discouragement tries to rob you of joy and hope, open your mouth and turn up
Back in the old
days, if you saw a guy talking to himself while he walked down the street you
assumed (1) he had just walked out of a bar, (2) he was slightly on the loony
side or (3) he had misplaced some money and was retracing his steps—like when
absent-minded Uncle Billy lost his cash deposit in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Today lots of
people talk to themselves and we know they’re not drunk, crazy or confused.
They are wired to their phones, either with ear buds, headsets or Bluetooth
devices. (What do you call more than one Bluetooth? Blueteeth?) What’s weird is when you go into a men’s restroom in an
airport and guys are standing around talking to themselves—and closing business
deals—with the sound of toilets flushing in the background. Welcome to the
|“David told his weary soul that God was greater than his enemies. He talked to himself in order to remind his doubting heart that God’s promises are certain.”|
I still prefer to
hold my phone to my ear, maybe because I want people to know that I’m not
muttering to myself. And I’m sure Miss Manners would agree that it’s not
acceptable, even in this high-tech age, to place a call from a public restroom.
But regardless of
what kind of phone you use, or where you use it, I believe there is an
acceptable time to talk to yourself. In fact, there is a time when talking to
yourself is imperative—and this is when you are discouraged.
We learn this
truth from King David, who faced an overwhelming amount of adversity during his
journey through life. One of his worst moments is recorded in 1 Samuel 30, when
the Amalekites raided his camp, burned his army’s possessions and kidnapped all
the women and children. The loss was bad enough, but then David’s men turned on
him and threatened to stone him. Things went from bad to worse.
Yet everything in
David’s situation turned around dramatically after verse 6, which says, “But
David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (NASB). Other translations say
he “encouraged himself in the Lord.” After his unusual self-counseling session,
David’s spiritual batteries were recharged, his demoralized army was
miraculously remobilized and the men recovered all that the enemy had stolen.
How did David
encourage himself? The Bible doesn’t tell us his choice of words. But we know
from reading the Psalms that David had certain patterns in prayer, and that he
did not always direct his words to God. Sometimes he praised the Lord, and
sometimes he spoke directly to his own weary soul.
In Psalm 27,
David says he went to “the secret place”—his private haven of prayer—and there
he offered shouts of praise. He became bold and rambunctious in God’s presence.
He knew that in times of discouragement, when dark clouds of depression seem to
smother all hope, we must open our mouths and turn up the volume. Praise,
especially the loud variety, is the best way to break the chains of doubt,
fear, worry and despair.
But we also need
to speak God’s truth into our situation by making faith declarations. David
said in Psalm 103:1, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me,
bless the Lord!” He commanded his emotions to rejoice. He reminded his weary
soul that God was greater than his enemies. He talked to himself in order to
remind his doubting heart that God’s promises are certain.
Are you in the
midst of a personal crisis? Has the enemy raided your life and left a trail of
havoc? Are you under a cloud of discouragement? After you have gone to your
secret place and praised the Lord with all your energy, go one step farther and
confess your faith out loud. I do this on a regular basis, and I say things
He who is in me than he that is in the world.
I am more
than a conqueror through Him who loves me.
My God will
supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.
separate me from the love of God.
will guide and counsel me with His eye upon me.
The Lord is
with me even when I pass through the valley of the shadow of death.
God has not
given me a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.
There is no
condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
I can boldly
come before the throne of grace to find help in time of need.
When I abide
in Jesus I will bear much fruit.
Spirit will flow out of me like rivers of living water.
of the Lord has anointed me and sent me to proclaim liberty to prisoners.
The Word of God
has the power to revive you, no matter what you are going through. Speak His
promises over your situation. Talk to yourself using His words. True faith will
arise and new joy will give you the strength to face every battle.