“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV
Has God ever called you into a new ministry that was out of your comfort zone? Did you feel fearful about taking that first step? This happened to me when we were called to become foster parents. This was not something that my husband and I had ever considered, but it became clear that this was a path set by God. After months of paperwork, background checks, interviews, home visits, and training, our house was about to open to foster children. While waiting for the phone call (which was a lot harder than I thought it would be), I began to ponder the “what ifs.” What if there’s a behavior that I won’t know how to handle? What if there is a medical issue that I don’t know how to deal with? What if there is no longer peace in my home?
But I had nothing to fear. God revealed a message of truth to me about walking in faith. Like the children in the picture, it may be scary to cross the slippery log over the creek, but I can stand firm with God and know that He will finish what He has started. I realized that I am not capable of carrying out this ministry by myself, and that is actually a blessing. All I have to do is begin walking and when I can’t go any further, then God will equip me. I don’t have to have all of the answers before I begin. I only need to trust Him.
Since then we have had three foster children and there have been many difficult times (some of the most challenging of my life). These times require me to surrender to God, and he has never let me down. The beautiful moments in which I have seen the foster children seek God have been more rewarding than if I had never taken those scary steps to get to that point.1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV says “stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Stand firm. Don’t let the chaos cause you to lose balance. The Lord is working in their lives.
I can tell you from this experience that if God called you into a new ministry, He will be faithful to carry out his work through you. You do not need to be fearful, but only to surrender in faith and take the first step. You will see that He will be there equipping you the whole way.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Romans 8:18 NIV
Getting from Point A to Point B is seldom by way of a straight path. Life throws in a few curves to keep things interesting, then the unexpected happens. Our choices of whether to respond or react are where the rubber meets the road. We can choose to lean in or freak out. Skirt by or sideswipe. Hold it in the road or hit the wall. Our attitudes will make or break us. Check your Tude-o-Meter by considering the following list. Will the gage read half-full or half-empty?
problem or opportunity
necessary or unnecessary
limited or unlimited
qualified or unqualified
sense or nonsense
valuable or worthless
secure or insecure
obstacle or challenge
possible or impossible
satisfactory or unsatisfactory
bitter or better
freedom or captivity
privilege or entitlement
serious or trivial
simple or complicated
rich or poor
capable or incapable
competition or personal best
As you walk through your day, view potential stumbling blocks as stepping stones to elevate your thinking.
Go ahead. Step up. Take your time. I’ll wait…
There now. Better?
Look around you. How’s the view? Do you see a hopeless end or an endless hope?
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners… . “ (Isaiah 61:1 NIV)
In part 1 of this dose we looked at the importance of proclaiming the good news. Today I’d like to look at the other essential component within this verse. The verse states that the Lord had anointed Isaiah to preach, to go, to proclaim and to release. But what was the driving force behind carrying out those actions? The Spirit of the Lord! If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and have Him living in you to carry out the commission of the Lord upon your life (Eph 1:13; 2 Cor 1:22). All of us have unique callings upon our lives, but we all have the same commission to proclaim the good news. In Matthew 28, Jesus commands His disciples to go and make disciples, promising to be with them always. Too many Christians believe this to be a great suggestion and not a great command (don’t worry, if you are sitting in the seat of conviction right now I am there beside you!). So I would encourage you today to take a few moments to take stock of your relationships. Do you have any unbelieving friends that you are sharing Christ with? If not, do you need to be intentional about seeking some out? Broken hearts will not be bound up and captives will not experience freedom until they experience Jesus. And through the power of the Holy Spirit in you, you have the boldness to preach that good news. So go preach it, friend! And the Lord is with you as you do.