Have Courage

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

John 16:33 NIV

Life with Jesus is a journey of overcoming and conquering, first steps and new beginnings.

It is an adventure of discovery and healing, of bold moves and humble hearts.

It is about facing difficulty with courage and having peace in the midst of uncertainty.

It is possible because Jesus promises to be with you every step of the way.

Things God Will Not Do

For He, God, Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down or relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!”

‭Hebrews 13:5 Amplified Version

God will not leave you without support.

Jesus is bigger than your situation.

He will not leave you helpless.

He will not relax His hold on you.

He will make a way where there seems to be no way.

As you face the challenges before you, know that God is beside you in them.

All things are possible with God.

Burden Bearer

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”

Psalm‬ ‭68‬:‭19‬ NIV

Every day brings new choices to make, new challenges to face, new fears to conquer, new burdens to bear.

Every day also brings old memories that linger, mistakes still bearing consequences, fears that refuse to die, emotional baggage that demands space and attention.

God will bear your burdens every day. 

Old, new, heavy or light.

Everyday.

You may not know what burdens will be thrust upon you today but God does. 

He stands with open arms and strong shoulders to bear them for you.

What burden do you need God to bear today?

Set Free

You have been set free from sin”

Romans 6:22 NIV

The power of sin in your life can feel like a noose that the enemy gently lays upon your neck. Then slowly, surely, he begins to tighten it until you feel trapped, choked and bound. 

It is a lie. You do not have to live in bondage anymore. 

It is Jesus clothed in the white garments of resurrection, bearing the fresh scars of the crucifixion declaring to the universe that the power of sin is broken. 

The good news is that through Him, you are set free.

You are free from sin.
You are free from its power and control.
You are free from its endless demands, requirements, small print and a false sense of control. 

Jesus took that noose upon His own neck for you. He took the penalty it demanded, death. Then He conquered death in a blaze of glory and held freedom in His hands. Wherever shame lurks and condemnation whispers, wherever fear and anxiety chokes, wherever lies and rejection linger – Jesus comes. 

He comes with His love, His power, His mercy and His forgiveness. 

He washes away the stains of the past and brings to you new hope for the future.  

He sets you free to live life saturated in His love and filled with His power.

The power of sin has been broken.

How will you live the truth of it today?

Shalom

“May God look you full in the face and make you prosper.”

Numbers 6:26 MSG

The word for “prosper” here in the original Hebrew is “shalom.”

It has become one of my favorite words.

At its core, “Shalom” means the type of wholeness that comes after being broken.

I think that the most difficult moment to look God full in the face is when you are broken.

When you have failed or fallen or lay wounded at another’s hand.

That is exactly when you need Him the most.

That is when you need to see the face of God and how He sees you.

That is when you need to see His love, mercy and grace as He gazes at you.

You need to know that when He looks you full in the face, He is looking at someone He loves, believes in and will put back together through the power of His love.

May God look you full in the face and make you prosper.

Shalom.

On Bravery

You don’t have to be brave unless you are facing something that requires it.

Being brave means that you are facing something that requires more than a step of faith, it requires a walk of faith.

It means not making your decisions based on what is but on what can be. 

Being brave means getting up every morning and keeping your word when you don’t want to. Stating your boundaries and holding to them even when you don’t feel like it.

Choosing to believe new truths instead of old lies every day.

That is being brave. 

“I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage!”

Joshua 1:9 MSG

Keep going.
Keep believing.
Be brave.

Grief

“Then Jesus wept.” John 11:35 NLT

Following Jesus doesn’t mean that you don’t deal with loss, it means don’t deal with it alone.

It means that you have a Savior who goes with you into the depths of grief.

One who walks with you through the fear, the anger and heartbreak of it all.

He will hold you when you collapse under the weight of it and strengthen you as you deal with reality.

With Him you can courageously face the pain of loss as you hold onto the hope of heaven. 

Go Toward It

Relationships are not easy.

They take grace, forgiveness, honesty, and courage.

You may think that it would be easier and simpler to withdraw, it is not.

Don’t cheat yourself or others by withdrawing in fear.

Persevere. 

Go toward the problem. 

Reach out. 

God can make a way where there seems to be no way.

Quiet the fear-filled beat of your heart and listen for the encouraging whisper of the Holy Spirit.

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,”‭‭ 

Romans‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What Gives You Courage

One of the most amazing things about receiving God’s love (and I mean really receiving it- taking it in, letting it sink into your soul, walking in the truth of it, living loved) is that it gives you courage.

Courage to step out of your comfort zone.

Courage to change the way you talk to yourself and to others.

Courage to not give in to old habits, coping mechanisms or escape tactics.

Courage to face your feelings and issues.

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.”

1 John 3:18-20 MSG

When anxiety is stealing your joy, you can bet it is also stealing your ability to love fearlessly as well. Put your worries in God’s capable hands and get busy loving the people He has placed in your life.

Have a wonderful fearless- loving day, my friend!

What You Want

We all have habits that we need to get rid of. However, there is a particular habit that Jesus is more concerned about breaking than the one you are thinking of: it is the desire to get your own way.

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we struggle, we may think it is because God doesn’t love us. In reality, it might be that He loves you so much that He will use the stressful opportunity at hand to break the habit of the-only-way-I-will-be-happy-is-when-I-get-my-way.

God has more for you than that and He calls it freedom.