Posts Tagged ‘courageous’

Disappointments and Doorways

June 23rd, 2016

Disappointment can be a doorway to your greatest opportunity.

 “Moses my servant is dead. Now arise and go over this Jordan.” Joshua 1:1 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about disappointments and doorways.”

Difficulties and disappointments will come. When they do it is difficult to stop staring at the past, to resist the present reality, and not to feel stuck where you are. It is difficult but it is not impossible. Optimism is the best cure. There really is no other good option to moving past the past. In the purposes of God, your focus is forward and optimism is your attitude.

Moses died, 120 years old and, “his eye was not dim nor his natural force abated.” Note Deuteronomy 34. The page of history is turned and a new and grander chapter begun. In God, every ending births a new and greater beginning. Moses is dead; promises remain and victories await. Joshua 1:1-11 NKJV.

You have to deal with present reality to embrace future possibilities. Moses’ death must have been Joshua’s biggest disappointment. He personally and Israel nationally lost a bold and brilliant leader; the only leader they had known. “Moses my servant is dead; now arise.” Moses is dead. Joshua must carry on. Israel stands at a pivotal national moment – on the brink of its destiny and the fullness of God’s promises.

Your biggest disappointment can be a doorway to your greatest opportunity. It was for Joshua and Israel. “Moses my servant is dead; now arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them.” Joshua 1:2 NIV. Several million people were waiting to know from Joshua what was next. They couldn’t go back where they were; they couldn’t stay where they are; they had to press onward. The realities were these. Before them was an uncrossable Jordan at flood tide. Across Jordan was Jericho, the most fortified city guarding the entry to Canaan. Beyond Jericho were scores of other fortified cities, war-hardened armies, and men of such stature as to be seen as giants. They had been here before and a generation died because of their unbelief. Numbers 13:31-33 and 32:9-12 NKJV.

We know the story and the dangers faced and victories achieved. Let’s consider the process and apply it to your situation. God always rests the future on His promises in the past. God reminds Joshua of the renewed promises. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” Joshua 1:3-4 NKJV. God assures Joshua of His continuing presence. “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you. I will never fail you nor forsake you. Be strong and of a good courage.” Joshua 1:5-7 NKJV. Three times God called Joshua to strength and courage. The issue is settled. “If God is for us, who can be against us?“ Romans 8:31 NIV.

God prepared Joshua to lead Israel with confidence; He will do the same for you in your difficult and uncertain moments. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV. The best is yet to come. This passage provides three things that are essential, not optional. (1) Speak the Word of God faithfully. (2) Dwell on God’s Word continually. (3) Live according to God’s Word consistently. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 NKJV. Jesus promised, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew28:20 NIV.

Today, I pray for you that you refuse to settle for anything less than God’s highest and best.

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May 15th, 2015

“Who is this Man that even the winds and waves obey Him?” Mark 4:41 NLT.

Life requires that you learn to safely navigate any storms.

My thoughts and comments today are about “storms.”

Life requires that you learn to safely navigate the storms you cannot avoid. On a vacation cruise with friends, Gayle and I experienced a violent storm at sea, a major hurricane off the Pacific coast of Mexico. To avoid the storm, the Captain turned from the coastline out to sea, intending to sail safely to our next port in calmer waters.

Then it happened. The hurricane had bounced off shore right into the path of our ship. There were high winds, extremely rough seas, and frightened passengers, even a few wearing their orange life vests, just in case. For a prolonged 36 hours, what the Captain had attempted to avoid, he now had to confront. Life happens like that sometimes. Some unwanted circumstances have to be confronted.

For practical reasons, I was cautiously optimistic. I believed the Captain and crew were experienced and prepared to navigate the storm. Also, I reasoned that a ship is built for success in its element, to sail safely in good and bad weather equally. Its element was the sea, not designed to be moored safely in port. And, I knew this storm was a temporary aberration of weather not a permanent condition. Convictions of truth will comfort and encourage you.

