Showing posts with label be strong and courageous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label be strong and courageous. Show all posts

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Embrace Courage

Acts 4:13
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 

I zipped across the water.

Not a fan of heights, I stood on the wooden tower, harness fastened, and looked across the lake to my daughter. She waited for me to step off the platform and fly across the expanse on a cable. And I did. I raised my arms and screamed as I flew to the destination. Stepping off the secure place where I stood took courage. I had no experience with ziplining, but I wanted to give it a try. The camp counselor gave me the equipment I needed to accomplish the task. 

I'd worked years on my manuscript, here and there when time allowed. After editing and tweaking. I finally typed the end. God gave me the opportunity to send the full manuscript to a publisher. My stomach quivered, and my hand shook a little as I pressed send. Sending my book baby out into the world took courage. God gave me the tools and resources to accomplish the task.

After Jesus death and resurrection, His disciples, Peter and John, were given the power to heal. They moved through the community and placed their hands on the sick and weary and restored them. Those who witnessed their deeds spoke of their courage as ordinary men who loved Jesus. Just weeks before, Jesus had died a horrible death and there were people who hated Jesus and wanted to see his ministry end. Those same adversaries kept an eye on Peter and John as they bravely continued teaching about and living for Jesus. God gave them the gift of healing to accomplish the task.

Even in America, land of the free and home of the brave, it's not always easy to speak freely about Jesus and his grace. God calls each of us to serve Him, and He equips us in whatever task He sets before us.

Whatever God puts on your heart, embrace courage, use the resources and gifts He gives, and go forward.  

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ever Feel Not Good Enough

Philippians 4:13
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 

Deuteronomy 31:6-8
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Ever feel inadequate or afraid? I've been writing and posting devotions on my blog for more than seven years. Each time I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, a feeling of incompetence sweeps over me. The dread of "not good enough" stymies my words. Then frustration sets in and my thoughts dissipate into a wisp of smoke and blow away. If inadequacy isn't enough, sometimes I'm afraid I'm not writing the words God wants me to. I feel like I am not listening close enough to him. Yet, I keep at it. I write and pray and pray and write. God knows my heart. He understands where I've been and knows where I'm going.

God knew Joshua, too. He understood that he'd need to give Joshua a lot of encouragement. If you read through the end of Deuteronomy and the beginning of the book of Joshua, you'll see that God tells Joshua over and over to be strong and courageous. God doesn't say this because he thinks Joshua is inadequate. He says it because he knows without doubt that Joshua is the man for the job. He's called him to replace Moses.

Our Lord invites us to work for him, he calls us to serve. He reminds us to work with our hands and make a living. And in all of those things, he equips us. God pours over us the tools we need. That's why I believe the words of Paul. " I can do all this through him who gives me strength." All this which Jesus encourages me to do.

My prayer is to be strong and courageous, no matter what my circumstances. To not hold back, but to move forward for Christ. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I Know He Watches Over Me


Deuteronomy 31:7-8
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Moses was a hundred and twenty years old. He'd lived an incredible life for God, and he was ready to turn the reigns over to Joshua. God had told Moses he couldn't cross into the promised land with the people of Israel. He had to pass the reigns to someone younger. Moses could have been sad, angry, or frustrated because he wasn't going to finish the journey with his people. He certainly could have felt discouraged. But instead, he encouraged his protégé, Joshua. Moses removed the fear factor and encouraged him to" be strong and courageous." Why could he do that with confidence? Because he knew God had been with him and the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness for forty years. He knew in his heart that God kept his promises.

As I read the story of Moses and the Israelites I'm overwhelmed by the thought of wandering and waiting. Can you imagine meandering around in a place you didn't want to be for forty years? Waiting on the promise the Lord made and wondering when you could move on? I may not be in the Israelites situation, but I do wander and wonder. Life throws curve balls, dumps troubles on me, and frustrates me. But I know God has my back, he has a plan, and he's always with me. "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Praise God for his constant encouragement!

I love the song, His eye is on the Sparrow, a song filled with God's encouragement. I can sing God's praise no matter the circumstances, even when I get discouraged. Because I know if God cares for the birds of the air, he certainly cares for and loves me and you. Isn't this a wonderful promise!