Faith, Hope, And Courage

For me, following Jesus is mostly a process of learning what I already know. I think I’m a perpetual beginner when it comes to integrating what I know into what I do.

Yesterday I asked a question: Ever Feel Discouraged? As so often happens, one of those daily, ordinary, almost unnoticed events reminded me of a basic principle.

This is the week for my annual physical. As part of that process, I need to figure out how much I weigh. For most folks, that’s as simple as stepping on any scale. Most “simple” stuff isn’t simple in a wheelchair.

I have to go to one of a few places in town that have special wheelchair scales. I wheel on, they record the weight of me and chair, then I slide off and they weigh the empty chair. Subtraction reveals my body weight.

So yesterday I went to the hospital’s rehab unit. While I waited for someone to help, I looked across the hall into the room where I once spent 147 days recovering from my accident. The room was empty, so I rolled to the door and looked inside. As I glanced around a room that frankly evokes few pleasant memories, I think God reminded me about the important connection between faith and hope.

Faith primarily looks back, at my own story and God’s story throughout history. Faith reminds me that God’s always kept His promises. I remembered the day—nearly twenty-five years ago—I sat in that same hallway, unable to push my first wheelchair ten feet. Now I rolled effortlessly up and down the corridor, a few hours after cranking a handcycle eleven miles in an hour on a morning training ride.

Faith tells me when I’ve trusted God, He’s been faithful. And since faith allows me to look back with trust, it allows me to look forward with hope—a confident expectation that God will keep His promises.

TAKECOURAGEIAMDON’TBEAFRAID

Jesus’ new word doesn’t tell us we shouldn’t feel fear. He says we can face fear and move forward, not through the force of our own will, but because of who He is.

He didn’t say, “Take courage. Be tough. Man up!”

“Take courage.” It’s the opposite of dis-courage.

TAKECOURAGEIAMDON’TBEAFRAID

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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