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“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬

For some faith is like walking a tight rope with no safety net. Every step is calculated. Every step is a reminder that one slip and injury or death is certain. Faith becomes a walk of fear!

For others, Faith is like walking in the dark in unfamiliar territory. Each step carries questions. “Am I going the right way?” “Is there danger around the next corner?” “Will I make it through this?” Faith becomes a walk of caution.

Faith can also be like walking on ice. Like walking a tight rope, every step is calculated. Tiny steps are in order to keep from losing your balance. Unlike the tightrope walking on ice leaves you uncertain with every step. Some ice is easy to navigate. While with other ice It is impossible to get a firm grip. The problem is, often times you can’t tell the difference until it’s too late.

Faith can also be like a rocky path. You can see what’s ahead of you. It’s relatively easy to navigate as long as you go slowly. But often times, a rocky path is exhausting. With each step you face one more obstacle, one more question, one more decision about how to proceed.

The ultimate irony, is that in each of these situations your faith is strengthened when you realize that you’re not alone. True faith is only scary when you must travel those routes without any guidance.

That’s where faith in Jesus comes in. It’s easier to go through the struggles of life when we realize that they were sent for a purpose by loving God whose intent is not to destroy us but strengthen us, to lift us up not discourage us, to show us his love and not to abandon us.

Faith in Jesus brings confidence not concern, courage not fear.

“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” 1 Peter‬ ‭1:13‬

This verse is part of a passage in which Peter encourages his readers in a time of extreme struggle.

Believers in Jesus at this time were considered the enemy to all facets of society. The government, religion, and social opinion we’re all against those who followed Christ. There were some that were calling for the complete eradication of these believers in THE WAY!

Peter’s message is as clear to us now as it was to the first readers of his letter. We need to prepare ourselves for the tough times ahead. We need to be disciplined in our faith. We need to put our hope in Jesus and in the glorious salvation he will bring us. Hope will never be found in people, society, culture or government.

There are tough times ahead but we must be a shining light in the darkness. The light of Jesus offers hope to those around us through forgiveness, peace of heart and mind and most of all love for all people.

So prepare yourself for action. Cloth yourself in the hope and love only Jesus can offer those around us. Now more than ever they need to see his light.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” Psalms‬ ‭27:1‬

Fear is one of the most paralyzing tools of the enemy. He uses it to keep our eyes off of God and on our problems. Fear is almost always focused on the future and the unknown. Even if your fear is based on something from your past, the fear concerns the consequences of your actions.

From a human perspective, the level of fear we have is based on our ability to handle what’s coming. If we know we have the knowledge and resources to handle what’s ahead, our fear is minimal. But when the unknown faces us, and we aren’t sure we have the resources to tackle the challenge fear takes over.

Fear can keep us awake at night. Fear can take away our appetite. Fear can destroy relationships. Fear can kill you! The saying “scared to death” can actually be a reality!

Fear is often synonymous with darkness and danger. The Psalmist writes that “God is our light…” The smallest light amount of light can penetrate the deepest darkness. You don’t need a large amount of light to see your way through the darkness. You don’t need a large amount of faith in Jesus to see your way into the unknown.

If you can allow God‘s light to shine on your fears, he will, through the power of his Holy Spirit that lives within you, give you his peace that passes understanding. He’s given us his Spirit of power, not fear so you can face the future knowing you have the resources you need to overcome.

He is your light. He is your fortress. He alone is your salvation.

If I could summarize this verse in three words I would use these words, DO YOUR BEST! The writer to the Hebrews reminds them and us of the many people that have gone before us that have been victorious in their faith. These bastions of the faith were by no means perfect. They were murderers, they were adulterers, they were thieves, they were liars, they were guilty of every imaginable sin possible. They are honored not because they are perfect, but because they knew where to go for forgiveness and for strength to carry-on in spite of their faults. We have Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help cleanse us and help us move forward. The word picture the writer uses is out of the ancient Greek games in which athletes would strip and be completely naked when they ran races in order that nothing will hold them back that is what we are to do with God. Get rid of everything so that we can be pure before Jesus. God never promised us that we will win every race we run. But he will help us to get back up and try again when we falter! Run hard! Run with endurance! Trust him for the results. Just do your best with his help and his Spirit within you.

Our mission is discipleship; Never forget that.

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