Showing posts with label Courage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Courage. Show all posts

Monday, May 1, 2023

Facing Our Fears


“When we lack the courage to live the lives we have, when we are overwhelmed by the challenges we face, when we have no strength to make it through the day, we turn to outside sources just to help us survive. We try to sedate, medicate, and intoxicate our fears — anything for a little relief.” 
Erwin McManus, Uprising, p. 90

In a world full of challenges and uncertainties, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. According to Erwin McManus in his book Uprising, we often turn to external sources for relief when we lack the courage to face our challenges head-on. However, the problem with trying to self-medicate in order to cope with our fears is that it only masks the issue. This prevents us from discovering real helps in facing our facing and it becomes an obstacle to taking any action that can create lasting change.

As Christians, we are called to face our fears with courage and perseverance. In Psalm 27:1, David wrote, “The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— whom should I dread?” (CSB) 

With God on our side, we have the strength and courage to face any challenge that comes our way.

Recognizing that we have fears and not trying to suppress them is the first step towards in developing perseverance. It takes real courage and strength to face our fears and overcome them, and that is an essential part of the growth process. As we learn to live uncomfortable feelings without allowing them to control us, we become stronger and more resilient.

The Apostle Paul encouraged disciples of Jesus to develop perseverance in Romans 5:3-5 when he wrote:
And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (CSB)

It is important that we learn to confront our fears head-on. This is one of. the best way to build the courage, strength, and perseverance needed to overcome our fears. In order to do this well requires using other skills such as visualization (imagining ourselves successfully facing our fears), self-compassion (not being hard on ourselves), and assertiveness (being intentional in facing our face). By building these skills, we can create a better way of coping with the problems and fears we face and we can get out of the rut of the ineffective patterns of avoidance or paralysis that we have been in.

By building perseverance, we develop a deeper understanding of our personal strengths, which also helps us tackle other obstacles with renewed strength and courage. We also become better equipped to handle the challenges of life and we are able to approach them with a sense of purpose and determination.

Ultimately, the problems we encounter in our lives provide us with an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop our character and discover new strengths. When we turn to God and rely on His strength through prayer and fellowship with other Christians, we can face our challenges with courage and perseverance. As we learn to overcome our fears and we are empowered to rise to challenges, we are able to strengthen our character by faith in God’s transforming work and hope in His promises. 

We must learn to face our fears with courage and perseverance, relying on God's strength to overcome the challenges we encounter. By adding perseverance to our character, we can approach the problems of life with purpose and determination, which empowers us to grow into the people that God has created us to be. As we face life’s challenges with faith, courage, and perseverance, we discover that our character is strengthened by purpose and hope.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday Prayer: Courage and Boldness



Gracious God, I come before you in humility and with a heart full of faith. I thank you for your goodness and mercy, and for the gift of your Son, Jesus, whose sacrifice secured forgiveness and salvation for me.

Lord, I ask for your strength and courage as I navigate the challenges of this world. I pray for boldness to stand up for what is right and to speak truth in love. I ask for the courage to follow your will, even when it is difficult or unpopular.

Help me to be strong and courageous in the face of adversity, knowing that you are always with me. Give me the courage to step out in faith, trusting that you will guide me and provide for me every step of the way.

Lord, I pray that you would fill me with the Holy Spirit, that I may be empowered to live the life that brings honor and glory to your name. Give me the courage to share your love and grace with those around me, even when it may be uncomfortable or challenging.

Help me to remember that I am not alone, and that you are always with me. May my life be a shining light that points others to you, and may I never waver in my faith or my commitment to your kingdom.

I pray all of this in the mighty name of Jesus, who is my strength and shield. Amen.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Philippians: Living is Christ

STOP — Philippians 1:21-30


Summarize

Paul mentioned that his hope (verse 20) that whether by his life or death he would have the courage to bring honor to Jesus. He saw that he had two paths before him. If he continued to live he would be able to continue the work Jesus gave to him to do. If he died he would go to be with Jesus. Paul did not know which to desire. To live meant that he could continue to teach and encourage people to follow Jesus, but to die meant he could experience the delight of being in heaven with Jesus. 


As Paul waited to see what would happen he urged the Philippians to live as citizens of heaven (not just as citizens of Rome) so they could live lives that were worthy of the Gospel. To live this type of life required that they live united as they lived and proclaimed the Gospel. They would need unity and courage because they too would face suffering because of Jesus.


