How To Encourage Yourself

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Do you have “it”?  You should have…

Romans 12:8 in the New International Version says:

“If it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Everybody should have the gift of encouragement.

“Well, I’m not sure God wanted me to have that gift.”  Then it’s apparent that you’ve never read Hebrews 3:13 in the Amplified Bible:

“But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].”

We’re to encourage one another. . .HOW OFTEN?. . .EVERY DAY.

So let’s look at what encouragement means.

According to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary the word encouragement is defined as:

“1. The act of encouraging; incitement to action or to practice; 2. That which serves to incite, support, promote, or advance, as favor, countenance, reward, etc.; incentive; increase of confidence.”

William Arthur Ward, noted for his inspiration maxims, said:

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”

An unknown writer once said:

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”

When you give a word of encouragement, pray with or give counsel to someone else. . .you are lifting them up.

In reality, if you’re lifting them up. . .encouraging them, praying for them, counseling them, blessing them. . .then you are also lifting up yourself.

Which leads me to the next question.  Who is the first person you should encourage?

1 Samuel 30:6 says:

“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”

In times of great trouble, danger and distress. . .when all seemed lost. . .the scripture says that David encouraged himself in the Lord.

David and his men returned from battle to find the enemy had stolen their wives, children, possessions and valuables.  All they found in their camp was the smoldering remains from the fires of enemy invaders.

David’s men. . .who had been so loyal to him . . .were ready to turn on him and stone him to death. . .but the scripture says “David encouraged himself in the Lord.”

There’s great advice in “Encourage Yourself” a song written by Donald Lawrence.

“Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.

“Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.

“And no matter how you feel,

“Speak the word and you will be healed;

“Speak over yourself,

“Encourage yourself in the Lord.”

And that’s just the first stanza of the song.

Do you need encouragement?  Then make the following confession:

“When I pray. . .with a pure heart. . .God will hear and answer my prayers.  The Lord will set me free. . .because He is with me. . .He will never leave nor forsake me. . .I will not be afraid of anything or anyone. . .since they can’t hurt me. . .because if God is for me. . .who can be against me.  Hallelujah.”

Here are “7 Ways To Encourage Yourself.”

1.         Develop An Attitude of Gratitude

I call this “Look What the Lord Has Done.”  The song lyrics go:

“Look what the Lord has done

“Look what the Lord has done

“He healed my body, He touched my mind

“He saved me just in time, oh

“I’m going to praise His Name

“Each day is just the same

“C'mon and praise Him

“Look what the Lord has done”

“Look what the Lord has done” is more than a catchy poem or a great song that I first heard through the Rhema Singers and Band. Truth it … it’s where reality hits the road.

The things you’ve accomplished in your life are based on what the Lord has done through you and sometimes for you.

Every success. . .every accomplishment in your life should be immediately and continually followed by a time of praising God for what He has done.

Psalm 35:28 in the Amplified Bible offers some pretty good advice:

“And my tongue shall talk of Your righteousness, rightness, and justice, and of [my reasons for] Your praise all the day long.”

Without question, if you want to feel the presence of the Lord fast, then start praising Him.

Psalm 22:3 in the Amplified Bible says:

“But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].”

The scripture says He inhabits the praises of His people.  If you want to keep the captain of your team on the field in your game of life. . .then lift your voice in praise and adoration for what He has accomplished through you.

When you live in an attitude of praise and thanksgiving. . .when you get out in front of the battles you’re facing, then God will move quickly. . .and things will be accomplished quickly.

Not only does God move quickly on your behalf but He also wants to sing over you.  That’s right; the scripture says He wants to sing over you.

Zephaniah 3:17 in the Amplified Bible says:

The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.”

It’s great to know that God is in the midst of us because He loves His people.

But I must tell you I thought it was rather cool that God is rejoicing over each of us . . . so much so that He’s even singing about us

The King James Versions says that God . . .will joy over thee with singing.”

The Contemporary English Version of Zephaniah 3:17 says:

“He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love."

Having God singing over us. . .is so much more exciting than anything shown on “American Idol” or seen at any concert.

2.         Don’t Live In the Pain Of The Past

Luke 9:62 in the New Century Version says:

“Jesus said, "Anyone who begins to plow a field but keeps looking back is of no use in the kingdom of God."

There is only one time in scripture where someone looked back and it didn’t work out too well for Lot’s wife. . .she turned into a pillar of salt.

Don’t recall sinful events for which you’ve been forgiven. . .if you look back and bring them into your remembrance. . .then you’ve allowed the enemy to gain a foothold into your thought process.  The sooner you realize his tricks, the better off you will be.

I’ve stated many times before that if God has forgiven you of your sins. . .He will not bring them up again.  He can’t. . . simply because He doesn’t remember them anymore.

Isaiah 43:25 in the Amplified Bible says:

“I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

The Message Bible translation of Isaiah 43:25 says:

“But I, yes I, am the one who takes care of your sins—that's what I do. I don't keep a list of your sins.”

How can God bring up your past sins. . .if He does remember them or even keep a list of them?

God will not bring up your past. . .but the enemy will.  Yet, he can only get away with it if you let him.  That’s why you have to forget the past and move forward.

3.         Pick Friends Who Will Lift You Up–Not Drag You Down

Proverbs 13:20 in the New Living Translation says:

“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.”

Make no mistake about it.

Your attitude is largely determined by your six closest friends.  These same friends more often than not will encourage you to take the easy way out.

Do not hang out with or allow into your inner circle people who are content with their debt, trouble or a just-get-by way of life.

