Be happy and stay happy.

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
Frederick Keonig

Saturday, August 4, 2012

On Encouragement

From Bo Sanchez' Article "Encourage Yourself" . . .

There’s this one passage in the Bible that I love so much. It says, David encouraged himself in the Lord. (1 Samuel 30:6). David and his men—600 of them—went away to work and left their wives and children in their camp called Ziklag. Three days later, tragedy struck. The Amalekites, sworn enemies of Israel, attacked and burned the entire village to the ground—and taking all the women and children with them as slaves. When David and his men arrived, the Bible says his men “wept until they could weep no more.” 
You think that was bad? It got worse. The Bible says that these men—once upon a time fiercely loyal to David—wanted now to stone David to death. Imagine you were David. You just lost your family. Your kids were taken away from you. Your home is now but ashes under your feet. You now own nothing except the clothes that you’re wearing. And the friends that you thought were friends now want to kill you. 
This is what you call an Impossible situation. In other words, it’s a Ziklag…
Are You Going Through A Ziklag?
Are you going through an Impossible situation? Then you’re going through Ziklag right now.
But I love what David did. In the midst of an impossible situation, he did the impossible. What was that? The Bible said, “David encouraged himself in the Lord.
Getting Encouragement From Within
But I believe there are times when we go through Ziklag. Ziklag is a place where even the family and friends that we depend on aren’t there. Perhaps because they’re busy. Or because they’re faraway. Or because they themselves are going through some struggle—and they’re not there for us. And that’s where you have to learn how to go to God directly.
Ziklag is the place where your relationship with God goes to a whole new level.
Ziklag Is A Furnace…
Let me warn you…
Ziklag is a burial place and a birthplace. It’s where boys are buried and kings are born.
Ziklag is a furnace. If you are made of wood, you will be pulverized. If you are made of gold, you will be purified.
Ziklag is a rock. You can be crushed under the weight of the rock or you can stand on top of the height of the rock—and see the world in a whole new perspective.
Ziklag is a sword. It can kill or it can cut. It can kill your soul or it can cut the cancer in your soul.
In Ziklag, David had to learn a very important life skill, a life skill you need to win permanent victory: You need to learn how to encourage yourself in the Lord. Do not wait for others to encourage you. Do not wait for your spouse to encourage you. Do not wait for your friends to encourage you. Do not wait for your leaders to encourage you. You need to learn how to encourage yourself in the Lord.
How To Encourage Yourself
       I don’t know what David did specifically. The Bible doesn’t say what he did. But I have a guess. Because I’ve been through Ziklag many times. And I know how I encouraged myself. 
I believe David went back into his own history to remember those special times when he saw God intervene in his life. Like when God rescued him from the bear and the lion. Or when God rescued him from Goliath with a stone and a slingshot.
       I have those special stories too. I dig deep and remember them. I even remember the small miracles in my life.
    God Will Return What Was Stolen From You
David wasn’t only seeking for Encouragement. He was also seeking for Enlightenment. He asked God, “Can I pursue the Amalekites? Can I overtake them?”
God told David, “Pursue the Amalekites. You shall be able to overtake them.” So David rallied his men and they chased after the Amalekites. They found them in the middle of a party, drunk and distracted. They attacked them, defeated them, and took back their wives and children. They also brought home the spoils of war—the wealth of their enemy.
When you experience loss, I believe that if you “encourage yourself in the Lord”, you’ll experience what David experienced: God returned to him what was stolen—plus interest!
What kind of interest? The Old Testament says that the thief, once caught, should return seven times what he has stolen. (Proverbs 6:30-31) 
Have you lost anything? 
Whenever I lose money in business, I ask God to return it to me sevenfold. It happens.
If you go to the courthouse of men, they may punish the thief and ask him to return what he has stolen. But if you go to the courthouse of God, claim in faith that God Himself will see to it that what was stolen from you shall be returned sevenfold.

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