Friday, December 30, 2016

Fear Fighting: Stomping Out the Image of Perfect


I'm excited to have author Kelly Balarie here today! Kelly's new book Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears comes out on Tuesday, January 3, but you can pre-order it now! 

I had the privilege to read an advance copy, and let me tell you, you will be encouraged! Kelly doesn't pretend to have this fear fighting thing completely figured out - she's right there in the trenches with us. She writes from her heart, sharing stories of her own experiences and Biblical truths.

Please welcome Kelly...

I blame it on TV. I grew up watching the princesses. You know them, right?! They were the ones whose complexions looked like porcelain, whose lips were the color of rose, and whose lives were a hot mess. Until, the prince came in and swooped them up into his arms and forever changed their lives.

They always looked perfect. You see, they had dresses that swooshed in the wind and 90% of the time their voice sounded like an angel sent straight from heaven. Usually, I was jealous of them.

I guess I still am. Because, in so many ways, I try to be them.

I try to doll myself up. I try to show the world there is not a fold in my face. I try to pretend I have Pinterest Christmas when really my focus is on having Christ in Christmas. In reality, I'm the centerfold for T-shirts with yoga pants. I live in the model house of toilet paper adorned floors, little droppings of paper my kids rip up and leave behind like trails of their journey.

Ugh. I fall short.

I don't think I am fooling people either.

My sister came over just the other day. When she got to my porch, she said, "Kelly, you do know that Halloween was over weeks ago?"

The frozen pumpkins on my stoop threw her for a loop, I guess.

Whoops.

I want to fool people though. I want to fool you - real bad. Because then you'll aspire to like me. This is what I tell myself anyway. If I look all great for you, you'll approach me like that prince and you'll want to give me things and bless me with kind words and pour out love on me. I'll take that. Sometimes, I convince myself I need that.

I need your approval. I need to feel good about myself.

Or, do I?

I am not so sure lately. Because, what I am coming to terms with is the fact that - there ain't no woman who can do everything. You find her and I'll buy you whatever material item you've convinced yourself you need to have to finally reach the pinnacle of...dun, dun, dun..."perfect woman."

The lady is imaginary. She's an illusion. Yet, still, we all chase her as if she is worthy of our highest praise.

And, this is what I am realizing - if I am praising this image of the woman I want to be, I can't really be the image of whom Christ has created me to be.

Dang! I could truly spend my whole life chasing carrots, rather than partaking at God's feast? His bounty. His spiritual riches.

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.
Ephesians 1:18

I wrote the book, Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears to find God's truth. In so many ways, God answered. He showed me there is a glorious inheritance awaiting me and it is not found through appearances, airs, or goods.

It is the joy found in the lopsided nature of my nose - a nose God adores.

It is the grace covering the moments I forget things.

It is the peace dug up from a heart that knows God is in charge.

It is the hope God will shape me into the likeness of him.

It is the knowledge God loves me just as He created me.

It is the belief that he chose me.

It is the understanding, in Him, I am secure.

It is in the need, we find our prince, Christ Jesus. Will you let him rescue you?


Interested in fighting fear? Join the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge!

About the book:
Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course.

Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel, and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. www.fearfightingbook.com.


About Kelly Balarie:
Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear here.


[Photo credit: Kelly Balarie]

Linking up with: Grace & Truth, #FreshMarketFriday, Faith 'n Friends

Monday, December 26, 2016

Jesus is Greater than My Problems


It’s December 26—the day after Christmas. The day life goes back to normal. But not really because the meaning of Christmas—Jesus—is still fresh in my mind and heart.

How do we hold on to the feeling of Christmas all year long? I don’t mean the charitable giving feeling, although that would be great all year too. I’m talking about the emotion that goes with knowing Jesus came to earth for us.

Jesus Christ—Son of God and Son of man. A tiny infant born to a young girl who welcomed God’s calling in her life. Son of a carpenter, who did not leave Mary, but who also answered God’s call in his life.

That’s the feeling I want all year—to remember that Jesus’ sacrifice will always be greater than any, and all, of my problems. Always. {Tweet this}

So, today as I look out the window, thankful for the bright sun on a cold day, I’m resisting the urge to think about the circumstances I cannot control. The details I can’t put in order. And the problems I can’t fix.

Instead, I’m thinking about Jesus’ birth and all of the details God orchestrated for our salvation. I’m remembering how He’s worked in past situations for my good, knowing that He will do so again. I’m thankful for what I do have, and not thinking about what I might see as lacking.