If you want to get out of debt. . .then you need to associate with people who have already gotten out of debt` or are taking the steps necessary to gain financial freedom.

The friend who thinks it’s funny that his third car is about to be repossessed will not be encouraging when you’re paying off your car early.

The friend who’s afraid to make a decision . . . will not be a good example in making wise investment choices.

The friend who gets career advice from the friend who was fired because of incompetence will never rise to the top of the business ladder.

The woman who says she’ll never get out of debt because her family has always been in debt will not understand the out of debt plan you’ve developed for your life.

Relax. I’m not telling you to abandon your friends. . .but I’m telling you some facts.  Like produces like.  Your attitude, speech and behavior are all directly affected by your friends.

If you’re committed to elevating your life. . .then add some new friends.  Hang around folks who have it together. . .personally and financially.

Make no mistake about it. . .you are blessed or cursed by your associations.

4.         Learn To Laugh. . .At Yourself

Laughing is good exercise. Someone once called laughing “internal jogging.” Laughter makes you feel more self-confident in every situation.

Researchers have indicated that the average American laughs fifteen times a day. As a useful experiment, keep a diary of what you laugh about each day. Hopefully, you will find more than a little humor in your research.

Proverbs 17:22 says:

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

Laughter is the medicine which allows us to press forward after we make mistakes.

Jeremiah 30:18 in the Message Bible says:

“Thanksgivings will pour out of the windows; laughter will spill through the doors.  Things will get better and better. Depression days are over.”

When you begin laughing at yourself. . .you will find it much easier to encourage yourself about the great things God has done and is doing for you.

Psalm 126:2 says:

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."

5.         Focus On Encouraging Pictures, Places and Possibilities

Are you more motivated by visual images of a goal or dream that you’re seeking to attain or fulfill?  Is it a trip?  For me, that would be a visit to Bora Bora or another trip to the Swiss Alps or sailing down the Nile River in Egypt.

My visual motivation can also be any rendezvous with my fine wife Bev where our hotel suite overlooks the ocean, bay, lake, river . . . or any body of water. I find water to be both peaceful and restful. . .both of which motivate me because of the fast-paced life I lead.

For some, it might be a photo of their dream car.  For me, that would be an Audi A8.  I have a friend who is a big golfer and his photograph is of the golf course at St. Andrews in Scotland and the Master’s course in Augusta, Georgia.

Is there a picture that motivates you?  What is it?  Is the picture or photograph in a prominent place in your office or home?

Are you motivated by a person?  I’m motivated by my fine wife Bev.  She is my rock. . .my strength. . .my Chamber of Commerce. . .my best friend. . .the person I want with me when dealing with every unexpected challenge in my daily routine.  She motivates me. . .she inspires me to always look at things in a godly manner

Is there someone who motivates you. . .a mentor.  There are people who speak into my life and a word from them is also extremely motivational.

Find out how and what motivates you. . .there you will find the encouragement you need to press toward the mark, the prize, the high calling.

6.         Create A Word-Based Encouraging Confession

First, your confession should be based on your speaking right words.  What are the right words?  Easy answer—the words found in the scriptures.

Ephesians 4:29 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.”

Second, you can change where you are in life by what comes out of your mouth.

Create your confession based on what you want to see manifested . . .as long as it’s based on the Word of God.

2 Corinthians 9:8 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others.”

“Heavenly Father, I praise you that my possibilities are unlimited. . .I have more than enough. . .I have everything I need to do good things for others . . . and rejoice that the only thing fixed in my life is my focus on You and Your personal promises for my success in the Word of God.  I rejoice that soon I will be functioning in the end-time office of the giver.  Hallelujah.  Amen.” 

Third, make your confession for at least twenty-one days. Studies show any action taken daily for twenty-one days will very likely become a habit. The habits we form become the lifestyles we create and live by.

Fourth, your circumstances should never alter your confession.

Regardless of your circumstances or the balance or lack thereof in your checking account never question or waver from God’s desire for you to prosper.

Romans 4:20-22 in the New Living Translation says:

“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”

Fifth, speak your confession every day.  Your confession will directly impact your expectation which determines your manifestation.

Psalm 5:3 in the New International Version says:

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

7.         Pray Away Anxieties, Bogus Thoughts, Creepy Comments, Doubt, Fear and Anything Else That Doesn’t Encourage You

James 5:16 in the Amplified Bible says:

". . .The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]." 

Pray the verses(s) over your life and your situation every day.  Pray it several times during the day.

Take Psalm 84:11as an example:

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

“Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are my sun and shield.  I will give you all the praise, glory and honor.  I rejoice that there is not any good thing that you will withhold from me today.

“Lord, today, I commit to seek you and your righteousness first and I praise you because good things are coming to me.  I will recognize that anyone who brings good things into my life today is a vessel used by you for your glory and honor.  In the mighty name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.”

You need to create your own prayer. It will keep you looking to God as your source and deliverer as well as build an attitude of praise and thanksgiving in your life.

We have a scriptural responsibility to encourage one another.

1 Thessalonians 2:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For you know how, as a father [dealing with] his children, we used to exhort each of you personally, stimulating and encouraging and charging you.”                                   

Any time believers are together they should be encouraging themselves in the Word and their faith.

Romans 15:32 in the New Living Translation says:

“Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other.” 

One last point. . .you have the gift of encouragement. . .how often should you use it?  The answer is found in Hebrews 3:13 in the Amplified Bible:

“But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].”

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