Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Be Strong and Courageous

I have been fighting fear lately...  I guess that's what happens as you make active steps towards leaving your comfort zone. 

I am currently packing up all of my family's earthly treasures to leave my now comfy and safe missionary life in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  Soon my family of four will embark upon an extended visit to the USA, and then afterwards brave our big move to Sao Paulo, Brazil to establish a YWAM ministry to children living at-risk situations



There are many uncertainties before us, many questions, many expectations, many financial needs, and many things that must happen to help make our dream for the future possible.  

Along with the seemingly endless questions and uncertainties, comes MUCH fear...

FEAR... It is one of my weak spots. 
It is an area in my life, specifically in my thoughts, where I MUST, I repeat MUST, stand on the Word of God and declare who God is and His faithfulness.  Otherwise I become a total mess and can completely drown in my fears...

I wish I could be like a super hero - confident, bold, courageous, and running forward with purpose and complete trust in God, but fear often gets the best of me...




The funny thing about fear is that when I am experiencing it, I know God is also calling me to face it. To look fear square in the eyes, acknowledge it's there, and then in spite of my feelings, proclaim the truth and move forward in faith.  

Through facing my fears, God is calling me to a greater dependence and trust in Him. To step out in faith, like Peter, to walk upon the water.
It's super scary, uncomfortable and not always safe, but it's good and ultimately brings me closer to my loving Lord.

So yes, I confess, fear has been chasing me down lately, yet God is speaking strong,
"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Thousands of years ago, God spoke this to Joshua as he faced a new season, a road with great challenges, and today God is speaking this same word to us as we walk towards our future.

Joshua chapter 1 is significant for both Felipe and I.
It is a passage of scripture God has personally given to Felipe at special times in his life.  When Felipe began to lead the Lighthouse Community Center in 2007, God boldly spoke this word to him.  When Felipe was praying about starting a relationship with me, God again gave him this scripture.  And now, as we are embarking on a new season to establish a ministry to children at risk in Sao Paulo, God is speaking once more,
"Be strong and courageous."

There are challenges ahead...  "Be strong and courageous."
It is not an easy path or an easy life that we are choosing... "Be strong and courageous."
We don't know what the future holds exactly...  "Be strong and courageous."
 We are lacking finances... "Be strong and courageous."
What about this God? What about that...? "Be strong and courageous."

To every question, doubt or fear, God is increasingly encouraging, "Be strong and courageous."
And then He doesn't just stop there. He beautifully promises to be with us wherever we go.

What good news!  We have prayed repeatedly as Moses prayed, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here," (Ex. 33:15). Yet, God continues to confirm - He is sending us, He will be with us, and we will lead the people to inherit the land (Joshua 1:6). 

How we need Him every step of the way! 



So, I want to end this post with some encouragement for you today.
If you are facing fear, uncertainty, a new season, or a huge challenge - seek the Lord.
What does HE desire to speak to you about your situation?
What Word does He want to give you today?
Seek His heart. Quiet yourself to listen to His still small voice. Meditate on the Word of God - His love letter to you. As you do this, God will speak. I guarantee you.

Maybe He will say,"Be strong and courageous,"  as He is speaking to us.
Or maybe He will simply say, "Rest in Me my child. I love you with an everlasting love..."

Photo by; Kelly van den Brink

I don't know what He will say exactly, but I do know, He will speak.
He is an alive and personal God who desires to reveal His heart, His character and His love to you as you take time to "be still and know that He is God" Psalm 46:10.

This is my prayer for all in need of encouragement today.  May God strengthen and encourage your heart! May He speak to you in a way that only He can, and may He alone satisfy the hunger and need in your soul with His presence and Words of life.

Blessings from Brazil,
Laura

1 comment:

  1. SOmetimes, looking back is good... God lead you guys until here... so... he will keep doing the same!
    Love you guys and my prayers are with you! (and a lot of people are doing the same)...

    Remember the passed days and His faithfullness... He had been lighting your path...

    Be strong, and lay everyday on our heavenly and beloved father´s showlder!

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