Life can be turbulent, personally and professionally. In such times, assumptions are shaken and uncertainty abounds. Days grow uncomfortable and tomorrows feel tentative. Those proclaiming “doom and gloom,” as well as those with wishful, but empty reassurances seem to drown any voice of reason and balance. Life is a storm through which you must navigate, neither a brief inconvenience nor the end of the world.

As a ship is designed and constructed to withstand stormy weather as well as gentle winds and calm seas, your faith is made for stormy weather. The disciples found themselves in a raging storm that left them fearing for their safety. “Jesus rebuked the wind and the water. Suddenly the wind stopped and there was a great calm. Filled with awe, they said, ‘Who is this man that even the wind and waves obey Him?’” Read Mark 4:35-41 NLT. Real faith is made for times when sickness intrudes, when resources are scarce, when relationships are strained, when questions exceed answers, or when others despair. In every storm, Jesus is with you.

Similarly, Jesus warned Simon Peter of personal storms ahead, but also assured him, “I have prayed for you that your faith fail not.” Luke 22:31-32 NIV. Jesus is praying for you; you should be praying too. Prayer makes a difference in your faith, “an anchor for the soul.” Hebrews 6:17-20. It’s always time to seek God; it’s time to have faith; it’s time to trust and believe. Your faith will “weather every storm” when you pray, know and trust God’s Word, and listen for God in your heart.

Today, I pray for you to live courageously and confidently through any storm.






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Caution and Courage

January 5th, 2012

“Be strong and courageous . . the Lord will go ahead of you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

“A life without courage is a life lived too small, without hope of success or reward.”

My thoughts today are about “caution and courage.”

There are many excuses for lacking courage. If there were no risk or cost, courage would not be required. It is important every day life to find reason for courage. People demonstrate courage when they believe that doing so can make a difference. Courage requires being unafraid to fail, and certainly unwilling to fail by not trying.

Courage is pushed aside by foolish caution. Caution neutralizes courage. Jesus told a parable about three trusted servants given differing measures of their master’s wealth, and the responsibility to invest their master’s goods and account for their profitable industry upon his return. Read Matthew 25:14-30. Two of the servants were diligent, demonstrating courage in their business dealings for the master, and were rewarded accordingly with greater privilege and responsibility.

One servant who had received the least, allowed his caution to paralyze him. He merely hid what was given him to be safely returned to his master, but without increase. Why? He was afraid to fail so he didn’t even try, which guarantees failure. He lacked courage and his failure brought his master’s displeasure and his own loss.

Living life fully demands courage. A life without courage is a life lived too small, without hope of success or reward. Obedience to do what God asks requires courage. Believing in yourself and God calls for courage. Noah had courage when he built an ark because God told him to do so, even though he had never seen rain before. Hebrews 11:7. Abraham was courageous when he “went out, not knowing where he went.” Hebrews 11:8. Moses gathered his courage when he went before Pharaoh at God’s command. Hebrews 11:24-28. David was courageous when he faced a towering giant with a shepherd’s sling and stones, even “running to meet him.” 1 Samuel 17:48. Nathan possessed courage when he corrected a king for his adultery. 2 Samuel 12:1-9.

What did they and others have in common that strengthened their courage? They believed this promise, “Be strong and courageous . . the Lord will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT. If you knew that God was with you and would neither fail you nor forsake you, would you live differently in your everyday life, in the decisions you make and the actions you take? I think you would!

Lose that confidence and life unravels around you. Courage flees. Israel lost courage, not entering the land promised by God. They feared they would fail; they felt God would fail them. This was their reasoning, “We saw the giants and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so were we in their eyes.” Numbers 13:33.  Caution overwhelms when adversity minimizes opportunity. Courage is born when opportunity looms larger than any adversity around you. The problem you face may seem larger than God who is with and within you – but it never is, nor can it be. Be done with foolish caution. God is always your best reason for courage.

My prayer for you today is that the Almighty God remains all mighty in your eyes.

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