I’m pondering how God called Mary and Joseph by name to be a part of His beautiful plan, and reminding myself that God still calls us today. You and me. He calls us by name. It doesn’t get more personal than that. {Tweet this}

Friends, if today is your first time visiting, or your 101st time here, I thank you. I know there are demands on your time and so many other things you could be doing, but you chose to spend a minute or two here with me, and I thank you. You have been a blessing to me in so many ways and I pray that your time here blesses you as well. May we always remember how much God loves and cares for us. He calls each of us by name…and we are His. (Isaiah 43:1)

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: FreeImages.com]


Monday, December 19, 2016

The Glory of God


The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

God’s glory is a visible expression of who God is—His absolute reality. In the Old Testament, God’s presence among His people was in the very specifically constructed Tabernacle. No one could fully see God’s glory and live, but sometimes God would give veiled glimpses of His glory.

Moses specifically asked God to see His glory. God agreed, but Moses could not see God’s face and live.

Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

God protected Moses while allowing him to witness His glory.

Where in the Old Testament, God’s presence dwelled in the Tabernacle, in the New Testament, God’s glory was now in Jesus Christ. The Word—Jesus—became human so He could live on earth with us. {Tweet this}

Isn’t that incredible?

God Himself came to this dark and sinful world so He could make His home among us.

Amazing!

With the birth of Christ—Son of God and Son of man, God allowed his people to see His glory and still live.

Jesus is our Light and new life. In Him, we can see the glory of God—the absolute reality of who God is—and live in Him. {Tweet this}

In God’s grace, the birth of a Baby Boy brought us life, light, and hope for all nations, for all of our days.

Lord God, You allowed Moses to see glimpses of You while protecting Him in the cleft in the rock. Thank you for allowing us to see You through Your Son Jesus, not only protecting us, but giving us new life. Through Jesus, full of grace and truth, we see the reality of who You are and how much You love us. May we fix our minds on Your glory and Your love for us during this blessed Christmas season. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Linking up with: Give Me Grace, #DreamTogether, Purposeful Faith, #SmallWonder, #glimpsesofhisbeauty, Coffee for Your Heart, Thought Provoking Thursday

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

God’s Perfect Timing


But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

When the right time came…

I often wish I could know when the right time is. I mean, I know when the time looks right to me—when it would suit my needs, but I find that my timing rarely matches up with God’s timing.

If only God would see it my way! Right?!? But, while I sometimes think that…and try to convince Him that my timing would really work out pretty well…I know that His timing is best.

My view is so limited to what I know, have experienced, or can imagine. I can only see what is in front of me, whichever way I turn.

But God—He sees so much more—He sees it all. Every little part of the story…He knows it. Each and every detail…He’s planned it. Those secret things I’d like to hide? He sees those too.

There are no secrets with God. Just like Adam and Eve tried to hide their sin, so do we. And still, God loves us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

At just the right time, God sent His Son to redeem us. And when God said it was time (even while we were still sinners!) Christ died for us. To set us free for all eternity.

In my day-to-day impatience and frustration, God’s timing can be puzzling. But, His timing is never wrong.

When I grumble about not understanding why the wait is necessary, I still know—His timing is always better than my calendar.

God sees the entire picture. He’s orchestrated the complete plan.

And, His time is always the right time. {Tweet this}

Thank You, Lord, for Your timing in all things. Your children have never liked waiting, and we still don’t. Help us to focus not on our calendars and to-do lists, but on Your Way and Your timing. We can’t always understand why things happen the way they do, but help us to let go of the need to comprehend, and to let You be God. You created the heavens and the earth, and Your timing will always be better than anything we can think of, or plan. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Linking up with: #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, From Messes to Messages, Thought Provoking Thursday, #HeartEncouragement, Faith 'n Friends, #FreshMarketFriday, Grace & Truth

Friday, December 9, 2016

One Expectation for Christmas

I’m joining the Five Minute Friday community with Kate Motaung…5 minutes, no rewriting, and a one word prompt…
Joy


It’s supposed to be the most joyful time of every year. But for many, it’s not. Illness, loneliness, grief, depression, emotional or physical pain, unemployment, and for so many other reasons, December can be a very difficult month.

The truth is, every month can be just as difficult, but the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas come with heavy expectations and extra pressure. And when those expectations of happiness and the perfect Christmas are not met, the letdown takes its toll.

What if we went into the season with only One expectation for a good Christmas?

Joyfulness comes in the One who came to us—Jesus Christ. {Tweet this} He didn’t arrive expecting celebrity fanfare and an overdone celebration. He came as a vulnerable baby boy through Whom we see God’s glory.

