Take Courage

God created us to be different. He designed each of our personalities, the way our minds work, the color and number of strands of our hair, the shade of our eyes, the tone of our skin, and how our voices sound. He planned where our freckles go, the size of our feet to balance out the height He gave us, who we were born to, and who we are to become in Christ. Children are the hope of the world and, even though with time we become adults physically, spiritually we will always be His children.

If you or I put this much time into someone we would love them deeply, beyond measure. Is that not how a good parent loves their child? God deeply loves us before we ever enter the world. With that love comes His care for our wellbeing, His discipline to help us grow, and His compassion for our tears. He knows us inside and out no matter how long or how short our time is on earth. He shines His light around us so we can see the way and He walks with us so that we are never alone.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8

The enemy will try his best to blur our vision. He will attempt to blind us to the truth, slash at our hopes, beat down our dreams, turn us against each other with distrust, and make us suffer so severally we may believe God no longer loves us. He tests us like he did Job, hoping in his own wicked way to drive a wedge between us and God. Because each of us are made differently, he’s schemes against us differ. He uses past situations to his advantage, adding to the pain that is already there by disrupting our current lives. He uses others at convenient times to make us hate our own image and encourage us to destroy the natural beauty God designed in us. And for those who have yet to know Jesus in their hearts, the devil keeps the wounds on their soul open to keep them from healing, to keep them suffering, and to keep them turned from God.

Knowing the devil’s schemes, God gives us armor to endure. The more we read and absorb the scriptures He has given us, the more we put our trust in Him–singing His praises through the sunshine and the storm–the more He trains us to push on. If we accept the training He gives, learning to use the armor He handed us and the only weapon He allows (which is the word of God), we will become the warriors we are meant to be. Fear is one of the devil’s companions and it can be used as a flaming arrow in hopes we retreat from what God is leading us to. However, if we pick up our shield and learn how to use it, we can deflect that arrow and keep moving forward.

Life on earth is a battlefield, not love. Pure love is God and He is our companion on this adventure. Life on this earth sees us being attacked by the devil and fighting off not only him and his demons, but our own flesh. Yet, God is with us every step of the way. The Creator of the stars, the grains of sand, the tall mountains which He can move, and the vast seas which He can calm is by our side. If He is standing with us, who can stand against us?

Take heart, my brothers and sisters! This that you are dealing with is not the end. You will survive to see the morning. Yes, the devil is not to be underestimated; he is described in scripture as a dragon. But Jesus has already defeated him and the grave! We may lose this battle or the next when faced with opposition, especially when we try to share the Gospel, but the war has already been won! God is victorious, and so are we! He who makes the darkness tremble is our King. Never forget that.

“So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:10-13

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