Archive for the ‘courage’ Category

How to Take Courage

Friday, May 20th, 2016

As night fell, the boat was in the middle of the lake and Jesus was alone on land. The wind was against the disciples and He could see that they were straining at the oars, trying to make headway. When it was almost morning, Jesus came to them . . . He said to them at once, “Don’t yield to fear. Have courage. It’s really me—I Am!” Mark 6:47-50 TPT

1. RECHARGE your spirit. Jesus’ words are spirit and life (John 6:63). We know that when life gets dry, the living waters of God can turn things around. Jesus often drew away to pray and get with God. Take time to wait upon the Lord. Spend time with Him and watch yourself gain new strength!

2. REFUSE to worry, but pray about everything. The wind of adversity is part of the fallen human condition – so don’t be surprised or tempted to quit when you encounter a fiery ordeal. Instead, take courage! God is an ever present help in time of need. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you always, even to the ends of the earth.

3. REPLACE the oppression mindset by fixing your mind on Jesus. If you’re dealing with oppression and trials, or going through a mourning process, turn your eyes to the One who has His eyes on you, even in the darkest situations. If you’ve grown weary or dull or feel like you’re straining at the oars, remember this: Jesus said to have courage, so reach out and take it. When you trade heaviness or sorrow for a garment of praise, you will receive renewal and anointing.

Press on,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

DAILY CONFESSION:
I will not fear, for God is with me. I will not anxiously look about me for He is my God. He will strengthen me, He will help me, He will uphold me with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

cour·age, noun
The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

Copyright © 2016 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. “Courage.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked TPT are taken from Mark: Miracles and Mercy, The Passion Translation, copyright © 2015. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC, Racine, Wisconsin, USA. All rights reserved.

Be Strong and Courageous

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

RELY ON GOD’S STRENGTH. When Moses gave this last counsel to Joshua, the bottom line is not “be strong” but instead “the Lord your God goes with you.” If we misinterpret this scripture, we would then rely on human performance instead of trusting in God’s strength. Avoid this temptation – especially if you are in a transitional time like Joshua and Moses were – by constantly affirming who God is in your life. Wait on Him to give you new strength (Isaiah 40:31).

“I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

YOUR FUTURE IS SECURE. In the day of change, God will give you courage to navigate. The Early Church was born into a weird, hedonistic culture; yet they were required to step up and draw from the strength and courage that God supplied. You can step up too, knowing God will never fail you or forsake you. You can command the devil to take his fingers off your generation. When you resist him he must leave in the Name of Jesus and let go of your thought life, let go of your loved ones, let go of those who are bound in darkness.

DAILY CONFESSION

God has given to me every place where the sole of my foot treads. No man shall be able to stand before me all the days of my life. As God was with Moses, as God was with Joshua, as God was with the Early Church, so He is with me! He will never fail me or forsake me (Joshua 1:3-5).

cour·age, noun
Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2015 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. “Courage.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 12 August 2015.

Understanding the Times

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command. 1 Chronicles 12:32

1. Lift Up Your Head (Luke 21:28). Just like the sons of Issachar understood their times, we can discern what God is doing in our world and in our lives. By contrast, in the New Testament Jesus told a group of people: “You did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44b). Lift up your head so you can understand and not miss what God is doing!

2. Fear Not. I Am with You (Isaiah 41:10). Nearly one third of the Bible is prophecy. God gives us a heads up about things but He doesn’t want us to be freaked out. What do we do? We don’t ignore the problem. We do keep our feet on the ground, our heads held high and our eyes on Jesus.

3. Pray Without Ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Take time to pull away from the busyness of life to get alone with God. As you spend time with Him, the Holy Spirit will show you what to pray about and how to pray—for your kids, about your job, for your city and your nation.

4. Take Wise Action Steps. If you study biblical teaching on the end times with a spirit of faith, it will activate, energize, inform you, and show you the next steps of obedience. Then you can courageously pray and learn how to take specific, deliberate action.

Pray this Prayer
God, I know that the Gospel will be preached to all the nations and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14). Help me to discern my times and to know what to do. I proclaim You as King of kings. I acknowledge You over all the nations and I believe that my country and the nations of the world will be filled with the Gospel of Jesus. I pray You protect and rescue those who are persecuted. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

un·der·stand, verb
To become aware of the nature and significance of; know or comprehend.

