The Courage To Trust Jesus
by pastor Katie Preston
Each of these devotional blogs entries is meant to be read on your own or if you have family or friends you live with, to be read together aloud. A suggestion is to do this after you have dinner around the table together. At the conclusion, please spend time in personal reflection or in sharing with one another your answers to the questions at the end. Be sure to conclude with prayer.
Read Philippians 1:12-30
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!” (Phil. 1:20-22)
When I first began to realize the impact Coronavirus could have on our area, I had a wide range of thoughts. As a nurse I was sure I would eventually come in contact with the virus. I wanted to be ready. Not just personally prepared with physical goods and needs met, but I wanted to be ready to do my part. However, if I’m honest, I was also afraid that it could cost my life. The unknown often makes things seem worse, but I realized that in order to serve people well I needed to answer a question that welled up in my mind.
Am I willing to give my life, so that others might live?
Truly Paul’s letter to the Philippians came to my mind. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” How are we to take that? Is Paul being dramatic and speaking only figuratively? Or perhaps his statement only applied to his specific situation and his influence on those around him. Still the words played over and over in my mind. Two weeks ago I knew I had a choice. I could volunteer to work with those at greatest risk for the virus within the hospital or I could work in another area. Either way I would be helping people. Neither is a bad choice. But what was my choice?
I began to realize that Paul needed courage as well. Sometimes we are afraid or uncertain of what will happen, but we trust in Jesus Christ for the courage and strength to walk where he leads us.
As I write to you today, I hope you see that I struggled to make the decision to work in the darkness of uncertainty. But I also hope that you see that my strength and courage for today and tomorrow is rooted in Jesus Christ. I hope you see that although I would be sad to leave the many people that I love, I would be excited to see my Savior. This is the beauty of our salvation through Jesus Christ: although we live daily following where He leads, we also have assurance that when we are called home we will get to be with our Savior and see Him face to face.
I want you to see my struggle so you know, you are not alone. I want you to be reminded that the light of Jesus is better seen in the darkest nights. We are called to be the light of the world. We get to point others to hope and freedom from darkness. We live in hope for all God will do while we are here on this earth but we also look forward to the day when all will be made whole again.
Paul was willing to give his life so that others might know the truth and might find life through the grace of God. Are you?
Use the following prayer as a guide during your prayer time:
Lord God, please be with us as we walk through days of darkness and uncertainty. We acknowledge that many are suffering, but we realize that we can help. As your children, we have a hope that we hold onto, Lord would you give us courage to speak to others about the reason for our hope. For those who have yet to accept your gracious gift, show them your light, show them your comfort in the midst of the darkness. May they accept the gift and rest in your grace. Give assurance to those who are uncertain. Let us walk with courage, no matter what we might face.
In Jesus Holy and Precious Name,
Reflect with someone else or on your own:
- Do you have the peace and assurance that you have been saved from darkness and reconciled to God?
– If you don’t have this assurance please reach out to someone. Let’s talk, let’s study together and let’s pray together.
-This is the beauty of our salvation that we can have peace and assurance that all has been made right. Not by our own ability but by the grace of God that cannot be earned but is given freely through Jesus Christ.
- Do you have the courage to share the hope you have with others?
– Let’s not fool ourselves, it can be uncomfortable. But it can also strengthen us in our hope as we share with others.
- Are you ready to be a light?
– Read God’s word (The Bible)… it will help.