Encourage Yourself in the Lord

Jesus told us that we would have troubles, but to be of good cheer (John 16:33)
“these things I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace.  In the world
you shall have tribulations; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.  There
is a devil out there, but we are not to be afraid of him, he is already defeated.

Lets look at some examples; David encouraged himself in the Lord Yahweh; in I
Samuel 30:1-8 David was distressed because their city had been burned down, and
the women and children were taken captive, the men with David wept where they
could not wept any more, and they wanted to stone David.  But in verse 6 it says
“but David encouraged himself in the Lord Yahweh his God”.  David enquired at the
Lord Yahweh, saying.  Shall I pursue after this troop?  Shall I overtake them?  And
God answered him; pursue; for you shall surely overtake them, and without fail
recover all.   David went to God for the wisdom he needed to be encouraged.  
James tells us in James 1:5-8 that we can ask for wisdom and that God will give it to
us freely; we only need to ask in faith nothing wavering.

David says many times in the Psalms, that he wouldn’t be afraid.  In Psalms 27:1-5 it
says “the Lord Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?  The Lord
Yahweh is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked, even
my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.  
Through a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear, though was
should rise against me, in this will I be confident.  One thing have I desired of the
Lord Yahweh, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord Yahweh,
all the days of my life, and to enquire in His temple.  For in the time of trouble He
shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He
shall set me up upon a rock”.  

And in Psalms 56:3-4, it says “what time I am afraid, I will trust in You.  In God I will
praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do to me”.

David understood that God was with him; good news, the Bible tells us also that “He
will never leave us or forsake us”.

When the children of Israel was forced to fight against the tribe of Benjamin,
because of the abomination which they had committed.  In Judges 20:22-23 it says
“and the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again
in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.  And the
children of Israel went up and wept before the Lord Yahweh until even, and asked
counsel of the Lord Yahweh, saying, shall I go up again to battle against the children
of Benjamin my brother?  And the Lord Yahweh said, go up against him”.

Jude tells us how to encourage ourselves in Jude verse 20-21 says “but you,
beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.  
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to
eternal life”.

We also read in I Corinthians 14:2 and 4a which says “for he that speaks in an
unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God, for no man understands him;
however in the spirit he speaks mysteries.  He that speaks in an unknown tongue
edifies, builds up himself. Praying in the Spirit, praying in tongues encourages
ourselves.

We are told to be strong in the Lord  (Ephesians 6:10-11) “finally, my brethren, be
strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God
that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”.  After all the Lord is our
helper (John 14:16,26) and Hebrews 13:6 says “so that we may boldly say, the Lord
is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me”.
Just try counting how many times the Lord Yahweh tells us to fear not, through out
the Bible.

We get our boldness from Jesus (Ephesians 3:11-12) “according to the eternal
purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  In whom we have boldness
and access with confidence by the faith of Him”.

We have to step out on the strength of God’s word, because He says His word will
not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11).

Jesus told the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness “man shall not live by
bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”.

Remember that “death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it
shall eat the fruit thereof”.  Every word you speak is either tearing you down or
building you up or encouraging you.  We have to choose our words wisely.

In II Corinthians 10:3-5 says “for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the
flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the
pulling down of strong holds.  Casting down imaginations; and every high thing that
exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought
to the obedience of Christ”.  Christ is the Word.  

We are supposed to be encouraged, God told Joshua in Joshua 1:5-9 “there shall
not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with
Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you, nor forsake you.  Be strong and of a
good courage; for to this people shall you divide for an inheritance the land, which I
swear to their fathers to give them.  Only be you strong and very courageous, that
you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant
commanded you, turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that you may prosper
wherever you go.  This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you
shall mediate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that
is written therein; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall
have good success.  Have not I commanded you?  Be strong and of a good
courage, be not afraid, neither be you dismayed; for the Lord Yahweh your God is
with you wherever you go”.

Courage is being bold, brave, fearless.  The strength of purpose that enables one to
withstand fear or difficulty.  Physical courage is based on moral courage,  reliance
on the presence and power of God, and a commitment to Him.

When we mediate on scripture like Isaiah 41:10,13 the Lord Yahweh says “fear you
not; for I am with you, be not dismayed; for I am your God.  I will strengthen you; yea,
I will help you, yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.  For I
the Lord Yahweh your God will hold your right hand, saying to you, fear not, I will
help you”.  We can encourage ourselves, after all Romans 8:31-32 says “what shall
we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that
spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him
also freely give us all things”?

The Bible tells us what we should put our minds on (Isaiah 26:3) “You will keep him
in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trust in You”.  And in
Philippians 4:6-7 says “be careful for nothing but in every thing by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know to God.  And the
peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus”.

Sermon by: Harriet Bond
Date: April 29, 2011
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