With the theme of our current sermon series, Courageous, the weeks we have spent learning together on Sundays have given many of us something to think about. How can we be more courageous in our own personal walks with Christ? Have we needed encouragement during a recent trial we have faced that has made us feel anything but courageous? There are many questions we can ask ourselves based off of this sermon series, or any of them really, to help us take a better look at our own lives and our own relationships with Jesus.
For me, opening up the door to my inner self and examining where I am when it comes to courage and my faith is a little scary. Do I really want people to know that, like many others, I come up short a good bit of the time thanks to fear? Not really. But the truth is we all need accountability and we all need encouragement when things are hard. If we become used to bottling up everything in our lives that cause us pain, we grow accustomed to wearing a mask that is not reflective of our true selves. We hide what we’re really feeling, going through or needing help with from those willing to walk with us through it. There may even be times where you, like me, have tried to hide your hurt from Jesus Himself thinking it is not worthy of His attention. I know, like there is anything we could ever hide from Him. But, we try, don’t we?
Before this sermon series began, I told myself that I was going to open up about inner hurts that I was trying to self-doctor. I needed to move on from what was holding me back from truly being who God created me to be. Trying to lead our students, and be an example for others, when I was struggling internally with something was not allowing me to be effective. It was hurting me and the ones I ministered to. I only chose a handful of people to open up too, but in doing so I felt encouragement from Jesus Himself that I was doing the right thing.
“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Trust me, opening up is never easy. And it also does not immediately make the hurt and struggle go away. It is a process that takes recognition of time (even if you don’t believe that exists, you know who you are) and, yep, patience. That dreaded word, patience.
Not only does it take time and patience, but you might that find more trials seem to come your way. Or, even worse, your best efforts of moving forward often feels thwarted by other outside forces. That is because when you are trying to draw closer to God and seek Him, the forces of evil are trying to get in your way.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11)
We have to be willing to let God walk us through a process of healing, even if it takes a while or causes more trials along the way, so that He can get us through it. That might mean opening up new wounds, letting the Band-Aid get ripped off of current ones or even learning faults of our own we were blind to along the way. A lot of times it is a treacherous path to find healing. But acknowledging you need to heal is the first step to take.
I am still in the midst of my own personal healing journey to lead me to Jesus’ true purpose of why I’m walking this road. But I have taken the first step, with Him by my side, with courage. Courage that I KNOW He will be with me through it all. Courage that I will get through this. And courage that no matter what happens He will be glorified.