Truth

We need the commitment and courage to live by faith because of the hardships that will come our way.


Observations

  1. The dilemma for Paul was real. He loved people and wanted to see them become part of the Kingdom. He also was tired of the suffering he had experienced and was ready to be with Jesus. 
  2.  As long as we are alive in this world we need to remember that we have a job to do: make disciples. No matter what we need to continue to do what we can, that includes giving, praying, and living a faithful life.
  3. Paul urged the Philippians to live as citizens of heaven. As residents of Philippi they were also citizens of Rome. That was an honor, but Paul wanted them to understand their greater citizenship was to Heaven. They were to live the way God wants His people to live: with love, joy, peace, gentleness...and the rest.
  4. The Philippians were granted the privilege of suffering for Jesus. Why is this a privilege? It means that they were living in such a way that the powers of the world wanted to oppose them. When we live as citizens of Heaven, the powers of this world will oppose us. They do not want the light of our lives to shine in the darkness they have created.

Prayer

Lord, grant me the courage and the faith to live a life that is worthy of Jesus.


Tomorrow: Philippians 2:1-4

Monday, January 25, 2021

Move Forward in Courage


Many men, at the core of their being, long to be courageous. 

A man desires to stand alone and face to face the danger and become the hero. 

This is certainly true with me. 

Ever since I was a young boy I have wanted to defeat the bad guys, defend the ones I love, and rescue the beauty from the clutches of evil.

This craving in my soul comes from the reality that God made me to live a courageous life and to face the dangers of life. 

Often the danger which exists in our lives bears little resemblance to the danger faced by James Bond or Batman on the movie screen. Therefore, it is easy to convince ourselves that no real danger exists and all this talk of courage is just an exaggeration to play on the imaginations of men.

Our daily lives don't seem to be dangerous because we are rarely in physical danger. We don't have bullets whizzing past our heads or bombs exploding around us. This is why we are lulled into a sense of safety and convince ourselves that danger doesn’t exist in our lives. 
 
Just because our lives aren’t in physical danger doesn’t mean a threat doesn't exist.

One of our main threats is the same threat Adam faced from the beginning. It is the threat of following our definitions of good and bad rather than holding on to God’s definitions. It was easy to buckle under the words of the serpent and Eve than it was to stand firm against their temptations.

Because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection the failure of Adam is being reversed. 

If we are going to participate with God to bring restoration to creation we need to stand firm in this very area that Adam fell. 

The apostle Paul wrote:
A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against the wicked spirits in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-11; NLT)

I am convinced that when we experience fear in our relationships, doing what is right, or fear changing our lives, that is the enemy trying to convince us to surrender without a fight. 

Why does a husband fear talking to his wife? 

Ultimately because Satan is out there seeking destroy the marriage. 

Why does creating a budget and tithing cause fear to run through your body? 

The reason is Satan wants you to hoard what you have rather than being generous with God's provision. 

Why does the thought of giving up Facebook and Instagram cause you to fear that you might miss out on something?

Perhaps it is because Satan wants us distracted by insignificant things so we are unable to give our full attention to what really matters.

When we give into our fears we play right into Satan's hands.

God created us to live with courage! 

This doesn't mean that our lives should be absent of fear. What it means is that we trust God for the provisions we need for life, including the spiritual provisions of strength, hope, and confidence. 

When we live lives of courage we experience God's power at work in the world around us. Even if things don't turn out the way we would like, our faith is strengthened as we experience God at work in our lives.

Yet, if we live lives of fear at least two things will happen. 

First, our relationship with God will be stunted. Relationships grow with experience, and when we don’t allow God to provide for what we need, then we will miss out on experiencing Him.

Second, we put our families and friends at risk. Christians are to stand in the gap for their loved ones. My children do not have another dad who will be praying for them and loving them. I am it. I need to do that job. Likewise, I am the pastor at the church I lead, there is no one else who has been called to pray, teach, and lead like I have. It is my responsibility to do that.

It is crucial to remember: When we face our fears, it is not for us alone, but it is for all those we know and love. 

We need to resist the temptation to take the easy path and avoid our fears. The path of discipleship, the path of becoming the person God created us to be, is found on the other side of our fears. 

Today is the day to live with courage.


Prophetic Revelation and the Gospel

  1 Peter 1:10-12 (CSB) Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and careful...