God bless you,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2015 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. “Understand.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Courage to Overcome

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness. . . 2 Timothy 4:7-8a

1. Fight the Good Fight. Courage is the bridge between a dream and a corresponding action. It’s important to constantly refresh the original vision God has given you so that you don’t become discouraged along the way. If even Jesus had to slip away to fellowship alone with God, then we are not exempt. In the secret place we get our strength, our vision, and our purpose for the course.

2. Finish the Course. Courage is not the denial of fear; it is the conquest of it. God knows how to take a fearful Gideon and make him a warrior (Judges 6-7); how to take a young Jeremiah and give him the boldness to prophesy to the people of Israel (Jeremiah 1); and how to give you backbone to get to the other side of your battle.

3. Keep the Faith. “Now faith is the turning of dreams into deeds; it is betting your life on the unseen realities.” (Hebrews 11:1 Cotton Patch Gospel). One voice of faith can pray and stimulate change that permeates an entire people group. Whatever situation you are facing, God has strength for you to start, persevere, and finish with
courage.

Daily Confession
I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. I put on the whole armor of God. I’m gaining new strength. I’m getting wisdom. I’m receiving new strategy. My steps are ordered by the Lord. I’m living out my days. I’m cooperating with heaven. God’s purposes shall surely come to pass in and through my life. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

strength, noun – The quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.

God bless you,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2014 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Gospel: Hebrews and the General Epistles. Smyth & Helwys Publishing Copyright ©2011. “Strength” Merriam-Webster.com. Wed. 2 April 2014.

Overcoming Fear

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10

1. Seek the presence of the Lord and trust Him. Fear has been described as “False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.” The devil uses fear as a weapon to torment and hinder us. It forces wrong decisions and it prevents us from taking risks and using our talents. Life is a fight, but we come into God’s presence to exchange fear for God’s courage (2 Timothy 1:7) and our weakness for His strength (Matthew 11:28). Knowing God is with us is hugely reassuring.

2. Face off with your problems. We aren’t here to escape from living, but to run to God and find the adventurous life He has for us: to get out of the boat and walk on water; to face Goliath and lop off his head; to believe God for a great harvest of souls; to break out of “Never-Never Land” and grow up into all aspects of Him (Ephesians 4:15).

3. Stand on God’s promises. Fear is usually a direct challenge to what God says in His Word. Become familiar with the promises of God so you can face off with problems in the Name of Jesus. Spend time in praise and worship, in prayer. Having done all to stand, continue standing. “It is written” is a powerful response to the pressures of life.

Daily Confession:
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in the Lord (Psalm 56:3). The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him and I am helped. Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I will thank Him (Psalm 28:7). I will not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord God is with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9). I hope in the Lord. I am strong and my heart takes courage! (Psalm 31:24). In all my ways I acknowledge God and He directs my steps Proverbs 3:6).

cour•age, noun – The ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.
–Encarta College Dictionary

Press on!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2014 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. “Courage.” Encarta College Dictionary. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2001.

Courage For Your Course

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Equipped With Courage. God has a plan for your life, and He has called you to fulfill it with courage and conviction. If God tells you to be courageous, then you know you can do it—because when God calls you, He also brings it to pass (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

cour•age (noun): Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Cultivate Courage. When you wait on the Lord, you are building courage and strength. Wait on the Lord through prayer; start your day with a devotional book. Turn off the radio and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Avoid weapons of mass distraction and stay in the Word.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

The Final Result. When we look at the lives of courageous men and women from the Bible, we see the same powerful element—the strength not just to start but also to persevere and obtain. Keep the switch of faith turned on and hold to the conviction that God’s Word is true—He will fulfill His plan for your life.

Now behold, today I [Joshua] am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed. Joshua 23:14

Press On,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

And having thus chosen our course, without guile, and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts. –Abraham Lincoln, in an address to Congress, July 4, 1861

Copyright © 2013 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. “Courage.” Merriam-Webster.com. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

God Will Turn It Around

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel. Philippians 1:12

Paul the Apostle didn’t feel like he was a big shot; yet he realized he was a carrier of the presence of God. He didn’t let imprisonment, shipwrecks, or snake bites keep him from being effective.