December 25 will come and go just as it does every year. Families will get on each other’s nerves and gifts will lose their sparkle. But the Gift of Jesus will never grow old.

What are your expectations during the Christmas season?

In Christ,
Laura  

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Perseverance


I don’t know how Joseph did it. How did he persevere year after year, no matter what came his way?

Remember Joseph? Son of Jacob, beautiful coat owner, second-in-command to Pharaoh.

Joseph—sold into slavery by his own brothers, servant to the Egyptian officer Potiphar, thrown into prison for refusing his master’s wife. (Genesis 37, 39-41)

Remember that Joseph?

I reread his story often, and every time I ponder it a little differently. Joseph’s story is one of faith, strength, obedience, and…perseverance.

That’s what I’m thinking about today—Joseph’s perseverance.

My One Word for this year is persevere, and I find that I’m thinking about it more now than I did at the beginning of the year. Maybe it’s because I’m tired and I’m wondering what I’ve learned. Or perhaps it’s because I’m hoping God shows me a better new word for 2017.

According to my Tyndale NLT Study Bible, to persevere means to endure hardships with patience and steadfastness.

The word alone sounds hard, before even thinking about its implications. Don’t you think?

Persevere.

I wonder if the word ran through Joseph’s mind like it does mine. Surely there had to be a time or two when he wanted to ask Why God?!? Why does this have to be so hard?!?

But the Lord was with Joseph…

Joseph knew it, and others saw it. (Genesis 39) We read about it, and as a story, we see the difficulties and the happy ending. We don’t see the day-to-day.

When I look back on situations from years ago, I can see how God was right there—walking with me, holding me up, and giving me strength to persevere.

But in today’s difficulties, sometimes it’s harder to see God by my side. I know He’s there and He’s never stepped away, but my vision isn’t as clear looking forward as it is when I look back.

I wonder if Joseph had days like this too. He sat in prison for years, and even though he’d found favor with the prison guard, at least some of the days had to be long, dark, and lonely.

Joseph knew God was with him. He endured the hardships and persevered through the mess he was in. My mess is no dirtier than Joseph’s and the hardships are no greater.

I know God is with me like He was with Joseph. Which means…

If Joseph could persevere, so can I.

(And so can you.)

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Linking up with: Moments of Hope, #DreamTogether, #TellHisStory, #RaRaLinkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Thought Provoking Thursday, #HeartEncouragement, Grace & Truth, #FreshMarketFriday, Faith 'n Friends

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Praise and Thanks


Praise the Lord!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.

Several years ago, my One Word for the year was Praise. It was a word I struggled with and had to grow into.

Praise felt like a big word for when really big things happen—those Oh Wow! times that remind me God is at work.

What I learned throughout the year, though, is that there is always something to praise and thank God for. Always.

It’s not just the extra special days that show me God is present. I learned to look for God in the ordinary moments as well.

That might look like

…a lower bill than expected.

…laughter in the midst of tears.

…an out-of-the-blue call or text that cheers me up.

…appreciation in a situation, despite setbacks.

…hanging out with loved ones.

…fresh raspberries growing in November.

I don’t know what your ordinary moment might be, but might you see in it a glimpse of God?

God’s love for us is unchanging and unending, generation after generation. He is strong and mighty, and His Word is trustworthy.

No matter what our day looks like, regardless of what we can see, or how we feel—God sees it all. He sees you and me, and He cares. More than we are able or can imagine, God cares.

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.
Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given…

Lord God, thank You for letting us see You in our everyday moments—both the good ones and the difficult ones. Please forgive us for the times we fail to acknowledge You…for the times we forget to praise You…and for the times we neglect to thank You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: K. Rath 2016]

Thursday, November 17, 2016

There is a Place for Your Story


It happened again last night while scrolling through Facebook. I saw a message between two women I know, one congratulating and encouraging the other on a recent speaking engagement. I don’t know if it was more about the accomplishment or the relationship between the two women, but the reaction was quick and fierce.

Jealousy. Envy. Defeat. I wondered why I even try when there are so many others with a better message.

I’m thankful that God has had me in this place before because this time I recognized it quickly. Just as quick as the jealous thoughts entered, I took control of them before they could take control over me.

I was reminded that God has made a place for each of us. There is enough room for each message and each voice. Even better, there is a need for each message and each voice.

Even when our messages are similar, they are still different because each of us has a unique way of sharing our stories. Your voice and message may touch one person, while someone else’s words catch my attention.

