Tag Archives: courage

Where are the answers?

We all have moments of crisis. We all have times when we are overwhelmed by what life has just brought to us. We all have real-life, human emotions. And it’s ok to say it.

In Jeremiah 37, the people of Judah were facing a real life battle. But here’s the rub; and here is where the enemy wins, our anxiety, anger, sadness, or other things overtake us, and we veer further off course than we meant or needed to:

Just like the people of Judah, we look for our conclusive help in the wrong place.

They looked to the army of Egypt to save them. But God was there all the time, and had been from the beginning, trying to get them to turn to Him. Yet they refused.

We do it, too. Proverbs 20:7 says, “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.”

The Lord had saved them time and time again, but they kept forgetting, and way too often not even giving Him credit. Sound familiar? ūüė¨

Proverbs 44:6-8, “I don’t depend on my arrows or my sword to save me. But You saved us from our hateful enemies, and You put them to shame. We boast about You, our God, and we are always grateful.”

My, oh my. Why do we continue to look to ourselves, to others, and to outside sources for the answer, the solution, or the salvation? It is God that fights, God that has the answers, and God that is Faithful.

He protects, shields, defends, provides, supplies, heals, comforts, creates, fights, gives wisdom, gives knowledge, gives understanding, unifies, loves, breathes life. There is literally nothing He can’t do!

The answers we seek? They lie in Him.

We saw the mountain, in the photo, when we were in TN. I mentioned that it reminded me of when Moses was on the mountain talking to God, and it was covered in cloud and smoke. My son said, “Maybe someone’s up there talking to God.” ‚̧ԳŹ Maybe they were. I sure hope so. That’s what we all need to do.

You are loved,

jamie

On courage

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.'” John 4:34

I was reading about courage this morning: Courage being the act of doing what you are afraid to do.

It occurred to me that I most often hear people (including myself) express fear about doing God’s work.¬† People aren’t as hesitant to go back to school, move to a new state for work, go skydiving, or start a new business as they are to begin a new ministry, teach Sunday school, sing on the praise team, or speak from the pulpit.¬† Forget moving to another country to minister in missions…that is almost incomprehensible.

Why in the world are we more afraid to do the work of the One who is our Provider than to do ordinary things?  Why are we more willing to commit to the PTA than to helping in the nursery at church just once a quarter?

Is it possible that we are feeding on the wrong things?¬† Jesus’ food was to do the will of the One who sent Him, and we have been sent by that same God.

When the Lord lays some new work on our heart, here are some helpful things we will need to have been feeding on:

  • God has commissioned all of his followers to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”¬† (Mt. 28:19)¬† This is our job.
  • God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.¬† (Ph. 4:19)
  • God has already sent pastors and teachers to equip us for the work of the ministry¬† (Eph. 4:11-12)¬† We are ready.
  • We’re invited to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.¬† (Heb. 4:16)¬† We are not alone.
  • And finally, if we our obedient and choose to give in to God’s leading, trusting that He will take care of our needs, we can be certain He will meet them as He said because Heb. 5:18 reminds us that, “It is impossible for God to lie.”

Karl Bath said, “Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers.”¬† I can’t think of a better way for us to take on our fears.

If the Lord lays a work on our hearts, it’s ok to be afraid.¬† Moses was afraid.¬† Joshua was afraid.¬† Gideon was afraid, too.¬† However, we need to take our fears to God’s throne of grace and receive the help He has waiting there for us.

Don’t we know that the One who created the heavens and the earth, owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and holds this world in His hand…that same One can certainly help us teach a class, preach a sermon, sing a song, minister to the sick, or any other thing He has asked us to do?

He has given us His Word so that we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Tim. 3:17)  If we are feeding on the right things, then we have all we need.

Let’s get to work!

jamie

Not to fear

But now, this is what the Lord says–He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ¬†‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. ¬†When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. ¬†When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. ¬†For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;…Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west…’. Is. 43:1-3, 5

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. ¬†Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? ¬†I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ¬†Is. 43:18-19

Go forth, with Him!

jamie

Call your Father

“Whom have I in heaven but You? ¬†And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. ¬†My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” ¬†Ps. 73:25-26

First thing this morning, my husband had a Face Time call on his phone.¬† Our son stayed with his grandparents last night, and when he woke up this morning, they weren’t in the room. ¬†For some reason, he thought they left him at the house alone, so he was crying and very upset.¬† He called his dad.

His dad was able to calm him down, speak logic and assurance to him, and give him the courage to go look for them in another room.

Sometimes we feel alone and upset.  Sometimes life just overwhelms or weakens us.  We have a choice to make.  We can sit in the dark room, crying and feeling hopeless.  Or, we can call our dad.

Our father hears our voice from His temple.  Our cries come before Him, even to His ears.  (Ps. 18:6)

Feeling afraid?  Call your Father.  He will calm you, reassure you, and give you courage and strength.

Thanks, Abba.

jamie

The day is not over!

Pr. 24:10:¬† “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”

I never thought I’d include this verse in my blog because, quite frankly, I’ve never liked it.¬† Having faced unexplainable adversity in my health for almost 4 years, there have definitely been times when my strength was small and times when I have all but fainted.¬† Each time I have read this verse I have thought about those times.

This morning, however, the Lord has encouraged me through this verse.¬† Even though there have been moments when I have wanted to give up, I never actually did.¬† God brought me through those times with a hope only found in Him.¬† Even when my strength was at its weakest, the Lord’s strength brought me through.¬† With His help, I still continue going forward, doing what I can.

In reading this verse, I have judged myself a bit harshly over these 4 years, remembering only my weaker moments, and comparing myself to others who are much stronger than I.  However, the fact of the matter is that my day of adversity is not yet over, and I have not fainted.

My strength comes from the Lord.  My hope is in Him.  My courage lies in knowing that He who began a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

My life may not look like that of others, or the way I expected that it should, but my day is not done.  While I am still here, there is work for me to do.  The work I am able to do is much less glamorous than perhaps I thought it would be, but I believe that facing this adversity in my life qualifies me to complete a work meant only for me.

It is time for me to truly believe my day is not yet over.  Until it is, I will continue bringing glory to my God in whatever ways I can manage.  I will continue to take courage in the fact that my God is for me, and stop believing I have fainted too many times go on.

My strength is definitely not small, for it comes from the Lord, in whom all things are possible.

If you feel yourself fainting, be encouraged.¬† The day is not yet over, and the Lord is on your side!¬† It is in Him that we live and move and have our being.¬† He is our Rock and our Salvation.¬† He is our Defense.¬† He is our Refuge and our Strength.¬† He orders our steps and upholds us with His hand.¬† He does not forsake His children.¬† Keep moving forward…with Him.

Strengthened by Him alone,

jamie

This blog is dedicated to Larry Jackson, who definitely got this right!

Me speaking to Larry hours before he went to heaven. God used His smile to strength me one more time.

Me speaking to Larry hours before he went to heaven.  See that smile?  He allowed God to use him to the very end.