A government shut-down.
A family killed in a rock-slide.
Children addicted to porn.
Christians and churches being attacked.
Teen pleads guilty to murdering a 10 year old girl.
These are just a handful of the articles that flash across my screen this morning. Some I read. Some I can’t.
And the scary world isn’t just “out THERE”. It’s right here. I see the scary sin or dangers right here. In my town. In my church. In my home. In my own heart. Because Satan attacks where we attempt to move toward Christ.
Some days I need to take courage. I want to feel brave….not so…vulnerable. I want to see the Lord transform my thinking from a wasteland to a graceland.
I want to truly trust that my life isn’t ultimately in the hands of sinners or chance but in the hands of a loving God.
Today I landed on Psalm 121.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
This Psalm encouraged me today.
This very One who helps me…who doesn’t sleep…who keeps me…is the same one I’ve been studying in the book of John.
Now HE is brave.
And like my husband always tells my boy, “Being brave isn’t about not being scared. It’s about being scared but going forward anyway.”
So Jesus knew the realities ahead the night he sweat drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane. He was in agony about the future evil He would endure.
But He did it anyway.
He didn’t want to experience torture and the bearing of the world’s sins and a torturous death. In fact…He asked for the cup to be taken from Him. But for the joy set before Him…He did it anyway.
He allowed Himself to be taken away. “Put your Sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
After being struck in the face, “If I said something wrong, testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”
He was bold. He was brave. He spoke the truth when it was dangerous.
And this is the Lord who keeps us.
When we feel scared in this world, we can be encouraged that this is who lives in us. When we feel depleted of courage, we truly have all that we need. The One who goes forward in the face of evil and danger.
Take courage today, friends. Not in your own level of bravery, but in His. Take it from Him. All that you need is right there living in you. Who else and what else can we possibly run to in the face of the evil, sadness or dangers we may encounter in this world?
Image: The Taking of Christ, Caravaggio
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