How To Encourage Yourself in the Lord

How to Encourage Yourself in the Lord, and keep the Faith

At different points in our lives, we encounter situations that seem bigger than us. Most often than not, we are weighed by these situations that it begins to affect every facet of our lives. Sometimes even, it escalates into depression and we start to ask questions that put our faith to test.
But in all of our downtime as Christians, we realize that there’s something that holds us together and keeps urging us on. Trying to figure what it gives us more strength to hold on; to never give up. Many of us have been there. It is nothing but hope; hope in Christ Jesus.

One may wonder why Christians face difficulty. Before I encountered Christ, I felt that once I give it all to Jesus, I would not face trials nor temptations. But the reality set in. He never said they won’t be persecutions, neither did he say there won’t be trials. What he said was that He would be with us always. Mathew 28:20b KJV says it all “… and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, AMEN.”
Dearly beloved, what shall separate us from the Love of God. Is it trials or persecutions?
Are you downtrodden and feel there’s no hope, say to yourself “What shall separate me from the love of God” Is there a thing you’ve been trusting God for and it seems like it won’t come, again I say “what shall separate me from the love of God” Jeremiah 29:11 KJV For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Encourage Yourself in the Lord, dear brethren, for everything is working out for your good.
Let this verse speak to your heart. Romans 8:32 “He that spared not his own son, but delivered him to us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things.”

How Can One be Encouraged in The Lord?
1. Trust Him to bring to Pass all He has Said: There is no hope without trust. It is to this extent that you must trust him totally. There’s a certain hope that springs deep within you once you solely leave it at the feet of Jesus. Trust that He is faithful enough to bring you to a glorious end. Romans 10:11 “For the scripture saith whoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Trust that he will not let you down, that he won’t put you to shame. This is the first step to be encouraged in the Lord.

2. Immerse Yourself Daily in the Word of God: Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing of the word of God.” The word of God has everything we ever need to prevail. But it takes studying of the word to know this. Study God’s word daily. Feed your fears on His word and watch those fears either.

3. Confess Rightly: Your confession is your possession. You cannot tell a mountain to move from here to there and then it obeys when you don’t talk like you truly have the power to. As Christians, what we profess is in line with what we possess. Profess faith and hope day in and out. Refuse to speak negativity. For it was the negativity of the remaining ten spies in the time of Joshua that cut short all they had laboured for. And God affirmed the words of their mouth by saying “”As ye have spoken in my ears so shall I do unto you.” Only Joshua and Caleb were spared because they spoke what the other ten did not. I urge you dearly beloved, refuse to speak doubts because God is listening. Refuse to speak doubts because by your words is your spirit awakened to the things of light. Strive to remain positive always. When people say there is a casting down declare that there is a lifting up. Say to that storm that you shall rise above it and it will give way. Stay positive, speak positive.

4. Read Christian Literature: knowing that one is not passing through a phase alone is lifting. Many Christians who have at some point felt discouraged have penned down how they were able to scale through. Search for these books either online or in bookstores and impact your spirit. Encouragement comes by hearing, reading and feeding your spirit with the right knowledge.

5. Listen to Gospel Songs: Music is therapeutic. Listen to gospel songs and let them speak to you. Sing hymns, sing worship songs, sing songs that lifts up the spirit. Sing songs of hope.

6. Never Forsake the Gathering of Brethren: Never be discouraged from attending church services because of a challenge. When we’re sick, we run to the hospital believing that we’ll find help there. The church is to be seen in that light. When brethren lifts their voices in one accord and pray, mighty things happen. Yokes are broken, spirits are lifted, hope is renewed, strength is released in abundance.

7. Forget Not Your Testimony: David was able to prevail because he understood that the same God who did it before is potent enough to do it again. He never forgot his testimonies. The only assurance he had was that he had defeated the lion and the bear that came to attack the sheep he was tending to. That was all he needed to have sufficient strength to face Goliath. How can you forget how he’s done the impossible and taken you to heights you never envisaged. Forget not his many blessings; for he daily loads us with benefits. Encourage yourself in this light ye beloved of God. Romans 8:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.”

So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. 1 Thessalonians 3:7

ENCOURAGE YOURSELF: When problems arise, people make the mistake of running from God instead of running to him. You cannot fix you. In all things dearly beloved, do not forget all of God’s help in ages past. Forget not the miracles he has done for you in time past. Encourage yourself to him for he is too faithful to fail and above all, forget not that he loves you so dearly. May His joy, peace, and hope abide in you always. God bless you.
Shalom!

