Encourage Yourself Emotionally

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.
–Hebrews 10:24-25

When you are going through a bad season of life, you need to encourage yourself emotionally.

Our first tendency when we are going through a bad season in life is to withdraw–to withdraw from our friends, to withdraw from our church, to withdraw from people. We hide and try to solve the problem on our own. That is exactly what Elijah did in 1 Kings 19. What did Elijah do in his bad day? When he and his servant got to Beersheba, Elijah told his servant to stay behind while he went a day’s journey by himself and sat under a juniper tree. And that’s when Elijah begged the Lord to take his life, when he was all alone. The greatest mistake we make when we are going through a bad season is to hide ourselves from other people. God created us to need community. We need other people for our emotional encouragement.

In Genesis 2:18, God said to Adam, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” A relationship with God is not enough. It’s important, but God even said it’s not enough. You are a human being. You need other human beings to associate with. It is not good for us to be alone. And the healthiest social group we can be a part of, to take care of us emotionally, is the church. That is why God created the church. The fact is, we need one another. I’ve noticed as a pastor when church members are going through a disappointment–maybe a child who’s gone astray, maybe a problem in their marriage, maybe the loss of a job–their first tendency is to take some time off from church for a while. What a mistake that is.

We need one another especially during those difficult seasons of life. And that’s why Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” That’s what Elijah needed. That’s why God told Elijah to get out of that cave and go reconnect with people. God told him to anoint Jehu and Hazael, and to meet Elisha and pour his life into him, because Elisha was going to follow him in the ministry. We need one another, and that’s how we encourage ourselves emotionally. Bad days are inevitable, but they don’t have to be paralyzing. Those who live a significant life learn to expect bad days and learn how to refresh themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I have found that going through a bad season of life is a lot like traveling through a dark tunnel. The bad news is that the tunnel is dark, and you can’t see in front of you. You don’t know if you will ever make it out. But the good news is that once you have entered that dark tunnel, with God’s help you are already on the way out.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When Bad Days Come” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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