desired above all was to spend time in God’s presence meditating and inquiring of God. Perhaps meditation encouraged David with the fact that he was not alone. Perhaps it is how he dealt with depression and anxiety. Thousands of scientific studies, confirm the benefits of meditation. Meditation increases emotional well being, reduces depression and anxiety. Additional benefits include increased focus and memory, better decision making and problem solving. There are also many health benefits.
- He built a His-Story with God and focused on past success.
In the famous battle between David and Goliath, the king told David all the reasons why he would fail. He was young, inexperienced and small in size. David had learned how to remember and get encouragment from his past “wins”. He recalled all the times God helped him in the past. He remembered when he took on the bears and lions and won. This gave him confidence for the current situation
“And 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 Sam 17:37 AMP)
- He built the habit of positive self talk
Words have power. Words we speak to our self shape the quality of our life. How do you speak to yourself? Is your self-talk kind and affirming? Or is it critical and condescending? Both scripture and science document the power of our words.
“A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, But a perverse tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit.” Prov 15:4
David spent a lot of time alone in the fields caring for the sheep. We read that even his own father would forget to invite him to important celebrations. His brothers would ridicule him. In those times of isolation David remembered who he was and what God had promised him. He would write them down. He would turn them into songs of praise or prayers. He would speak them out loud. unbeknownst to him, these words would not only encourage himself but would go on to encourage millions. Many of us have memorized all or parts of Psalm 23.
“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
3 He refreshes and restores my soul…I will not fear…“
Learning to upgrade our self talk is a powerful way to encourage yourself and others. Learn more in “Enjoy Life & Success: Upgrade Your Self Talk“
I’ve shared stories from my life and from history. Scripture says all these things are written for us! I pray you have been encouraged <3
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.” Rom 15:4