Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Courage - Part 4

Courage in the midst of the storm

Philippians 3:13-14 "My friends, I don't feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done." CEV

There was an advert on TV a while ago, it said, “Life is a journey, enjoy the ride”, but I have changed that into a question, “Life is a journey, where are you going?” A comrades marathon runner is a very good illustration of the above mentioned verse. If anyone wanted to run the comrades, it would be impossible for them to show up on the day of the race, having never exercised before and expect to even finish the race. The comrades is a very difficult race, which tests your physical and mental endurance. It takes years worth of training if you even want to finish the race. To be successful an athlete will have to change his eating habits, sleeping habits, in fact his entire lifestyle so that he can be fully prepared when the great day dawns. We need to exercise spiritually. When hard times come up against you, know that God is still with you and that this is busy testing you and preparing you for things to come …

Romans 6:15 "Does this mean that now we can go ahead and sin and not worry about it? (For our salvation does not depend on keeping the law but on receiving God’s grace!) Of course not!" TLB

Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” NIV

2 Corinthians 4:8–9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” NIV

Thank You Lord that You help me run the race of life …

Joshua 1:6-9 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." NIV 

What do we do in times of hardship? In times of temptation? In times when we don’t really know what is going on around us, we don’t really understand what is happening. You might be feeling like Job, you are looking around and your whole life is falling down around you, and then we are reminded of our priorities and of our source. Tienie who is your source? Where do you draw your strength from? Who are you busy looking to? Are you looking to money, or material possessions, are you looking to people and relationships, are you looking at habit forming substances in the hope of finding peace?

Psalm 121:1 “I look to the mountains; where will my help come from?” GNB

The Israelites used to have places of worship on the high places where they worshipped false gods, this verse literally means, I look at the things that the world goes to, to find help. Sometimes when problems seem to overtake us we wonder where we will go for help. Fortunetellers, lotto draw’s, drugs & alcohol. These are all very popular in the world today, yet the psalm writer does not suggest that we go for those things. Instead he says let us look to God who created the world (and us as well) and let us go to Him for our strength and our comfort.

Tienie remember that if you put your need to put your hope in God. David said these words:

Psalm 42:5 "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance." NKJV

Continued in Part 5