Stand Strong And Carry On
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photo credit: Jack Cain @jackcain – unsplash
“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” —Vernon Howard
I don’t know where you are in your life journey or what trials you are going through. I don’t know what opposition you have faced or are currently facing. I don’t know about the countless days and nights that you might have cried yourself to sleep wondering when your ordeal and pain will go away. Perhaps you feel alone in what you are going through. I do not know. But what I do know is that this message is for someone. I do know that someone out there needs encouraging words. Someone needs to hear that there is hope beyond the pain.
Pain and discouragement are lonely trials even when we are surrounded by well-meaning friends and family. The helplessness we feel cuts deep inside and it feels like it will never get better. It may even feel like we have been abandoned by others and left to deal with our hurt alone. Maybe you are facing a serious illness, maybe you have lost a cherished loved one or maybe you are facing betrayal and rejection. Whatever you are going through I would like to offer words of encouragement to you.
You Are Not Alone
Sometimes we may feel alone, but in fact, we are never really alone. There is hope and there are brighter days. I would like to share the hope that I have and what sustains me through each day both good and bad (I am not suggesting that you have to believe as I do). Like everyone, I have had heart crushing trials. I have been in the depths of despair (as the heroine Anne of Green Gables would call it). I have hurt. But, alongside me, I have strength and encouragement. My Hope is Jesus Christ. He has sustained me and brought me through impossible trials. When I thought everything was hopeless, He gave me solutions. and this is what I want to say to you. No matter how desperate or painful your situation, Jesus offers his hand to you, offering to pull you out.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn. Isaiah 54:17
Be Strong and Courageous
I love the symbolism of the lion. It represents strength and courage. We are also called to be strong and courageous. In fact, the Bible tells us;
“You were not given a spirit of fear, but (one) of power, of love and of sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7
Life’s circumstances and especially people will try to bring us down and tell us that we are unworthy, unlovable and not good for anything. Some people will heap piles of lies and hurt on top of us in order to crush us. They may use words or they may use physical power. Either way, people who do this are trying to build themselves up by making us small. Crushing life circumstances also can also overpower us. But, in spite of all of this, we are called to be strong and courageous. We were not born to be a victim; we were born to be victorious. This Spirit of power, love and sound mind is the Holy Spirit of Jesus. It is what gives us the strength to fight courageously. Without it, the struggle is much harder.
My dear friend, I am encouraging you to rise up out of the ashes, to put on this armour of strength and know that you can have the greatest warrior on your side. Life may throw flaming arrows of poison at you, but you can have the shield of faith to deflect them. When David (the shepherd boy) was confronting Goliath, it was this very Spirit of strength that enabled him to slay an adversary of formidable size and strength. This very Spirit was the warrior working for him and this Spirit can strengthen you as well.
I just want to let you know that you don’t have to go it alone and fight in your own strength.
“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
The Power of Love
There is nothing stronger in this world than the power of love. Love is the opposite of fear. Fear cannot withstand the strength of love. Out of fear come all sorts of negative emotions such as hate, anger, and jealousy, but fear is at the root. Where does love come from? Love is the very essence of God. It is who he is. Out of Love comes both Truth and Life. Fear has no power in the presence of love. I have seen the power of love operate in the face of fear and hate and seen it overcome what looked like impossible situations. You probably have as well. It is this power that enables us to look beyond our pain (how we feel) and reach out to do something totally against what we feel like doing. This power also reveals Truth to us. It tears back the curtain of lies and shows us who we are and our true value.
Jesus is love. He gives us Life. His Spirit gives us the strength to love powerfully, both ourselves and others. He is Truth. The world will speak lies about us and try to sabotage our identity and value, but the Truth is power. Once we have encountered Truth, we can never go back to the powerless lies. We can become strong and bold. It is this love, this Truth that gives us the power to shake off the abuse, the sense of helplessness and to know that we can be victorious in our struggles.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”.
Keep Rolling On
You have been given this life as a gift. It is yours to enjoy and to share with others. You are here for a reason. You are meant for greater things. God has given you a mission, a calling. No matter what you believe or don’t believe, I encourage you to carry on and walk tall. The gut shots will come because life is full of gut shots, but they can be learning and strengthening experiences rather than defeating calamities. I hope that you know: This too shall pass
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Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog, Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca