“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 his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
- 1 Samuel 30:6
Where do you turn when things are rough? Life can get a little hectic and sometimes we may begin to feel drained; but here are some practical ways to stay encouraged!
1. Start keeping a journal
Last year I started to be more intentional about journaling. Every time that I receive a word from God, have a prayer request, experience a miracle, begin to worry, or want to rejoice, I write it down. I've seen so many benefits from journaling, but the biggest one is staying encouraged! I really believe that when we take time to reflect on our lives and address all of our strengths and weaknesses; we will know what we need to work on, and what we should be grateful for. I truly believe that we are less likely to be discouraged when we have a journal that documents our spiritual, emotional, and mental growth. Your journal can also become a guideline for all your prayers, and be a great asset when you have your quiet time with God.
2. Surround yourself with the word!
Watching sermons, reading inspirational books, listening to uplifting music, and the greatest one reading the Bible! Will do wonders in your life. Colossians 3:2 says “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Keeping God's word in your heart will always keep you encouraged, trust me! We have to be intentional about seeking God, or it won't happen. We live in a world that's driven by carnal desires, so we need to always pull away from that influence, and press into God. Time spent with him will keep us encouraged.
3. Always remember Who.You.Are!
When you're a believer, people won't always like what you have to say. You may be mocked because of what you believe, especially since it's contrary to what society promotes. When Christ was on this Earth he was hated and mocked to the point of death! John 15:18 says“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”We will face persecution because of who we serve. But that's a good thing, persecution means that we are being effective; it means that we are not blending into this world. Matthew 5:10 says “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”Next time you face adversity because your distinct, because your bold, and because you stand out; remember that it's for God's glory. You are a child of God, never forget that! It's so easy to be discouraged from persecution when you forget who you are, and who you've been called to be.
4. Remind yourself that God is faithful!
Even when it seems like everything is falling apart, God is still holding your life in his hands. I don't know what you're going through but I know that God does, and he's never going to disappoint you. Things may not look ideal, but God has a plan for you. Romans 12:2 says “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Remember that he's a good God. And he's preparing something great for your life!
Instead of being discouraged, begin to praise God in advance. Trust me that's way more fun. Discouragement is a ploy of the enemy. Things will get tough, and the devil wants to keep you down, but God is faithful, so stay encouraged! There are several other ways to stay encouraged, but I hope that these options blessed you!