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GUEST COLUMN: Encourage yourself to thrive

More than ever it seems people are sharing their feeling of being frightened and concerned about the uncertainties facing us like never before. It is as though we have lost our confidence in who we are and whose we are.

My faith has brought me to the realization that though I know not what the future holds, I know who holds the future. And he who holds the future also holds my hand.

Knowing God does not make life a bed of roses, but God has great things in store for us on this earth and in the hereafter; until then we must remember our primary function is to give him glory. We are soldiers on the battlefield for our Lord and Savior Jesus.

The most classic example of how we should approach the disappointments and setbacks in this world is to observe the life of David.

Remember, David was a man after God’s own heart. God loved David and David loved God, yet before he had become King and committed any great acts of sin in the presence of God, he had some very hard and difficult days.

You remember, because of Saul’s disobedience, God sent the Prophet Samuel to anoint David to replace Saul when he was still a shepherd boy. David grew in stature, became a soldier and defeated the giant Goliath when all the other soldiers were afraid.

He was there for Saul when Saul was troubled by an evil spirit sent from God. It was David who played the instruments, soft melodious music to ease Saul’s agony and pain. Then, as Israel continued to fight their enemies, it was David who stood out as one of the great soldiers. Now, you would think for all the good David had done, goodness and prosperity would come his way, but just the opposite occurred. Saul became jealous of David, and sought to kill him.

David did something that we all must do in times of distress: David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. David had never been in a situation like that before, but he knew God.

Let us learn from David. The first thing he did to encourage himself was to pray. Do not wait until trouble arises, but let prayer be as regular as you eat food, which means two, three, four times a day. David had faith in his prayers and God’s answers to what He needed to do. When you are down, do not stay down; just know the only way to go is up.

I have learned to encourage myself by speaking positive words over my life. I remind myself verbally that “greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.” Or, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I quote the Bible because God honors his words. Let us encourage ourselves, be positive and watch for the changes that we need not only to survive but thrive.

The Rev. Carey N. Ingram is the pastor at Lovejoy Baptist Church.