Monday, September 26, 2011

Fear Conquerers

Reading through this morning's Hope Devotional, a sentence caught my eye. It's found in the second chapter of Ezra, verse 3; "Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the temple at its old site..."

Did you catch the same thing I did?

The people were afraid...but they were obedient anyway.

How many times and in how many ways have I let fear get in the way of what God's calling me to do?

Volunteer at church.

I'm too shy.

Give your testimony.

I'm not a good public speaker.

Visit your new neighbors.

They'll think I'm crazy.

And the list goes on.

If you've never felt fear, my hat is off to you, but my fellow fraidy-cats know exactly what I'm talking about. And there must have been a lot of scared people in the bible, because it speaks of it so often.

Joshua 1:9 "Do not be afraid or be dismayed, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind."

Psalm 56:3 "When I am afraid, I will trust in you."

And there are many more where those came from.

It's been said that courage is not the absence of fear. It's feeling the fear and jumping anyway. I want to be a doer, not a regretter, so I've made a decision today to jump through the fear and trust God for the outcome. Are you with me? Awesome! I'd love to hear how God is working through your fear and accomplishing great things through you, so please share your experiences!

Have a fear-conquering day!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who do you Love?

In a world that uses the word love to describe everything from ice cream to wallpaper, it's worth stopping for a second to ask the question. Who do you love?

I love my husband. I love my children. I love my enemies.

Wait.

I love my enemies?

Probably not.

Truth be told, there are people in my life who are generally unlovable – at least from my perspective. Jesus says otherwise.

"Love your enemies. Do good to those who hurt you. Pray for those who spitefully use you."

Tall order.

I pray for the supernatural ability to love my enemies, but I'm coming to understand that it may come in increments. Right now, it may mean simply refusing to talk about them. Later, God's grace might add something new. As God works on my prideful heart, I pray it will grow deeper still.

As I continue praying, it is my hope that at some point God will give me a true and broken heart for the hurts in my enemy's life. We all carry burdens. We all have places of darkness and despair. But we are all lights, too.

I have something to offer my enemy. Forgiveness is a wonderful gift.