Each of our stories has the potential to reach out and draw someone closer to God. {Tweet this}

A life experience that brings someone to take a breath and say Me too! is a story worth sharing. It benefits both sides in ways we may, or may not, see. But God knows.

He has plans for our stories and He will use them to reach others. {Tweet this}

The jealously I started to feel when reading that Facebook message suggests there is only one story to tell, one way to tell it, and only one person to voice it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Satan knows that, but he will use it anyway to keep us quiet.

How often is he successful in keeping us from speaking? It almost happened to me last night. Even misplaced feelings of defeat are powerful in keeping us silent. But the Truth is much more powerful.

There is a place for your voice, and mine. Not one or the other, but both. God intends for us to share and encourage others through what He has brought us through. 
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT 
God has a time and place for each of our stories to be shared. The comments I read last night had nothing to do with me. They were God’s time and place for someone else. 
For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14 ESV 
There will always be someone else to speak up…but how do we know we’re not missing the appointed time and place God planned for us to speak? Right now. Right where we are. To reach someone God has placed on our path.

Last night, I was able to recognize quickly when negativity started to creep in, so I did three things. First, I closed Facebook and got offline, because that’s often the best line of defense. Then, I went to bed, and while I fell asleep, I planned to write this post in the morning.

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Journal the Word Bible {Book Review and Giveaway}


Last month, I wrote a short series on Scripture journaling. I love journaling while I study God’s Word. I use a personal journal and take notes in my Bible; I also created these Scripture Journaling Worksheets to share.

I’ve never had a journaling Bible, though, so, I was pretty excited when I got the opportunity to review the new NKJV Journal the Word Bible by Thomas Nelson.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would like it. Study Bibles are my preference, and I have three in different translations. I like the extra notes, explanations, and cross references a study Bible offers. Plus, I’m not much of an artist, so I didn’t anticipate producing beautiful artwork while I read.

Regardless, I wanted to give it an unbiased try. After I flipped through and got a feel for it, I started reading…and I kept reading, without stopping and without going back and forth between the text and study notes. I made some notes in the lined margins, and even tried some minor artwork with colored pencils.

I have to say, I like itJ I received the Large Print version, which means my eyes don’t feel strained, especially if I’m reading at night.

With any Bible, there are pros and cons, depending on personal preference. Here are my pros and cons of the NKJV Journal the Word Bible.

Pros:
✽Nice size and a thick hard cover
✽Large print (10-pt font) easy on the eyes
✽Jesus’ words in red print
✽Thick, cream colored pages
✽Wide, lined margins for notes, journaling, or artwork
✽Elastic band around the Bible and ribbon marker

Cons: (These are not really cons unless you’re expecting a study Bible.)
✽No concordance
✽No study notes
✽No cross references

If you’re looking for a journaling Bible in either the NKJV or KJV, the Journal the Word Bible by Thomas Nelson might be just what you’re looking for. It would also make a great gift!

To celebrate the release of the Journal the Word Bible, Thomas Nelson has graciously sent me a copy to giveaway! 

This giveaway is for the NKJV Journal the Word Bible in Large Print. To enter, leave a comment on this post about your Bible journaling habits, or if you’ve yet to try it. On Friday, November 18, I’ll randomly choose a winner. Please include your email so I can contact you. (Sorry, only U.S. residents are eligible.)

In Christ,
Laura 

(Note: I received a free copy of the NKJV Journal the Word Bible by Thomas Nelson in return for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Be Still


“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 

I woke up this morning with this verse going through my mind. Not a coincidence, I suppose, for the day after the election.

I wonder if sometimes we breeze over this verse. Be still, and know that I am God. In our world today, be still makes us think of doing nothing, but doing nothing hardly seems accurate here.

The Hebrew word raphah (raw-faw') means to release or let go; refrain from or let alone; to relax or wait for. Causing yourself to let go of something is hardly doing nothing. Letting go can be hard work.

Children often struggle against their parents, thinking they know what’s best and wanting to do everything themselves. As a parent, I remember all the times I wanted to cry out, “Stop struggling! Let me help you!” Or when I explained, “I know you don’t agree or understand, but you just have to trust me on this.”

Don’t we do the same as adults? We want what we want, and we want it now! We want to understand. We ask When? Why? and How?

I imagine if we stopped struggling and trying to comprehend everything, we might hear Him say, Stop striving and worrying. Let Me be God. I know you don’t understand why or how…you just have to trust Me with this.

