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And Be Like David!
Strengthen your heart like David who turned to God when life became hard. When he found himself sinking deep into depression, he found his strength in the LORD.
Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:6
It’s easy to get caught up in your trials and allow worry, doubt, and negative self-talk to sabotage the journey you are on with Jesus.
If this is where you’re finding yourself today, or you’ve been in this place too often, I can reassure you that I’ve walked through this valley too. Because of that, I’m here to help you see your way and encourage you to look to Jesus to strengthen your heart.
You can find so much encouragement through reading the Psalms. David wrote at least 73 of these precious chapters.
Why is David’s life such an encouragement?
Because David is authentic and admits when life is difficult.
When we think of David, we are reminded of how he had a heart after God’s own heart but more than that his struggle was real.
- He sinned enormous sins!
- He had a dysfunctional family!
- He had real enemies who wanted to kill him!
In all of these desperate situations, he sought after God with ALL of his heart!
David found the solution was not to continue in despair when his problems were overwhelming.
Many issues that David faced were of his own doing. Yet, he humbly sought after God with his whole heart.
When I feel myself slipping into the pit of melancholy or even despair and situations start swirling around and around in my head without any solution, I look to Jesus to strengthen my heart.
Through David’s life, I see how I can find direction and comfort as I read the Psalms over and over.
I hope you’ll be uplifted by what Jesus offers through His precious Word.
The best solution is to use Psalms to strengthen your heart when life becomes difficult.
If you’ve ever read Pilgrim’s Progress or listened to the audio-drama version, you’ll remember how Pilgrim ended up in the Slew of Despond just like David and maybe even you.
You may have experienced a life event that:
- Caused you to spiral into despair!
- Death of your child!
- Or the death of your spouse!
- Declining health issues!
- Financial strain!
- Failure (or perceived failure)!
- Or dealing with a rebellious child!
Maybe you’re dealing with some level of depression without knowing why you feel that way! Did you know that when hormones are out of balance this can happen?
Discouragement can be a reality in your life although you might not see a reason for it.
David faced all kinds of unimaginable enemies and situations that brought him to the point of deep discouragement.
Sometimes David’s dilemmas were because of his own sin and other times it was because of people who were intentionally attempting to destroy his life!
Using Psalms to Strengthen Your Heart
There are several ways that I use Psalms to strengthen my heart.
I love writing out Bible verses in a notebook or even in the margin of my Journaling Bible. I did this for years while I was going through a deep valley. The Lord was present and He strengthened my heart as I did so. It truly was an impactful way that God lead me through my valley.
I have always returned to reading through Psalms during times when my life has been rough.
In the last six years or so, I have included Bible Journaling in my time with Jesus. This has been a transformational experience as it strengthened my heart.
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. Psalm 18:31-34
When you find yourself discouraged, there are ways that you will encourage yourself in the Lord that will change EVERYTHING for the better.
- Encourage yourself in the LORD like David! (1 Samuel 30:6)
- Get into God’s Word daily! God’s Word will put right-thinking to work and renew your mind!
- Establish a routine in your morning! A routine helps you to do the next thing instead of mulling over your situation or failures.
- Encourage yourself through movement! Exercising, even a gentle workout will get your blood flowing through your body and raise endorphins – those happy hormones!
- Take a walk! Walking is another way of moving which will encourage you. Put earbuds in and listen to an uplifting podcast or listen to Scripture.
All these ways can strengthen your heart when you find yourself in despair or discouraged.
Keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus will pull you up when you’re feeling down.
How do you encourage your heart in the Lord?
But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help. Psalm 22:9-11
How Can You Strengthen Your Heart?
First, we must let go of negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. When life hits hard it is easy to spiral into negative thinking and limiting beliefs of what God can do for you. Most likely, you even start talking negatively inside your head. I know that I do!
Turning to Psalms and learning to replace your negative thoughts and words is the first step toward praiseful living that strengthens your heart.
We must believe that we are able to be who God has created us to be. God wants to strengthen your heart.
Second, is there something God wants you to do, and you’re held back by your weaknesses? God wants your life to be used. He wants to give you the strength to live out His purpose in your life. Your difficulties in life can be used for God’s glory by encouraging others in similar situations. Do your part and let God do the rest.
And third, we must focus on serving others and make a positive impact in the world for Christ.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world. Psalm 19:1-4
Your Strength and Worth in Christ
You have the ability to achieve your dreams and make a positive impact in the world. Too often we are held back because we think we are ‘Not Enough!’
You are worth Rubies to God!
Your worth is NOT in yourSELF or your efforts, instead, your identity is found in Jesus!
That’s how you are able to achieve your dreams and make an impact on this world. Not for yourself but for Christ.
Believe in yourself and your abilities, set goals, and focus on serving others. God has given you everything you need to be great for His kingdom. It’s up to you to do your part to make it happen, while you depend on God to work IN and THROUGH you.
May you go forth with the knowledge that you are worthy of His greatness as you use your gifts and talents to share Christ with others.
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you; Psalm 20:1
Most importantly, remember, how to strengthen your heart in the Lord when situations in your life are not going too well.
- Daily spending time with Jesus!
- Scripture Writing out one or more verses!
- Bible Journaling by writing and/or drawing about your verse!
- Finding your worth in Jesus Christ!
As we come before you today, we pray for a deep understanding of our worth and value as your children. We know that in your eyes, we are precious and loved beyond measure.
But sometimes, we struggle to see ourselves the way you see us. We are bombarded by messages of inadequacy and comparison, and we forget that we were fearfully and wonderfully made in your image.
So we ask for your help in believing in our worth and value. Help us to see ourselves through your eyes, and to recognize that we are valuable simply because we exist.
When we feel small or insignificant, remind us that you have a purpose and plan for each of our lives. When we feel unworthy or undeserving, remind us that your grace and love are freely given to all.
Help us to let go of the lies that we are not enough and to embrace the truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. May we walk in confidence, knowing that our worth comes from you and cannot be diminished by anyone or anything.
Thank you for loving us unconditionally and for reminding us of our worth and value. May we always remember that we are your beloved children, created in your image and deeply loved.
In your holy name we pray,