“And David was greatly distressed … but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6
Recently, I was feeling a little heavy and burdened when the phrase “encourage yourself in the Lord” came to my mind. I couldn’t remember the specific verse or the context, so I quickly searched for the verse in my Bible app and skimmed the chapter surrounding it. At the start of 1 Samuel 30, David finds his city, Ziklag, completely destroyed. All the women and children have been taken captive. His wives are taken. His men are talking about stoning him. He is greatly distressed, to put it mildly, yet his response is to encourage himself in the Lord.
That word “encourage” is such an interesting and multi-layered word. According to Strong’s Concordance, part of its meaning is:
“to fasten upon, to seize, be strong;
cure, help, repair, fortify;
to bind, conquer, cleave,
hold fast, behave self valiantly, withstand”
After he encouraged himself in the Lord - after he repaired his spiraling mind and wounded heart, fastened upon the Rock of Ages, fortified himself with Strength Himself, and held fast to his Savior - he then prayed. “Shall I pursue?” And God replied, “Pursue, for thou shall surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” (1 Samuel 30:8)
Today, you might not be in David’s place (what with the enemy army, burned city, kidnapped family, and threat of stoning and all). But you may have some hurt or burdens or concerns weighing on you. You may be distressed, carrying a heaviness in your heart and on your mind. May I remind you of the power you have right here in your situation? All we have to do is fasten ourselves to the right thing. When you look to the hills where your help comes from, you no longer see the dark murkiness of the valley in which your feet are standing. You just see hope. And strength.
May we, today, encourage ourselves in the Lord. For victory is coming. Salvation is here. The end has been published and we know Who sits on the throne. Bind yourself to Him. Hold fast. Withstand. Repair your heart and your mind by cleaving to Him, not your concerns. And then PURSUE that victory and recover all.