Waiting to “Be Courageous”

Sometimes it takes more courage
to stand your ground and wait
than to jump in and save the day!
It takes trust to be truly courageous.
—ag, 2016-0305

“Not yet.… not yet.… not yet.… not yet.… PULL THAT PEACH!”

Those words are from a recent (2015) funny Yoplait commercial which demonstrates the message that waiting for precise moment is essential to obtaining the best results.

 

lion-scarface
“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God…” ~Ps.31:24, MSG

Be strong and courageous in TheLORD. True courage has an attitude; it is called patience. Patience reigns our faith, holds us back from acting too soon. Whereas faith gives us a zealous expectancy of “things hoped for” and our trust in God gives us the courage to carry out His plans with expected zeal, patience controls our zeal. It keeps us from “leaning towards our own understanding”and allows us to “wait upon The LORD” so that we do not get ahead of God’s timing.  In this context, the Biblical definition of ‘strong’ means to persevere or remain consistent by waiting patiently, to stand still. The wait is not a permanent stance; it is staying in a watchful position, to “catch”the right moment, like a lion waiting for the exact moment  to pounce, in order to assure his victory in the end.

 

A perfect example of my point is found in the story of Peter when he so courageously cut off that soldier’s ear. Jesus had a better plan, but Peter just jumped in to save the day before considering a “better and more excellent way”. Then, as you may remember, Jesus had to correct Peter’s act of haste before continuing to handle the situation. Now, I don’t think anyone would call Peter a fearful man, but in that instant, Peter’s haste was based on a fearful instinct of defending Jesus and his friends. He wanted to change the circumstance in which they found themselves. Fearful situations seem to have a way of compelling us into feats of haste instead of faith.

To further emphasize this thought here is an excerpt from “COURAGE” by Frances J. Roberts.

   There are many places, My child, where only sheer courage will see you through. Prayer is the breath of the soul. Faith is paramount. Love is the essence of pure being. But none of these will suffice in the hour of stress if you have not courage.
…Courage makes perseverance attainable when encouragement is nowhere to be found… when love is gone, faith is wavering, and prayer is difficult.
Courage rises like the delivering angel out of the deep unshaken assurance of the immutability of the character and faithfulness of God… Courage keeps the destination in view and heeds not the intervening obstacles….
…Courage is the simplicity of knowing: God is working out His purposes through every circumstance of my life. His plan is GOOD, and how He chooses to act is none of my business, and whom He uses to bring it about is not my concern.

~~*~~

Joshua 1:9
“Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”

 Psalm 27:14
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous…”
NLT

“Wait {and} hope for {and} expect the Lord;
be brave {and} of good courage
and let your heart be stout {and} enduring…”
AMP

“Rely on the Lord! Be strong and confident! …”
NetBible

Psalm 31:24
“Put away fear
and let your heart be strong,
all you whose hope is in the Lord.”
BBE

“Be strong and let your heart take courage,…”
NASB

“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect GOD…”
MSG

~~*~~

SOURCES

You Tube— Yoplait Funny Commercial 2015– (link inserted above)

Hebrews 11:1— “things hoped for”

Proverb 3:5 “…leaning not unto our own understanding…”

Hebrews 8:6– “…better and more excellent way…”

“COURAGE”–Roberts, Frances J. Make Haste My Beloved,p. 86-87. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Ed.

Bible Versions: MSG~ The Message Bible; NLT~ New Living Translation; AMP~ The Amplified Bible; BBE~Better English Bible; NASB~ New American Standard; NetBible~ Net.Bible.org .

 

The Perfect Work of Patience

LET PATIENCE HAVE ITS PERFECT WORK IN YOU
“But let endurance {and} steadfastness {and} patience
have full play {and} do a thorough work,
so that you may be perfectly and fully developed [with no defects]…”
Jms.1:4, AMP

The other day, Honey told me, “You would be much happier (less frustrated) if you were more patient with me.” How wise he is… However, developing patience should not be a goal with such a selfish motive attached, right?! Hahaha…. Impatience with others can cause unkind words to fall from our mouths, in reaction to the feelings of frustration in us. This can, in turn, can cause feelings of inadequacy in our loved ones and discourage them from trying.  I am an encourager; it is my gifting. Therefore, ‘impatience’ should have no place in me. I am child of God; therefore, ‘impatience’ should have no place in me.  Let’s declare it, “Impatience has no place in me!”

“Only love has the power to silence the ego and temper the will. In so doing, it is working patience in the soul. Patience knows no demand. Patience does not relate to and is not impulsed by self-will. Patience is content to be ignored and unrecognized, because it knows the purposes of God are majestic and unfathomable and move in a sphere untouched by petulance…”
[Roberts, Frances J. Make Haste My Beloved, p. 88. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.]

These words propel me into singing, ♫The Power Of Your Love Is Changing Me1 Changing Me♪♪♪ My Heart Is Open Wide♪♪♪ I’ll Never Be The Same♪♪♪ I’m Calling Out For More♪♪♪ I’m Singing Out My Praise♪♪♪ I’m Pouring Out My Thanks♪♪♪ Lifting Up My Voice♪♪♪ Dancing In Your Joy♪♪♪ The Power Of Your Love Is Changing Me, Changing Me♪♪ ”.  Singing those words is a great meditation tool! By the way, if you have not yet heard the entire song I was singing, I encourage you to find it online–after you finish reading this, of course. But let’s continue our quest towards love’s perfect work.

