Don’t Focus On It

Look around – there are so many things happening around us that can be very discouraging.

All around us families are crumbling – very discouraging.

Our politics – extremely discouraging.

An overall lack of respect  – very discouraging.

We can easily lose our motivation for being agents for God in this world.

Agents for good.

Agents who are pushing back the darkness so God’s light can shine through.

Yep – we will become very discouraged by all the craziness around us if we take our eyes off of God and focus on ‘what’s wrong with the world’.

This is not a new problem.

In the Bible, Ezra tells us about the joy of the Jews as they resettled in Jerusalem after returning from their exile in Babylonia.  They rebuilt the foundation of the temple and then held large celebrations.sept-24-2016-dont-look

These parties attracted the attention of their enemies who offered to ‘help’ them build the rest of the temple.  The Jews were smart enough not to accept their ‘kind’ offer so their enemies decided to find ways to discourage the Jews from finishing the temple.

They tried to scare the Jews so they would be afraid to continue their building.

They tried to make it very difficult for the Jews to continue to build.

They even got the officials on their side, trying to stop the Jews from finishing the temple.sept-23-2016-dont-look-b

But nothing stopped the Jews.

Because they kept their eyes on God.

He gave them courage to continue.

He gave them the strength they needed to continue.

And God even  worked it out so that the pagan Persian Officials paid for the rest of the temple’s construction as well as the first sacrifices that were made in it.

There was no need for the Jews to be discouraged.

God was in charge then –  just like he is in charge today.

He is working out his plan today…

and every day.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

 

Where Do I Find My Strength?

Our to-do lists are long.

And they keep growing.march 10 2015 where is my strength

There are so many challenges ahead.  It can be overwhelming.

Where do we find the strength?

Joshua must have felt completely overwhelmed when Moses turned over leadership of the Israelites to him.  He was going to have to lead them into battle – over and over – in order to claim the Promised Land.  They could see the Promised Land.  They could also see the fortified cities that were already there and the crowds of people who inhabited them.

The book of Joshua begins with God giving instructions to this new, young leader.  ‘Be strong and courageous’.  God repeats this phrase three times in his first set of instructions to Joshua.

3 times.

Why?  Because Joshua was going to have to remember that he needed God’s help to do this.  This was way too big of a mission to try to pull off on his own.  Joshua by himself is not strong enough for what he is going to have to do.  Joshua by himself is not brave enough to face the challenges that lie ahead for the Israelites. So God is telling Joshua what he will give Joshua strength and courage – as long as Joshua depends on God.

God is telling us the same thing today as we read his words.  He will give us strength and courage for the journey we are on – the purpose we are here to fulfill.

We can be strong –  it comes from God.

We can have courage – God has our back.  There is no reason to be afraid.

We find strength and courage when we’re living close to God.

Listening and obeying.

Thank you, Abba Father.