After he miraculously survived a shipwreck, Paul was bitten by a viper while collecting firewood—it should have been fatal; “however he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm” (Acts 28:5). God then used Paul’s hand as an instrument of healing for the same people who had assumed he would die from the venom. What the devil meant for evil, God turned around for good!

And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. Acts 28:8

We read about Paul in the snapshot of antiquity, but Christianity is not just a series of old pictures from the past. The God who rescued Paul is the same God who wants to turn your circumstances around. Things may look bleak, but God gives the assurance that He will cause everything to work together for good—that includes everything in your life (Romans 8:28). Find promises in God’s Word and hold to them (Isaiah 55:11). Believe as Paul did—that “it will turn out exactly as I have been told.”

Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. . . And so it happened that they all were brought safely to land. Acts 27:25, 44b

Take courage!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2013 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Biblical Blessing

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

When God framed this beautiful universe, He created it out of the love in His heart and He saw that it was good. And one of the first things God did was bless the animals and bless His people (Genesis 1).

In 1 Chronicles, the Bible talks about a man named Jabez who was “more honorable than his brothers.” When Jabez asked for God’s blessing, God blessed him! The account of Jabez is a brief snapshot, but it reveals that God is looking to bless those who seek Him.

Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10

Jesus became a curse for us in order that the blessings of God may come upon us (Galatians 3:13-14). These aren’t cheap words or an attempt to discount challenges in this world. Circumstances in this life aren’t ideal— we’ve all known hurt, pain, and disappointment. (Jabez’s name actually means “pain.”) But we can overcome despite adversity. It’s a privilege to be alive and to fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of God’s promise for blessing in your thought life, for your finances, your marriage, your kids, your job.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Psalm 84:5

You are anointed to be a fountain of inspiration to other people. You matter to God’s purposes. So submit your heart to God’s will for your life, and embrace the idea that He wants to bless you. That He wants to do big things through you. Reach out and trust Him to use you to make a difference on this earth.

God bless you!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2013 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Take Courage

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Faith in God is the key to turning your biggest problems into some of your greatest victories. What is “Faith?” It’s reliance on God and His Word in spite of circumstances and sensory input. It’s really pretty radical to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). But hey, this is what pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Being a Christian is not a charge to be a superhero, but it is a call to live courageously, to keep on getting up and pressing on by the strength and grace of God.

These things I [Jesus] have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

You can trust that God is going to see you through in every situation, because what God initiates He brings to completion (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Be assured of this: there is enough of God’s overcoming, sustaining power to work out your deal—even the impossible looking one; even the one you can’t tell anyone else about. Whatever you’re facing right now, lean on God and let Him pour strength into your situation. Take time to listen to Him and acknowledge Him. He’ll sort it all out.

You are a culture shaper and change agent. In the midst of the daily grind, God can and will call you through prayer and action to address the bigger issues of the world around you. Take courage. He has anointed you to be a light bearer, to be a person of tremendous conviction. Though there are challenges, God supplies every need, in every area, every time. You can trust Him with your life.

God is faithful,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2013 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

The Maintenance of Courage

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—He could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.

When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:1-3 The Message*

God cares for you infinitely more than you realize. Even if you have become melancholy to the point where you are numb, there is still fight on your insides that God put in you! The way you offset discouragement is to get your eyes on Jesus and receive encouragement and strength from what the Word declares—that will “shoot adrenaline into your soul.” Mind-renewal is not automatic. We have to deliberately feed our faith and starve our doubts.

The sower sows the word . . . the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. Mark 4:14, 18-20

It’s absolutely imperative that you fend off the worries and cares and hold up your shield long enough to realize the full potential on your life. So, instead of breakdown, you will have breakthrough! As you root out the cares of this world and let the Word take hold in your heart and germinate, you’ll reap the fruit of effectiveness—thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. God is able to keep you from stumbling and make you stand! (Jude 24).

You can trust Him!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2011 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. *Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.