I keep going back to this scripture. The context: The Amalekites attacked Ziklag when only the wives and children of David and his soldiers were there. The Amalekites took all the money, wives and children. David and his men came back to only smouldering remains. Embittered, David’s men mouthed off about killing him.
The first part of the verse says, “David was greatly distressed.” Despite overwhelmingly stark circumstances, he somehow manages to encourage himself.
A pastor doesn’t die when he’s under a gravestone. He dies when he no longer can believe for good things. Has your ministry stagnated? Are people’s problems always the same? Have finances flatlined? Don’t let your encouragement level nosedive along with the bad news.
Instead of letting discouragement kill us, we must kill discouragement.
Discouragement is a great faith-killer. Once faith is killed, the ministry goes on auto-pilot and languishes inexorably. It loses its vibrancy. There’s no chance for growth.
What brings success to ministry? The ability to stay encouraged. What helps a minister to persevere? The ability to stay encouraged. What moves God’s hand in prayer? The ability to stay encouraged. What is key to faith in prayer? The ability to say encouraged.
Maybe your discouragement is understandable. But it’s unacceptable. You’ll have to figure out what David did “to encourage himself in the Lord.”