Remember when we chatted about emotional eating a few weeks ago? We discussed how to handle those tough, emotional days without diving into a tub of ice cream. But you might be wondering, "Okay, I get it, but what should I do instead?" Well, let's dive into that topic now!
A few years back, I embarked on a journey to read the Bible cover to cover. During that time, I stumbled upon a powerful verse in 1 Samuel chapter 30. I was reading the King James Version, and this particular sentence caught my attention: "but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."
Here's the situation: David and his men returned to their camp only to discover it burned to the ground, and their wives and children were taken captive. The people with David were so devastated that they even considered stoning him. Talk about a seriously bad day!
David, understandably upset, also wept. The verse mentions that they wept "until they had no more power to weep." When I read about David encouraging himself in the Lord, it struck a chord with me. It was the complete opposite of my default response in similar situations.
You see, my natural inclination, or what I call my "default setting", when I'm angry is to complain, yell, and seek revenge. And when I'm sad, I tend to whine, isolate myself, and turn to food. I tend to dwell on the negative, which, let's be real, does absolutely no good.
So, this verse transformed my perspective. And observing what David did next taught me a valuable lesson—he sought guidance from God.
Now, our communication with God looks a bit different than it did for David. We connect with God through prayer, and He speaks to us through His Word. Additionally, we have the Holy Spirit, who helps us understand and leads us to obey.
So, what does it mean to encourage ourselves in the Lord today?
Let's explore Philippians 4.
In Philippians 4:4-8, Paul lays out a fantastic process for us to follow when we're feeling discouraged, angry, sad, or simply down in the dumps. I'll paraphrase it below, but if you'd like to read the actual passage, you can click here. It's worth a read!
I know it's not easy to go against our default settings, but that's part of the beauty of what Jesus has done for us. We have been filled with the Holy Spirit, which empowers us to behave as the new creations we are in Jesus! Sometimes, we try to skip some of the steps above, hoping for God's peace without actually surrendering the things that steal our peace.
But here's the thing—our default settings don't control us. And they definitely don't define who we are.
Today, let's celebrate being new creations by choosing a fresh response to life's challenges. Embrace the fact that your default setting is not the boss of you. You have the power to rise above it!