Be Spurred On
The overall purpose of this column is to encourage and inspire you, dear readers. It has been a great honor and privilege to come into your home each week; I trust over these past seven years, you have been encouraged and inspired in your life. The Word of God says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” To encourage means to “give support, confidence or hope to (someone).” Synonyms are hearten, cheer, uplift, spur on, stir up, stimulate, invigorate, rally or fortify. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up...” The writer of Hebrews suggests, “And let us considers how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
I like the wording of this verse... “Spur one another on.” If you are familiar with a good saddle bronc or bareback ride at a rodeo, you’ll see the cowboys “raking” the horses’ necks with his spurs (it doesn’t hurt the animal). A good spur ride is worth the fee of admission; the greater the cowboy spurs, the greater the horse will buck it seems.
Today, I pray that the words I pen will spur you on in life. Do not give up, dear reader. Do not be faint of heart. Even David, the famous shepherd and writer of the precious book of Psalms, had to encourage himself. He had cried all his tears. Everyone had turned against him. He and his soldiers had lost their city (it was burned) and all their wives, daughters, and sons had been taken captive. He was grieving to the point of exhaustion (maybe that is where you are today).
“David was greatly distressed (are you greatly distressed?); for the people spoke of stoning him (do you have people who hate you or are against you?), because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters (everyone had experienced loss); BUT David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” It is suggested Psalm 25 was composed at this time in his life; in it he indicates his unwavering trust in God during times of crisis and hardship. It is a great prayer to pray during dangerous and dark times.
After David spent time encouraging himself, he asked the Lord for his next step (this is a good suggestion to use for the next step after a devastating loss or hardship). God answered him with specific directions. At the end of the battle, “nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.” This true account of David’s life is an example for us to pattern our lives after. When he was down and out; when all looked lost, David made a choice – not to wallow in despair but to strengthen himself in the Lord. This is exactly what will fix everything.
We must strengthen ourselves in Him; in His promises. Recount the ways He has brought us through in the past. Open up The Word of God, pray in the Spirit and speak strength into our own hearts. All may seem lost. It may seem there is nothing to live for BUT you haven’t factored in God working behind the scenes. Chin up. Wipe your tears. Wash your face. Encourage yourself and trust God. He will come through for you!