Courage

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston S. Churchill

Philippians 1:12-14 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

What an incredible message Paul has in his letter to the Philippians and to us! Even though his hard work, discipline, and faithfulness led him to chains, he was not discouraged. He used his situation as a tool to give others courage. Like Paul, we can choose to be courageous in times of distress. We can also choose to be courageous in times of success and even failure. We are in fact commanded to do so, and in the next breath reminded that the Lord OUR GOD will be with us where ever we go. Life will not always be easy, and no one ever said it would be, but we need to stand firm in our faith, we need to be strong, we need to be courageous. We have the capability to do so. Timothy reminds us that our spirits were not made for the timid, they were made for power, love, and self-discipline. Today You Can be courageous, because regardless of your fate, it is the courage to continue that counts!

(Photo by Michael Spain on Unsplash)

Strength

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice”- Bob Marley

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Isaiah 41:10- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Philippians 4:13 -I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

1 Chronicles 16:11- Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

2 Corinthians 12:10- That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

The first verse in this post speaks of the strength of scripture. I wanted to touch on that because I often forget how strong God’s word really is. It is so strong that if we lean on it and Him, we are guaranteed to have our paths made straight. Walking this path may not always be easy, and no one ever promised it would be, but if we look to Him during hard times He will uphold us with His righteous hand. He will give us the capability to do all things. Yes, it is often easy to forget to look to him in hard times. The easiest solution is often to try and fix things ourselves. But, when we are weak He gives us strength. In times of weakness, insult, hardship, persecution, and difficulty He can and will be our rock. We need only seek His strength and it will be found. Today you can find strength in the Lord!

(Photo by KirstenMarie on Unsplash)

Don’t Tread on Me

Tread on me?!  That’s not a good idea, can’t you see? 
I’ve been to the bottom, I know every pain, I’ve got ’em.
Your shallow ways will get you nowhere!  I know how it feels to walk through a room and have people stare. The best thing about that is I don’t care! 
I thrive on it!  At first, it was hard, I will admit.
  But now I see it does not matter what people like you think!  Your worthless glare will not make me shrink!
It means nothing to me! It’s actually starting to make me happy.
  I love that for some reason; you think you’re better!?  What’s your biggest accomplishment this month?  Reading this letter?! 
  If you think I’m wrong, prove it then!  I guarantee I will remain strong!
If you’re not willing to do this, then the purpose of my letter, I guess you miss! 
I will have to be blunt!  Stay out of my life; it’s going to lead for you great strife!
  If you don’t, I’m not sure what will happen, I guess we will see… if you’re ever able to stand up to me!

(Don’t Tread on Me is a poem by Justin Heupel) (Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel)