one word: courage
Recently a friend said to me: I admire your courage in these times of uncertainty, not being worried that you won’t have enough money to pay next month’s bills. I immediately dismissed the word “courage”, of course. I feel completely terrified, so how could I possibly be courageous? But what I did say, and what I do feel, is that I cannot worry over what I can’t control. The reality is that I don’t have assurance of money, no idea how to pay my car insurance at the end of this month or my rent on the 1st. All of that is unclear. But how do I change any of it by worrying? What I said to my friend, and I continue to say to myself, is that I have no control and shouldn’t expend energy over these kinds of thoughts. That energy should go into what I do know and what I can control — continuing the job search, refraining from unnecessary purchases on credit, settling into faith that God will provide all of my needs just as He promised.
Perhaps that is courage, after all. Being certain of what I cannot see, confident of what I do not know. Trusting a God who has always proven Himself faithful to me, Who has always provided just what I need and exactly when I need it. I suppose there’s a boldness in that kind of faith. It seems the opposite of courage to wait and be still, and yet I recall so many times when God instructed His people to do just that. The courage comes in believing what God says when everything and everyone around us encourages self-reliance. I know I cannot rely on myself; I fail miserably again and again, and I disappoint everyone, all the time. So my only choice is God. And if it’s bold to depend on Him, then I want to have the courage of Joshua and Caleb, seeing the milk and honey in a land of giants. The alternative is just too scary.
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Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you not to worry about your life! Don’t worry about having something to eat or wear. Life is more than food or clothing. Look at the crows! They don’t plant or harvest, and they don’t have storehouses or barns. But God takes care of them. You are much more important than any birds. Can worry make you live longer? If you don’t have power over small things, why worry about everything else? Look how the wild flowers grow! They don’t work hard to make their clothes. But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn’t as well clothed as one of these flowers. God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. Won’t he do even more for you? You have such little faith! Don’t keep worrying about having something to eat or drink. Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father knows what you need. But put God’s work first, and these things will be yours as well.” — Luke 12:22-31 (CEV) return to paragraph
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. — Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) return to paragraph
Joshua and Caleb, who were among those who had explored the land, said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.” — Numbers 14:6-8 (NIV) return to paragraph