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Crossing the River of Fear
In three days, you will cross the Jordan River. This is my command—
be strong and courageous! For the Lord your God is with
you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9-11
The river was dark with fear: hesitations, doubts, timidity. On this side the people of Israel. On the other, the land of God’s promise. Just step in. Walk across. Easy! Right?
There were two problems: the first physical, the second spiritual. The Jordan was at flood stage: wide, deep, fast, dangerous. God worked a miracle. The waters stopped. The river dried up. Problem one solved.(more…)
Courage to Continue
We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold
our original confidence firm to the end.
175 meters from the finish, searing pain shot down Derek Redmond’s right leg. He fell in agony to the ground, his Olympic dream over. To everyone’s amazement, he struggled to his feet, determined to finish the race. On one leg, he began to hop forward.
Suddenly, a man jumped from the stands. Pushing past the security guards, he ran to Derek and put his arm around the injured athlete. They crossed the finish line together. 65,000 fans stood and roared approval. Courage!
The man who helped him across the finish line? It was his father.
This Scripture encourages us to hold fast to confidence in Christ. Along the course of our race there are many obstacle, not the least is what Hebrews calls “the sin that clings so closely” (Hebrews 12.1).
It takes two things to continue. The first is courage. We may stumble, fall, suffer hurt and setback, but then we must get up again. If we can’t run, we can hop. Can’t hop? We crawl. Can’t crawl? God carries us.(more…)
Are You in a “Difficult Place”
Do you serve in a “difficult place” for ministry? A place where the work is hard and progress slow?
“This is a difficult place, Pastor,” someone says, “People do not respond easily here.” The conversation that follows is about a list of things that make this place “difficult,” a “hard place” for the work of the gospel.
It’s true. There are hard places, but not always for the reasons we have in mind. Jesus went to some hard places, and he explained the problem to his disciples.
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Matthew 11:20-21)
In the very place where he had done “most of his mighty works” he had been rejected. Definitely a difficult place!
How about Damascus, where the Apostle Paul had to escape from the city in a basket lowered over the wall? Or how about Jerusalem, where Herod had James put to death by the sword? Difficult place, Jerusalem . . . in those days.
Where, then, are the “easy places?”
Where are the places where people are rushing toward salvation in such great volume that the workers there are overwhelmed. Occasionally we hear of such times and places of the Spirit’s working, but these is not most places and not most times. And most of God’s servants spend a lot of their time in the “difficult places.”