I love when things go my way. I remember the confidence I had when my kids did well in school. When they excelled in sports and music. When my husband’s business thrived. And when doctor reports were good. I literally walked on air. Circumstances were encouraging.

Then suffering knocked on my door. Its companions pain and difficulty. Dismal diagnoses. Financial setbacks. Death and loss. Life was hard. Circumstances discouraging.

When I look for happiness in what’s happening, I am like a yo-yo. A roller coaster that goes up and down.

Joyful when life is good.

Forlorn when it’s not.

How do we maintain stability in all situations?

“David was greatly distressed for his men spoke of stoning him… 

…BUT David encouraged himself in the Lord.” I Samuel 30:6

Have you ever wondered how David encouraged himself? Did he have a Bible to read? Was there a prayer group at the local synagogue? Who was David’s counselor? He had lost his mentor. His family. His best friend. He spent years waiting to become Israel’s king.

Lost and alone, David looked up. He wrote psalms pouring out his complaints to the Lord. Always ending with declarations of truth. When there was no one else to lift him up, David did it himself.

The recipe for encouraging ourselves is found in Isaiah 40. Don’t miss the lament followed by determination to find hope in the Lord. 

“My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God… 

…BUT those who WAIT upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary and they will walk and not be faint.”

What does it mean to wait upon the Lord? I found the Hebrew definition fascinating. In this passage, WAIT actually means, “Joined or bound by twisting together.”

It took much training and instruction before my beautiful 13-year-old granddaughter learned to braid her own hair. She watched videos and imitated the painstaking process. Step by step she finally mastered the task. Three strands interlaced and collected. Neatly tucked and tidy. Held together so she could run effortlessly with the wind. Without a lock blinding her way.


It’s a lovely analogy. When I join my heart and mind with the Word of God, I braid His Truth into the core of my being. This is what keeps me in place, rooted and secure. Not tossed about by the wind. Held together by the words of God.

We encourage ourselves in the Lord by wrapping His truths into our hearts and minds. When we hang on every word He says, we can endure the obstacles of life. We discover the joy of the Lord is our strength. So pull Truth in, braid it into the core of your being, and wrap it all around you.

That’s what will hold you together in tough times. That’s how you encourage yourself in the Lord.

The secret for combatting discouragement is simple. Learn to BRAID!



  1. Oh so true…we must keep our arms wrapped around the truth of scripture. Hide it in our hearts and fix our eyes on Him. A strand of three cannot be broken. Thank you, Karen for those words of encouragement. I continue to love your Bible studies.

    1. I’m so blessed to have you following along, Anita. I love that you brought out a cord of three strands cannot be broken. It’s up to us to get into the Word and wrap the truth around us. Thanks for sharing.

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