Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…..Psalms 119:105 KJV

Everyone needs encouragement from time to time. We all face crises, challenges, setbacks, oppositions, and adversities at some point in life. Problems and troubles do not discriminate. There are three enemies that normally work against us: satan, Murphy’s law, and the enemy within, which is self.

First, there is satan. However, there are some who fail to believe that there is literally a devil. But, I am convinced by the Word of God that satan does exist. If Jesus believes that there is a devil, then there is a literal devil that exists. In Matthew 4:1-11, it expresses how Jesus was confronted by satan three times. The first time satan challenged Christ to focus on the physical source of life. Holding strong to his faith, Christ responded with, “man shall not live by bread alone”. The second challenge satan presented him with was to test His power and jump off the pinnacle of the temple. Jesus responded, “thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. Finally, the third challenge satan presented Christ with was to serve him and not Jehovah God. Still standing strong in the word, Jesus answered him by saying, “thy shall worship the Lord thou God and Him only shall thou serve”.

Second, you have Murphy’s Law. (Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) EXAMPLE: Here you are working on a project and the first part of the project goes smoothly with no problems and with ease. However, in the final stage, it seems like everything that can go wrong, goes wrong. It only took you fifteen(15) minutes to complete the first part. Now, here it is an hour has passed and you still have not completed the final stage. To me, that is Murphy’s Law at work.

Finally, you have the enemy within, which is self. Now we may find this hard to believe, but usually, this is the worst enemy. Why, you may ask? I will tell you why. You eat with “self”. You talk to “self”, daily. You sleep with “self”. You carry “self” everywhere you go. No matter what you do, “self” is always with you.

In closing, let me tell you how to keep life together when it seems like it is falling apart. My answer is simple. In all of life’s situations, learn to encourage yourself. Let me share a story with you. In 1 Samuel 30:1-25 we see David in distress. David and his company of six hundred(600) men had been off at war. They returned to Ziklag to find it torn to pieces and burned to the ground. The women, young and old, their sons, and daughters had been captured and taken as prisoners. David was deeply distressed. To add to the stress the men of his company plotted to kill him. Because if they had not been with him, they would have been home. But, what did David do? David strengthened himself with trust in his God. In verse six, it tells us that, “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” He put on the Ephod and prayed to God. He asked if he should go after the raiders and if he would catch them. God answered and told him yes to go after them and yes he would catch them. Not only would he catch them, God told him he would rescue them. David and his men went after the raiders and caught them and rescued their families, ALL of them.

If we would learn to trust God and respect His word, He will strengthen us in whatever life situation we face. Remember, the key is to Encourage Yourself in the Lord.

~Dr.Lorenzo Carter


ASPIRE means to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal.

EXAMPLE: When Abraham Lincoln was a boy he husked corn for three days to pay for a second-hand book of, “The Life of Washington”. After he had read the book he said, “I don’t intend to shuck corn and split rails all my life.” When asked what he aspired to be, he said, “Someday I will be President of the United States.” They laughed at young Abe. Yet, we do not laugh, do we? We know the rest of the story.

Big thoughts come from big passion. Passion is associated with the word “desire”.

Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Another example is when Nehemiah was directed with the task to rebuild the dilapidated walls of Jerusalem. Even though he was faced with severe opposition and criticism, he still persevered. He credited the success to the people’s sincere desire. For he said in Nehemiah 4:6, “So we rebuilt the wall till all of it was restored, for the people worked with all their heart.”

God’s “mode of operandum” is to work the same way in our lives. As long as we (ASPIRE) desire to please Him, we will succeed in whatever we do.

INSPIRE means to breathe or blow into or upon.

Someone asked Michael Jackson what abled him to be successful in the music industry for as many years as he had. His answer was very profound. He simply said, “I searched for things to inspire me.”

This is a good reason to watch the people you socialize with. (Are they building you up or tearing you down?)

This is why we should read the word of God REGULARLY. It can inspire us.

In 2 Timothy 3:16, the Apostle Paul makes the statement that “All scripture is inspired by God…”

EXPIRE means to breathe one’s last breath or to die.

Hebrews 9:27 states, “And as it is appointed unto men one to die, but after this the judgment.”

All of us should strive to be the best that we can be, to do as much as we can do, to help as many people as we can, and to live as close to the example of Christ as we can.

Life is too precious to waste. When we say this, we are not only talking about death and tragedy. We are also speaking of wasted talent, wasted work, wasted effort, and wasted opportunities.

Therefore, we all should strive to ASPIRE to INSPIRE before we EXPIRE.

So, Lord teach us to number our days. (James 4:14)