Courageous faith follows hope.
Last year my word was HOPE.
When this word was impressed on my heart I thought it was my word to give away. After all, it is what I love to do, encourage others and sprinkle rain drops of hope through that encouragement. I have since come to realize, this word was more for me and my family than it was for anyone else.
The past year has been rough, to say the least. Unexpected challenges and struggles marked the days and months we have just left behind. My family and I found we had no choice but to ride it out on the back of hope.
We know Christ is our ultimate hope in every situation but there were occasions when we became a bit overwhelmed by our circumstances and found ourselves tethering pretty close to the edge of feeling hopeless.
Like the six months I spent battling back from a work related injury that has still left its mark on my body.
Or every day that I’ve had to watch my husband suffer through the intense pain of a back injury with little to no relief. So much pain!
Not to mention spending time with my Sis and her girls during the Christmas holidays and realizing she is still very much in the grip of deep grief over the loss of her husband 10 months ago.
Still keeping the hope
And so, my family and I found we could not have endured had it not been for hope. Hope in God. And in those moments when hope became evasive, his gift of grace amazed us.
As a child of God, I strongly believe that through our pain and suffering he is doing a redemptive work in us. However, I have to admit there’s been a few times during the past year, when I craved relief more than his redemptive work. These were my “eyes off God and on my circumstances”, fleshly thinking moments. Moments when my confidence in him wavered and my grip on his promises a bit too loose.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” Hebrews 6:19
But on the days when I allowed my hope to hold firm and secure, hope did not disappoint. It allowed me to feel God’s closeness, as he walked beside me and my family. Hope enabling us to lean into his love and experience his comforting presence. On those days, my family and I also experienced a greater level of joy and peace that allowed us to have more for each other and for those around us.
Because this kind of hope, true hope anchored in God, produces fruits. Fruits that are meant to honor him and bring glory to his name, even as we still struggle through.
Courageous faith to stay the course
The old year has spilled over into the new with some of these same struggles. As I’m sure it has for many others as well. That is why I’m grateful my word for the new year is COURAGE.
Something I will most definitely need in order to hold fast and not shrink or run away from the challenges before me and my family.
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Courage to believe that my family is not defeated in our circumstances because God himself cannot be defeated. We are his and, if God is for me and my family and for you, then nothing can stand up against us. Yet, we don’t just need courage, we need courageous faith.
“Only courageous faith will keep us going when we are puzzled by our circumstances, when we are suffering for our choices, and when we are going through the valley. We must always trust in the good and holy God who will never make a mistake.” My Journal, Leading the Way, Dr. Michael Youssef
We need unwavering faith in a holy God whose presence is reassuringly comforting, whose power is undaunted by dark valleys and whose provision is limitless. My aim, by his grace, is to daily pursue this place of quiet peace and tranquil rest of the soul, even while in the midst of the storm.
6 BIBLE VERSES TO INSPIRE US TO HOPE & COURAGEOUS FAITH
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2
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.” Joshua 1:9
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” I Corinthians 16:13
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – In God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
I'm not sure what journey you are on in this new year but I want so much to encourage you. Keep trusting in God's love for you and hold fast to hope. Even if it means you need the Spirit of God to fan those smouldering embers to full flames of hope in your heart. Click To Tweet
I’m not sure what journey you are on in this new year but I want so much to encourage you. Keep trusting in God’s love for you and hold fast to hope. Even if it means you need the Spirit of God to fan those smouldering embers to full flames of hope in your heart.
Choose to believe that when God makes promises to us, you and me, he keeps them. His word is a sure thing. And, there is no better place to find encouragement to stir our heart and challenge us to hope and courageous faith, than in his word.
Dear friends, none of us know what this new year will bring but may we resolve to face it with hope in God and journey on with courageous faith. God bless!!