CHOOSING TO BE BRAVE DURING FEARFUL TIMES,
BRINGING HIS LIGHT INTO DARK TIMES.
Fear has been a threat to people over all of history. This week as Joy is preparing for her semester at Oxford, several people have sent her articles about ISIS and the increased danger of terrorism in England. We have had to talk through the issues and reality of living in a fallen world. We all have to make decisions for our lives based on wisdom and discretion. Yet, God has opened amazing doors for Joy to study in Oxford. He has ordained this path for her to take. She feels called to the studies she has been led to pursue, and so she is taking firm steps of faith to prepare herself spiritually, emotionally and mentally to go to England this week, and to cultivate a heart of trust in her companion God.
All of us have choices of how we will face our circumstances--the days in which God ordained that we would live. Our only choice as believers, is to hold His hand to believe in His reality and to walk our days by faith, and to seek to choose courage.
And so we are arming Joy with courage, faith, strength and wisdom as she prepares to walk the road God has set before her. None of us have control over all of the circumstances of our lives, but we do have the choice to hold God's hand and allow Him to companion us well through the days of our lives.
Today is the day for courage.
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you have tribulation, but TAKE COURAGE! I have overcome the world!
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS! John 16:33
Five Things to do to help you and your family.
1. Write out Joshua 1: 9 on a small poster board or white board and memorize this verse this week as a family.
"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.”
2. Don't watch the news with your children in the room. Images create fear and are difficult to take away from the brain.
3. Stop looking at the feed on facebook that has articles that are fear oriented. Whatever you water will grow. If you feed your mind on images, newscasts, terrible happenings in the world, the natural consequence is that you will grow more fearful. I quit watching and listening to the world news, (except for the exceptional times when it involved my family directly.) about 20 years ago. I rarely watch images of violence, war, cruelty, as I know that for me to be a steward of my mind is to stay away from things that bring about false fears.
4. Read hero tales and stories of people who served others in difficult times. Define on character trait of each person you read and make a list of the character traits, with definitions, that you want your children to understand and the ones you want your family to exhibit. (Daniel--courage in the midst of lions; Mother Theresa--compassion for those who needed comfort; etc.)
5. Read through the heroes in Hebrews 11, one person at a time in the weeks ahead, and talk together with your family about how you will live the circumstances of your lives, the days of your own history, by faith--to bring His light, goodness and hope to a world that needs to know the hope of Christ. Talk of how your family might be a picture and words of hope and comfort during this time and use the difficulties that opens peoples hearts as a place of ministry and comfort to others.
Today, sweet friends, Jesus admonished us to choose to take hold of courage, to face fear with His light, to choose to be strong, giving, redeeming in a time that needs to see His reality. May He give you peace of mind and the courage to live well during each day He has granted you.