Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Courageous Faith

"I think I have a problem," Sarah confided this morning. "I was so sure God wanted me to teach this Sunday School class.  I was excited about doing it, but this week it seemed like too much. I don't like teaching children sometimes. Maybe I'm just tired, but maybe I should quit."

It's okay if you struggle with your calling sometimes. The task may be the most wonderful opportunity you imagined.  It may be perfectly suited to your delightfully quirky differences and talents. It may have started out with a hopeful vision, but the labor of seeing it through is more than you expected.

Sometimes, even though we enjoy our ministry, we don't feel like going to the prison, visiting the sick, counseling the exhausted, encouraging the weak or teaching young children.  By being faithful regardless of human emotion and struggles, courage grows.  Faithfulness stirs hope and increases joy.

Probably at age 70 when God called Abraham to leave his country, there were some self-doubts and disappointments. Paul and Silas sang in the prison in spite of the severity of their suffering, but this doesn't mean they didn't struggle. Jesus wrestled with His calling in Gethsemane enough to sweat blood.

Learn with Peter as he walked on water. Courage is staying out of the boat even when you are confused and sinking.  Courage is kicking fear and disappointment in the teeth even when you are risking everything you hold dear.  Don't grow weary and don't be sidetracked from your calling.  Stay out of the boat.  Just stay out of the boat and be faithful. Like the great crowd of witnesses who have gone before you, do not quit.

When you are sinking into the raging waters, keep trusting the God who is walking alongside you in the dark, raging storm. He didn't quit in Gethsemane.  He says, "Peace. Be still." And even the winds and the waves obey Him.

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