Many times people have frustrated me and I have not always responded in “lovely” ways. I regret to admit it, but I have lashed out with impatient and sometimes unkind words. However, the love God “has poured into our hearts 2” enables us to change so that we are able to love as He loves.  Even though I have failed many times, God keeps working in me and gives me the grace to get back up and try again.

“Even though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again” Pro.24:16.

That verse in Proverb 24 is encouraging in that “seven” refers to a completeness and perfection. No matter how many times Satan attempts to make us fall or how thorough his efforts seem to be, they are null and void because the work of righteousness IN US is complete and perfected. In other words, the ‘falls’ have no ill effect on the work we have accomplished for God’s Kingdom thus far, and we have His grace to continue our journeys. Each fall we may experience can only affect us and our purposes, dreams, and missions to the extent we allow.

Pro24-v16-CharlieBrownLucy-football

Therefore, do not allow past failures to haunt you! Say, “NO MORE!” to the taunting voice of your mind. Let the righteous say: “I’ll get up and I will not quit. My steps are ordered of TheLORD. I rejoice in Truth and Righteousness. The just live by faith; therefore I exercise my faith in all situations. The power of His love is changing me. I call out for more of Him, and He answers my cries. Impatience has no place in me. I wait upon TheLORD, and He renews my strength as the eagles’. I lift my voice in singing His praises and I dance in His joy. I will trust Him because His love endures forever and never fails me. He is always gracious and merciful to me. My hope is in Him alone. It is by His wisdom my house is built and by understanding it is established.”

~ ♥ ~
When we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives,
He will produce in us:
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self–control.
Gal.5 (LB)

… God keeps at bringing the work of faith in us to a flourishing finish…
Phil.1:6; Ro.1:17; 1Peter 1; 2Peter 1

Ro.5:52
NASB~ “…the love of God has been poured out within our hearts…”
NLT~ “…we know how dearly God loves us, because
he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

~ ♥ ~

SOURCES
Roberts, Frances J. Make Haste My Beloved, p. 88. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

1 “The Power of Your Love (Is Changing Me)”, Travis Cottrell, Unashamed Love (album), Released 2003.  http://traviscottrell.com/music/

Media Picture~ I believe the media picture to be public domain; any infringement on ownership is unintentional. The characters in the picture are Charlie Brown and Lucy from the Peanuts Comic, originally drawn by Charles Schultz.

Bible Versions: AMP- Amplified Bible; LB- Living Bible; NASB- New American Standard Bible; NLT-New Living Testament.

 

Shortcomings and Recovery

“To be aware of one shortcoming* in oneself
is better than to be aware of one thousand in someone else.”
~ANONYMOUS

Recently, a Facebook friend whom I have known since high school posted the above quote*. She copied it from an AA recovery website of which she is a member. Keep in mind that ‘shortcoming‘ simply means “an imperfection or lack that detracts from the whole”. My friend and countless others have recovered from their their common ‘shortcoming’ to regain the essence of their lives.

The quote reminds me of  Matthew’s (7:1-5) and Luke’s (6:27-49) summaries of Jesus’ teachings about dealing with people mercifully, about not judging our neighbors when ‘we’ have not yet taken care of our own flaws.  Flaws such as addictions, bitterness, and other sins stemming from selfishness are the very imperfections we usually see in others, but somehow the same seem less obvious when looking in the mirror.  However, The Bible encourages us to examine ourselves and to seek God’s instruction in order to overcome the areas we “come short”. The Good Book calls this process ‘sanctification’.

Sanctification is gradual; it comes from faith-to-faith and glory-to-glory. It is a process which begins in each of us at our rebirths (new birth)  and continues until we reach our total glorifications when we meet Jesus face-to-face. However, we don’t all grow at the same pace. Therefore when dealing with others’ shortcomings and they with us, we find ourselves in need of a little love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. As well and more often than not, this life requires a whole lot of long-suffering before the growing process is finished. These essential attributes are referred to as “Fruit of The Spirit”. The are developed in us as we allow Holy Spirit to lead us through this life, teaching us God’s ways of dealing with each other and as we worship God in “spirit and truth”, getting to know Him better.  The “fruit” simply describe God’s character, His nature, His essence of life. In other words, we become more like Him, more like Jesus!

GRAPE CLUSTERS-Carmenere_grapes_close
“What happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–” GAL.5:22
Jesus tells us that as long as we stay connected to Him (The Vine), we (the branches) will grow this fruit, abundant crops of it, enough to share with our neighbors. It is beneficial that we all grow in sanctification; it brings peace into the world in which we live and glory to The Kingdom of which we belong!

~ ♥ ~

“What happens when we live God’s way?
He brings gifts into our lives,
much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.
We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.
We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments,
…able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Gal.5:22,23, MSG

~ ♥ ~

Ro.1:17
NKJV

…the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;
…”The just shall live by faith.”

NLT
This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight.
This is accomplished from start to finish by faith…

MSG
God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith,
confirming what Scripture has said all along:
“The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.

AMP
For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith…

 ~ ♥ ~

SOURCES
*DISCLAIMER– The quote at the top of this post was originally quoted using the word ‘shortfall’ instead of ‘shortcoming’. Perhaps the person used “shortfall” on purpose in reference to occurrences of “falling off the wagon” so-to-speak, but I changed it to make it grammatically correct for this blog posting. I have no way of verifying my thoughts on the original intent of the wording. I quoted it “anonymous” due to AA policy, and my source is not named in order to protect her privacy.

“Shortcoming.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shortcoming&gt;.

PHOTO— By Agne27 at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

BIBLE VERSIONS– MSG– The Message Bible; NKJV– New King James Version;  NLT– New Living Translation; AMP– The Amplified Bible;