It’s not easy, but it is freeing. God is on His throne, no matter what happens, personally or nationally. And for that, I am forever thankful. (Tweet this)

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;
Come before His presence with joyful singing.
Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His].
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness [endures] to all generations.

Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for your everlasting love, truth, and mercy. Please help us to remember that no matter what happens, You are in control. You are on Your throne. May we learn to be still, let go of all we’re struggling to hold on to and worrying about, and let You be God. In Jesus’ sweet name we pray, Amen.

In Christ,
Laura

Friday, November 4, 2016

Life is a Journey


I’m joining the Five Minute Friday community with Kate Motaung…5 minutes, no rewriting, and a one-word prompt…

When my daughter was young, we debated when to start her in kindergarten. Because of her birthday, we had the option of starting when she was five years old, or waiting until she turned six. Although the kindergarten teachers did not know us or our daughter, I decided to ask for their opinions, and I’ve never forgotten what one teacher told me.

Life is a journey, not a race.

I don’t remember the rest of her email, but I still think about that one sentence. Do I see life as a journey or a race?

A journey takes time. A race needs speed.

A journey means there will be waiting, but it also gives time to breathe. It allows for time to enjoy the days we are given, the good ones and even the bad.

A race requires me to rush through life, always aiming for the next goal. It means I might neglect what’s around me now, only to look back at what I missed.

A journey means there will be seasons I would like to avoid, but there is purpose in every season, even when I can’t figure out what that purpose is. Those same seasons exist in a race—they are inevitable.

A journey gives time to feel…and time to rest. A race might help me ignore the emotions, but there is different pain to be felt and little time to relax.

A journey or a race?

I choose the journey.

How about you?

In Christ,
Laura

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Brave is Hoping Again


Lately, I’ve been thinking about bravery. What makes us brave? Do we do brave things every day, or is bravery reserved for the big, scary things?

Certainly, bravery and courage are needed for the step-out-in-faith, outcome-not-certain, actions. Perhaps that’s changing jobs, starting your own business, or deciding to leave your job to be a full-time homeschool parent.

Brave is even for the times of doing something outside of your comfort zone—leading a Bible study, speaking to your new neighbor, or volunteering in a place that’s uncomfortable.

But, then, brave took on a new look for me.

As I sat in another waiting room with my loved one, I stared out the window. I watched cars go by and people walking to where they needed to be. I felt numb and I thought again about what brave is.

I felt it in my soul before it became clear in my mind.


Sometimes brave isn’t a physical act, but rather an emotional and spiritual one.

Brave is allowing yourself to hope again. {Tweet this}

Honestly, I hadn’t fully recognized that I was losing hope. I think I sensed it, but didn’t want to admit it. Until that moment. And then, as I sat there blinking back tears, I knew.

To fully hope again would take bravery and courage.

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24 NKJV 

I know it—to hope and wait on God. But when my heart gets weary with disappointment and discouragement, waiting patiently is so much harder. And hope feels so out of reach.

I guess I didn’t realize just how tired and weary my heart had become, but God knew. He always looks at the heart. And I was losing heart.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14 NKJV

I can’t strengthen my own heart, but God can…and He will.

How can we keep disappointment and discouragement from draining our hope and our hearts?

Believe you will see God.

In the craziness of our days, sometimes all we can see is what is right in front of us—the to-do list and the problems we have to solve. We scroll through social media throughout the day, knowing we’ll see what everyone else is doing.

But, how often do we look around to see what God is doing?

That might mean walking away from media devices and giving our minds time to clear. Look for Him. God is at work and when we’re expecting Him, we will see Him. {Tweet this}

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

Wait on God.

We don’t like having to wait. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, waiting feels like an inconvenience and a hassle. We are an instant gratification society with the internet bringing everything to us with barely the lift of a finger.

But, God does not work on our time. Knowing that allows us to take a comforted breath. When something doesn’t happen right away, it doesn’t mean God has left us. When the waiting goes on for years and years, it does not mean God has walked away.

God waits patiently for us. Waiting on Him should not make us lose hope.

This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3 NLT

Be courageous.

Unlike courage that we draw from ourselves, God’s courage in never ending. He’s never drained at the end of the day. He doesn’t need to recharge His battery. Drawing from His courage strengthens us in ways we can’t explain, and often don’t even know about.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NLT

God promises to always be with us. We can be courageous, not because of ourselves, but through Him.

When the wait is long and weary, bravely allow God to strengthen your heart.

Bravely expect to see God at work.

Bravely wait patiently on Him.

And, bravely let yourself hope again.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]