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There are the days when I am afraid. Days when fears overwhelm, when every thought leads to worry, when all my efforts seem for naught, and faith is small, microscopic-size, fragmenting into tiny particles that are too easily and much too quickly blown across the hills and valleys, with no hope of gathering them back again.

But I don’t need to be afraid. And worry drains me of spiritual stamina. My Savior wants me to replace my fear of the unknown for faith in the all-knowing One.

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame… For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.  –  Isaiah 54:4-5

It’s been a year now since our church lost its senior pastor. At times the way has been difficult, but I know God is among us, nurturing and growing His people, upholding His flock, fulfilling His plan.

We are not completely without leadership, though, as the church has other pastors on staff. We have leaders and deacons and members who come when the doors are open and after hours when doors are locked, for times of worship and times when toilet paper runs out and the carpets need vacuuming. Some are only teens, some are in their eighties and nineties, some have day jobs and spend their spare hours at their church, keeping things running. Faithful, hopeful, persevering, praying, believing… these are the Christians the Preacher and I are privileged to labor alongside.

Even with the strikes against us—statistics warning of impending doom, town gossips busy as usual, past members predicting our demise, the woeful wringing of hands in worry and fear—Jesus is still the Head of His church, the Head of our church.

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No, all is not as it should be, but all is not lost.

Have we forgotten? There will be victory for those who stay faithful. But if we give up or turn on those standing with us, the enemy wins.

The nature of the enemy’s warfare in your life is to cause you to become discouraged and to cast away your confidence. Not that you would necessarily discard your salvation, but you would give up your hope of God’s deliverance. The enemy wants to numb you into a coping kind of Christianity that has given up hope of seeing God’s resurrection power.  –  Bob Sorge, from his book, Glory: When Heaven Invades Earth

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But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer… My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has mercy on you… In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake… No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.  –  Isaiah 54:8, 10, 14, 15, 17

God-expects-you-to-have-image-quoteThere is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…  –  1 John 4:18

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  –  1 John 5:4

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