We don’t get stronger in faith by avoiding our fears. What’s true about our physical bodies is also true about our spirits: the only way to get stronger is to work out. And we only overcome the paralysis of fear as we take our next step in faith. We initiate the conversation; we make the contribution; we show up for the meeting; we obey God in the small thing. And the momentum of each step pushes against the force field of fear, weakening its power to control us.
The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather, he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion, and as strong as Samson. But he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be. But paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels in himself, nothing but in God, everything. That is his motto.
It is in the deepest darkness of the starless midnight that men learn how to hold on to the hidden Hand most tightly and how that Hand holds them; that He sees where we do not, and knows the way He takes; and though the way be to us a roundabout way, it is the right way.
Many Christians thinks it’s all right if they pattern after Jesus in a sort of way. They imitate Him, and they do the things which He did; that is, they outwardly do them. They perform kind acts, and they do other things which Jesus did. But the secret of Christianity is not in doing, the secret is in being. Real Christianity is in being a possessor of the nature of Jesus Christ. In other words, it is being Christ in character. Christ in demonstration. Christ in agency of transmission. When one gives himself to the Lord and becomes a child of God, a Christian, he is a Christ man. All that he does, and all that he says from that time on, should be the will and the words and the doings of Jesus just as absolutely. just as entirely, as he spoke, and did the will of the Father.
God’s winds do effectual work. They shake loose from us the things that can be shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain, those eternal things which belong to the Kingdom which cannot be moved. They have their part to play in stripping us and strengthening us so that we may be the more ready for the uses of Eternal Love. Then can we refuse to welcome them?
Every Christian sees around him sorrow and suffering which he cannot help, and his perplexity at the sight is the Lord’s prompting for him to take the very uttermost care of his own soul, lest he stumble and fall through doubt and discouragement. By the care of his soul I do not mean that he shall coddle and pet and pity himself, nor work himself up into some pleasant feeling. But I mean that he should pray and pray and pray, and seek the presence and teaching of the Holy Spirit, until his soul is filled with light and strength, that he may have unquestioning faith in the wisdom and love of God, that he may have unwearied patience in learning His will (Heb 6:12), and that his love may be equal to the great need he sees all about him.
Like a young eaglet that gets pushed out of the nest at the appropriate time, a young man must learn to fly on his own. If the nest is too cushy, if all of his creature comforts are there for his enjoyment, then he may set up his high-definition television and perch for a while.
The church of our Lord began with a group of frightened men in an upper room. Allow Jesus to come into your upper room and stand before you. Run your fingers over his feet. Place your hand in the pierced side. And look into those eyes. Those same eyes that melted the gates of hell and sent Satan running. Look at them as they look at you. You’ll never be the same.
Grace is the divine enablement of God upon your life that can show you what Jesus would do in your situation. Sometimes people teach a lazy grace, like: “It’s all been done for us, so we don’t have to do anything!” Does that sound boring to anyone else?! Grace is the very energy and fire of God that enables you. Grace gives you the power to work harder than anyone else, and not fry out!
We cannot let our past circumstances redefine our present reality and reduce our God-given destiny to what we feel we can handle.