For Yvonne Chesson Simpson
Acts 27:25, 27 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. (New International Version)
I was watching James Robison’s Life Today program this morning and they had a guest speaker talking to a live audience. I did not catch her name but the message was loud and clear. She was talking about the story of Paul in Acts 27 and his journey to Italy. They were caught in the storm and the passengers feared for their lives. In verses above, Paul told them to “keep up your courage”. That line resonated in my head and I had to stop and get myself together. I kept saying it over and over – KEEP UP YOUR COURAGE, KEEP UP YOUR COURAGE!
Faced with the trials and cares of this life, it is oh so easy to become discouraged. Bill after bill, more month than money, sickness, death, aches, pains, children acting crazy and I still have to feed them! I get over one hurdle and here comes another. I’m so tired of caretaking….can someone just take care of me?
BUT………..I keep hearing KEEP UP YOUR COURAGE! Keep it up, Vic! Why this word courage today? He has heard my inner groanings and sent me to His Word for the answers. Here is what I found:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
God, you won’t leave me, I don’t have to be afraid! I thank God for these precious promises. It seems like so much is going on right now. My hands are tied on several sides and I don’t see an end to the madness. Again comes the Word:
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
I have to stand firm on this – that the same God who orchestrated these words to be written so long ago knew that I would need to read them and apply them to my situation NOW! They are not promises made to them over there, or those folks way back then. They are made to ME because I am a believer and a Son of God. It’s not a gender thing but a position thing! (Pastor Ronald Godbee)
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
I have to muster up the strength and courage to withstand this storm and any other. I understand that these trials are not only about me and my ability to simply hold on. As a son of God, my faith is the key to my success. It is my lifeline to my Savior! If I believe that He is the Deliverer of my sins, Redeemer of the world, why can I not know without a doubt that He has my back in every situation?
I lastly looked at this verse:
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
My witness, my walk through the cares of this old world, has to be about telling others what Jesus has done for me. As I share my stories, as I navigate through the process – others will know that I have been with Jesus and that He is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”! (Hebrews 11:6)
Courage NOT to Quit! O, yeah!! That’s me today…not sure of what will happen but sure that whatever the outcome, Jesus is right here with me! My ship may be destroyed but I will not be lost. Blessed be the NAME OF THE LORD!!!! Keep Up Your Courage!!!
2 Chronicles 20:15
…….This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
KEEP UP YOUR COURAGE!