Sunday, September 02, 2007

God's Presence 16: Courage

Life can be difficult; life can be challenging; life can be a struggle. With this in mind, we hear these words from Brother Lawrence: "Take courage! God often allows us to go through difficulties to purify our souls and to teach us to rely on Him more. As we are told in 1 Peter 1:6-7, 'In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.' So offer God your problems unceasingly, and ask Him for strength to overcome them. Talk to Him often; forget Him as seldom as possible." (p. 51)
In other words, when we seek God and remember God, then we will tend to give God our problems more, and worry less. We usually worry because we are concerned about how things will come out; we are afraid they will come out badly. But to worry means that we don't understand who God is, and what God wants to do in our lives. To worry means that we are taking our eyes off of God, and focusing on ourselves.
So Brother Lawrence encourages us with these words: "Remember that God never leaves us unless we go away first. We should be careful never to separate ourselves from His presence." Now it is very possible that we separate ourselves from God unwillingly. Maybe we get busy and our mind gets distracted. Or maybe we get caught up in something that seems like it will fulfill us, but in the end it doesn't.
Continue to practice being aware of God's presence, and by doing this, it will give you greater courage and assurance of God's love and power and authority in your life.