June 1, 2021

Encouraging Affirmation: I Can Use My Spiritual Tools to Encourage Myself In the Lord!

And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God—I Samuel 30:6

I wonder if David ever longed to be shepherding sheep again instead of people. At least sheep could not complain and plot against him, threaten to stone him. At least sheep did not become bitter or resentful toward him. Sheep did not distress him the way bitter people managed to.  

David recognized the distress the bitters brought him. The text says they distressed his soul greatly, or tremendously, but he did a good thing. Instead of  wallowing in self-pity, walking about in fear and dread, starting to take their accusations and bitterness into his own spirit, becoming permanently scarred and emotionally damaged, he decided to draw on some of the spiritual tools he learned as a shepherd in the hills, he turn to his God and encouraged himself this way.

We are to watch out for the impact bitter people can have on our own emotions and mood; our entire psyche! They can cause us to feel down, have doubts, feel badly about ourselves, or doubt our abilities. The definition of a bitter, or embittered person is someone who has feelings of resentment and deep anger, deep-seated hatred, filled with negativity, negative emotions, and exceedingly unhappy. Chronically bitter people make their and your life miserable and unbearable. Bitter people can spew their venom and make your life a living hell when they take a mind to! Embittered people, hurting from their loss, needing to blame someone, brought their bitterness, ugliness, darkness of mood to David’s doorstep and for a brief moment they had him down, made him forget and lose sight of who he was, what he knew, and what was true, until he remember to turn to God and there is where he found the wherewithal and inner strength to encourage himself. In the Lord he remembered he could do this, he was tough and strong, God would keep him safe and show him a solution to the mess they were in.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble (this includes encountering bitter people) but take heart I have overcome the world (including bitter people). Bitter people are not ours to transform—only the transforming Holy Spirit, Word of God, and a submitted will can accomplish this—we are neither to become like them or attempt to remake them, but we can set a good example by living what we know, keeping ourselves from bitterness by staying attached to the Vinedresser, Jesus, choose to speak in uplifting ways, share the positive outlook we have and why, and learn how to keep ourselves encouraged and living the truth by turning and returning to the Word of God, meditating on his promises and praying in our most holy faith to believe all we read and learn from God’s word.

When David had to deal with bitter people, he resorted to using his spiritual tools to strengthen and encourage himself which is what God wants us to do when we find ourselves in the same or similar circumstances. It would not have helped David in that critical moment to take on the same defeated or bitter attitude, nor lose a grip on his faith in God, and it does not help us in our critical moments either. Our best and most helpful approach is the same one David took, drawing close to God, immersing ourselves in prayer, and revisiting what we know and have learned in God’s word. In God’s strength we will be strengthened enough to encourage ourselves and, in the process, prove to those who are feeling bitter the strength gained from God’s presence is unmatchable and undefeatable. Let‘s Pray,

Dear God, today I affirm that I can use the spiritual tools you have given me through your word to encourage myself when I meet up with those who have a bitter spirit and outlook. Amen

Affirmations I can speak over myself:

I (name) can use the spiritual tools I have to encourage myself.

I (name) can encourage myself when I turn to the Lord, pray, and immerse myself in the word and promises of God. Amen  

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