Sunday, 29 April 2012

Be Strong and Courageous-Part 2

The call to be strong and courageous is a challenging one. Sometimes we just don’t feel like it. We feel weak, tired and scared. It’s so much easier to sit on our backsides than it is to get up and go to war. And what’s the use anyway, our reasoning tells us, it’ll make no difference to our situation; there’s no way we can win. Sometimes, though, reasoning is just a big, fat liar and we need to listen to the call of Faith.

The battles going on in our minds at moments like that are sometimes even fiercer than the one we can choose to face and fight. Taking the first step is always the hardest part. But doing something is better than doing nothing. If you know you have to do something that’s hard but choose to be overcome by fear and do nothing, you’ll find yourself stuck in the same place for a very long time, wondering why you aren’t moving forward in your life or circumstances. We can’t sit around moaning about the hole we’re in; we have to start the long, climb out, with God as our strength and courage.

The thing we have to keep reminding ourselves, myself included, when faced with any difficult situation is that complaining in our La-Z-Boys isn’t going to help make the situation get any better; it won’t get any better. In fact, it’ll only make it worse. It’ll be swept into a corner, growing steadily and waiting to suddenly pounce. We have to get up and do something. Actions speak louder than words; we can’t complain about something we’re not bothering to even fix.

 I know that, at times, we just don’t have the strength to fight; we don’t have the strength to face things. We are tired, and afraid of what might happen if we decide to take a stand. But we can’t let that stop us. Why? Because the God I serve is bigger than anything we’ll ever go through. When we try to rely on our own strength, we’ll hit a big pothole. When we hand over our situation and anxieties to the Lord, He promises to lighten our load. It may not happen immediately, however. We still have a battle to fight. The battle may be long and terrible, but it’ll be better than having done nothing. Because from those battles we fight, we gain experience and the knowledge that in the end God gives victory to those who earnestly follow Him. He will be with us, and will never ever leave us. He has a bigger plan in mind. So be strong and courageous.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Be Strong and Courageous-Part 1

Four times in Joshua 1, God says, “Be strong and courageous!”. Joshua was preparing to go into the Promised Land and he knew there were many battles ahead. And he had to lead the stubborn people of Israel into the midst of war. I’m sure fear was creeping into his heart. But God tells Joshua that He will be with him, and that he must have strength and courage.

 Now whenever God says something, He has a reason for it. To say the same thing over and over again in one chapter must mean it’s pretty important. He’s telling us to be strong and courageous, no matter what we face. We have no idea what God’s plan is for us when we face mountains too high for us or battles too fierce. What we are called to do, however, in any tough situation is to trust Him. He will win our battles for us. That doesn’t mean we can sit back and watch. No, we have to go with Him and fight too; we’ll have to be strong, to stand our ground and let Him lead us, but He’s the One who will give us the victory.

The Israelites were often small in numbers and weak compared to their enemy, so that in the eyes of the world, there was no way they could win the battle. But I love how God would come into the picture and defy any human reasoning. He told them to have courage, to trust in Him and to go to war; God on their side made all the difference.  And the Lord would go before them and they’d win!  In their own strength, they could do nothing. But as they chose to go out in faith, God came to their rescue.

I love the times in the Bible where God uses the underdogs to do great things. Time and time again, God would choose, not the highly ranked and strong or the powerful and rich, but the small, insignificant people no one really thought of as great. But God took a hold of these people and turned them into mighty men and women for Him. It’s amazing how He uses the least of us all to do great things.

Just like the Israelites, God will fight for us. We just need to choose to take that step of faith, to be strong and courageous- not giving up, and holding onto Jesus- and great things could happen. We too often put God into our box of “possible”. God isn’t bound by who we are or where we are; He can take you as you are and use you, if you make the choice to let Him. You just need the strength and courage it takes to be a mighty man or woman of God.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Feel of Autumn

Autumn is finally here, saving me from the heat of summer. I’m not a summer person. My favourite seasons are spring and autumn, where the air is cool and refreshing. There’s something about the feel of autumn that I love. Maybe it’s that soft cool breeze or the fresh smell wafting in the air. Maybe it’s the colours of gold and brown that adorn the trees or the gentle sun. Whatever it is, I absolutely love autumn. 

To me, autumn is a cosy time where light jerseys, jeans and scarves begin reappearing, hot drinks are in want and cuddling under a duvet again begins, though it’s not unbearably freezing cold.  Though autumn here is short and quickly jumps into a cold winter, the beauty of autumn still sprinkles all around me and the feel of it falls within me. Sometimes, I just want to stand outside and breathe it in. For those of you living in the Southern Hemisphere, have a great autumn!

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Greatest Day in History

          Photo taken by Jess Leigh

Something occurred a long, long time ago that changed the world forever; something that changed countless lives, mine included. A Man, but so much more than a man, hung dying on a cross made of wood. Nails pierced His hands and feet, a crown of thorns was twisted on His head and His clothes were divided amongst His enemies. Blood poured from His body and His loving heart was breaking. Crying out to God, He gave up His spirit. The perfect Son of God had died for the sins of the world.

Jesus did this for you and me, so that we may have life. His amazing sacrifice involved so much pain and heartache, but because He loves us He died in our stead so that all who choose to follow Him will be forgiven. This act of love changed my life forever. If it hadn’t been for Jesus, I would still be dead in my sin and I wouldn’t have the amazing, relationship I know have with Him. I don’t know how I would get through each day without my Saviour leading and loving me.

Today, I want us to remember His sacrifice.  And not just today, but everyday our hearts should be filled with awe and thanksgiving over what Jesus did for us. He gave us the way to the Father and saved our lives as well.  Just think about it, the Son of GOD died for you and me! That day was the greatest in all of history! And not only did He die for us, but He also rose again, death having no power over Him! Jesus is not some dead god made of wood and stone, but He’s alive and living within those who follow Him. We all have the choice to give our hearts to Him. And that choice will change your life forever.