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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Preaching in the Wee Hours

…but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
I Samuel 30:6 (KJV)

I awoke at 3:52 a.m. to discouraging thoughts, dire predictions, and sure failure. These nightly journeys were wearing me out and crippling my daylight hours of joy and fulfillment. Why is it that in the dead of night I have no power to recognize and refute the lies of the enemy? I mull and steep and marinate in fears and anxieties over things that aren’t even reality. They are the “what ifs” of my life.

In my quiet time, I read how David, when distressed and distraught, encouraged himself in the LORD. He preached a sermon to his own soul! That night, I went to bed fully armed with an arsenal of preaching material!

As was becoming a habit, I awoke around 4:15 a.m. sensing the doom of the enemy’s oppression. So I started preaching to my soul: The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1).

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 4:27).

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3).

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul; and all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits (Psalm 103:1).

And then….as I began reciting his blessings to me, the Prince of Peace brought precious sleep to me.

We all need to develop David’s skill of encouraging ourselves, strengthening ourselves, in the Lord. I am so grateful for his Word that gives life and rest. I praise him for being my peace. I recount his goodness to me….even when I have to preach to myself in the wee hours.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).

Jill Hardin

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