I was recently told by a dear friend that I have the gift of encouragement. It was so touching to know that I’d been able to help her process through something that was troubling her. I am grateful that God can use me that way, but I don’t often use that same gift on myself. I am guilty of self-condemnation and it doesn’t take much negative self-talk for me to become paralyzed and ineffectual.
Of course, the enemy would love to keep me depressed and stagnant so that I can’t make a difference for Jesus. That’s when I must stand up and fight back. My dad always used to say that faith is simple and, in this case, fighting back against the enemy is simple, too. How do you fight back? The same way that Jesus did in the desert when Satan tried to tempt Him. He used the Word of God.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that
comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4 NIV)
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
(Matthew 4:7 NIV)
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God,
and serve him only.’ (Matthew 4:10 NIV)
If you read the entire passage from Matthew (4:1-11), Satan thought he was so smart when,
before the last temptation, he quoted from scripture to Jesus! Jesus stayed calm and simply used
the Living Word to combat the enemy.
A few years ago, I was tormented by thoughts and feelings that were anything but encouraging.
God was able to remind me of this verse: “Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for
those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 NASB) When you read the entire passage, you will
be even more encouraged: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in
Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin
and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending
His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the
flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to
the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
When I struggle with sin and the feelings of guilt that come with it, I often speak these words
from King David:
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV)
If I’m feeling out of sorts or procrastinating on a project, I will stir myself up with verses like
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
And his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV)
The LORD is my strength and my shield:
My heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
And with my song I praise him.
Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
As I went back through this article to check it for errors, grammar, and flow, it was clear that
most of the 750 words I’ve written were Scripture. I thought to myself, “Maybe I should add
something else to describe how to speak life into your day?” After reading it several times, I
came to the conclusion that, no, nothing more needs to be said. Staying in the Word of God, in
relationship with the Father, through Jesus, with guidance and strength from the Holy Spirit is
how you are able to speak life when feelings, circumstances, and events surround you and
attempt to engulf you. Speaking life into your day takes a little bit of effort. You have to be willing to stand up, step
out, and grab onto the life-sustaining Word of God (Psalm 51:12). When you take the time to
read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will place God’s words deep into your heart so that you can find
strength and be encouraged.