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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 03/27/19

Courage Shows up When God Shows up

afraid of the big bad wolf? cozy up to the shepherd. - kathy carlton willis

STORY: Very Afraid

What are you afraid of? I’m not afraid of spiders and snakes but give me an opportunity to win the approval of someone I respect, and I fear messing it up! I’ll never forget the time I went for advanced speaker training. The uneasiness started when I found out I was rooming with the leader of the organization. Next, the screw came out of my glasses and the lens fell on the floor. I managed to repair my glasses without making a spectacle. (I love a good pun.) But then the worst thing happened. I developed hives from head to toe. And I do mean full body rash. Red. Burning. Itching.

But the show must go on. I did everything I could think of to diminish the symptoms before my big presentation. Make-up covered the blotches. I gave my speech and received high marks. One thing’s for certain, God got the credit for that win!

(And as I write this, I’m itching just thinking about it.)

This devo-study shows us that God will not fail us or abandon us. We can hold on to that when fear threatens to get the best of us.

STUDY: Fear Not!

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT)

  • When God tells you to be strong, how do you respond? Where do you get your strength?
  • When God tells you to be courageous, how do you respond? Where do you get courage?
  • What happens when you panic? How can you overcome it?
  • How does it help, to know the Lord is taking a personal interest in your situation and will go ahead of you?


Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. (1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT)

  • It’s great when we are strong and courageous to do the work God has given us. But sometimes we have to step out in obedience despite our fear and while we’re doing the work he has given us to do, strength and courage shows up.
  • This verse tells us how we can battle fear and discouragement—what is it? How does that help you?
  • God not only starts us on our projects—he stays with us all the way to completion. What project have you left undone or unfinished? Ask God if he is in it or not. If he is, you can move forward in the confidence that he will see you through.


Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” (Isaiah 35:4 NLT)

  • While this verse was meant for a specific battle, we can extrapolate some truths relevant in our own lives. How does it help you when you have a fearful heart, to hear, “Be strong and do not fear”? It’s hard to act courageous until we read the rest of the verse.
  • Do you believe God is your rescuer not only from Hell and Satan, but from your everyday battles? Can you think of a time he rescued you out of your dilemma? Does that help you have strength and fearlessness for the next battle?


Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

  • This study shows many verses that tell us we don’t have to be afraid because God is with us. His presence is a powerful force against fear—providing peace and strength for the battle.
  • Are you discouraged? What truth is the remedy?
  • God’s right hand (dominant hand) is victorious. Can he lose his grip on you?


But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3a NLT)

  • How has God ransomed you?
  • Process the thought that God calls you by name. Why is that so special?
  • You are God’s. Unpack the meaning of that. How does that impact you today?
  • God is with you through tough times and will make sure the trials don’t get the best of you. Can you think of a time God rescued you or protected you during a difficult situation? How is he with you through your current unpleasant circumstance?

 

STEPS: Trade Fear for Courage

  1. Sense God’s presence in your life. “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)
  2. Seek God’s peace. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)
  3. Be confident that truth wins out. “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.” (Matthew 10:26 NLT)
  4. Seize the courage of God’s presence. “But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’” (Matthew 14:27 NLT)
  5. Cozy up to the Shepherd. “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” (Luke 12:32 NLT)

Copyright © 2019 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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