On her death bed, she said she was sorry

“I’m sorry Anita, I’m sorry” my heart dropped, my hands were shaking as tears formed. It totally shocked me to hear those words come from mother’s mouth, as she laid on her death bed suffering with Alzheimer’s in 2001. She though it necessary to repent so I finally heard her say she was sorry for all the horrible things that happened to me while growing up. The feeling of being alone, not feeling loved or wanted, no protection, the abuse from older siblings, one of her male friends coming on to me and her not believing me, along with the sexual molestation from my sister Denise.

Mom wanted her children to keep her at home during her last days, as she battled with complications of Alzheimer. She expressed fears of being in a nursing home but because of her mean spirit, I told her that was where she would be.

Mary, a 5ft 4in 200lbs, surly, short tempered, African-American woman, was an only child from Oklahoma, married a tall dark handsome man who had many siblings, and they left for Tucson. With 11 children, a divorce, they both fellowshipped at the same Baptist church until he passed away in 1989.

Due to the illness mom believed she was a good mother which I gleamed through conversation and vain babbling. The truth of the matter was, she had to be one of the worse mothers I had seen. We were abused physically, verbally and emotionally. This abuse consisted of being hit with an extension cord, shoes, broom sticks, threatened with hammers, and pulling a gun on one of my sisters and brothers, periodically thrown out the house, yes even at the age of thirteen. Hearing mom say she only wanted four kids.

On two separate occasions mom allowed her male friends to live with us. A woman who had young girls and boys. This experience was interesting to say the least, old men gawking at you during an simple walk throughout the house, and making sly little comments that insinuate they want more.

Affection was obsolete in the Phifer household, unless someone passed away which you know happens in three’s. So I guess you can say about every three or four years we received three hugs. Lol, I know I am laughing but its true. I can laugh at many of these incidents now, but the truth of the matter is, I didn’t receive affection from my mother. Affection is a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. Love and affection are interconnected in many ways yet differ in many aspects. Affection is the first step towards love; love is a combination of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual mystic attachment to a person. Affection is when a person adores someone or something. Even a encouraging word from time to time from our loved ones can make all the difference in a child’s life.

There was a feeling time was she would soon be leaving her earthly home, so the day before mom passed, I washed her up, brushed her hair and placed her dentures in her mouth because I wanted her mouth to look natural as much as possible when she passed, I sang “My soul loves Jesus” and I read her favorite scripture Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I prayed and told her it was okay, because she seem to struggle a bit. On Sunday September 9, 2001 I woke with a headache, I saw mom and grandma for a few moments. She seem to still have peaches in her mouth from when my sister Darrell fed her breakfast. I swept the peaches out of her mouth. I walked the house, which appeared to have a strangeness in the atmosphere. Grandma was sitting in the living room and I told my daughter Courtney if something happened to mom, I needed her to be strong. I laid back down to help rid myself of the headache.

When I got up a couple hours later, I checked on mom. I could hear what I believe was the death rattle. Terminal respiratory secretions (or simply terminal secretions), known colloquially as a death rattle, are sounds often produced by someone who is near death as a result of fluids such as saliva and bronchial secretions accumulating in the throat and upper chest.

I called a few friends, and couldn’t reach any of them. I then called my sister Darrell, no answer. She finally arrived to the house and made herself comfortable. I decided to take a shower in mom’s bathroom, as I went in, she appeared to still be alive. I showered, ran to my room to get dressed, but when I returned to mom’s room she had passed away. I immediately rolled her bed down so that she would lay flat. Fixed the covers to make sure all was well for those coming to say their goodbyes. She looked natural, as if she was just sleeping.

We began to call sibling and friends to inform them as to what happened. The mortuary was called, and we waited for hours before they showed. Many arrived to see mom, and finally the mortuary arrived. The gurney could only go down the hallway but not go into the room. My brother Don had to assist the mortician to take mom out the room and onto the gurney. They rolled her down the hallway which must have been about 100 feet. At they got to the dining room, my sister Darrell pat mom on the shoulders and gave the cue to take her.

A part of me seem to die that day. But there was also healing that took place because of the apology I had the great pleasure of hearing a week prior. It was the most pivotal point of my life thus far. Forgiveness is essential in all of our lives. Whether we are giving or on the receiving end. I forgave my mother, I knew she was sincere. The earth stood still for me that day! It is vital that we encourage ourselves in any given situation. Good or bad, do yourself a favor and forgive those who have wronged you.

Never be afraid to apologize, it can be a healing tool for you as well as for the other person receiving the apology. Scriptures tell us that God wants us to forgive, so that we too can be forgiven. “I’m sorry” has to be the most powerful words on the planet, along with “I love you”. Don’t allow pride to inhibit you.

ENCOURAGE YOURSELF: Encourage yourself in the Lord, which is what I have done throughout my life. Through the good, and through the bad. But I chose to seek counseling, but more importantly I chose GOD. My Rock, My Fortress, My Healer.