Do you ever feel like you just can’t take one more thing? Sometimes I do!
Maybe the car breaks down, the dog can’t be found, the headaches won’t go away, or your to-do list just gets longer no matter how hard you work. It’s difficult to give 100 percent when life piles up and tries to take you down, isn’t it?
While it’s this insurmountable pile of the smaller stuff that often makes us want to quit, it’s the bigger things in our lives that make us want to give up and give in.
Friend, that might be how you feel today. You may be ready to give up. But, even when you don’t think you can take it anymore, you can still take courage.
On this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, you’ll learn how. I’ll give you three truths that’ll take you straight back to the genesis of your courage. You’ll get to know the prophet Jeremiah better, and, as you do, you’ll get a fresh infusion of strength to be who God called you to be and do what He called you to do.
3 Reasons You Can Take Courage
- You are created by God. The foundation of courage is the love of God. The first part of Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” This is a statement of your value—and value has nothing to do with what you do.
Sometimes you might get discouraged because you link God’s love for you to your service to Him. If you take courage and work, then you think you have value to Him. But you’ll live in constant discouragement if your value is linked to your utility. God loves you because you are His.
In Isaiah 43:1, God told Isaiah, “He who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'” God loves those He creates. This is true about you. God created you, and He loves you. When you press into God’s love, you’ll have courage because there’s no fear in love (1 John 4:18).
- You are consecrated for God. The second part of Jeremiah 1:5 says, “and before you were born, I consecrated you.” The word consecrated means “made holy,” “sanctified,” or “set apart.” God did that for you when you were born into His family as His child. You were set apart by Him. God looks at your life and sees a “holy” person of worth. No matter how you feel, you are holy. God did that for you, in you, and in spite of you, through the righteous nature of His Son, Jesus.
You are not how you feel. You are who God declares you to be. [Click to Tweet]
So, don’t judge your life by the chapter you’re in right now. Go back to chapter one and see “who” you are. Who you are and how you feel may be light-years apart. Alter your feelings to match the facts, not the other way around. You’re not how you feel, and you’re not who the disagreeables say you are. You’re who God declared you to be—and that’s consecrated and set apart.
- You are called by God. The third part of Jeremiah 1:5 says, “I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Just like Jeremiah, you are appointed too. You’re called by God. Do you know your calling? Your calling is simply what God has made you to do.
Discouragement tries to convince you that you are too small for your call. Or that your call is too small. Often, we measure the validity of our call with the response we get or the results of our actions. In Haggai 2:4, God told the Jews to take courage and, “Work for I am with you.” He didn’t say He was expecting a great performance, or He would only be happy if they did it perfectly. No, He said for I am with you—that’s it. You can take courage and follow your call because God’s with you and calling you.
Your primary calling is to love God and do what He says. Beyond that, trust that while you were in your mama’s womb, He appointed you and wired you to be and do what He created you for. If you’re not sure of your calling, consider your passion and your proficiency. When those two things intersect with something that has a spiritual purpose, chances are, that’s your calling. You’re just too special and too important to God to let discouragement steal your influence from a world who needs what your calling can bring to it.
So, if you’re discouraged, return to chapter one. Don’t let all the obstacles distract you. Focus on the basics:
- You’re created by God.
- You have value that has nothing to do with what you do.
- You’re consecrated by Him.
- You’re set apart and identified as holy in His sight through His Son Jesus.
- And, you’re called to live out your purpose unafraid.
It takes courage to be you and do you. You can take a fistful of courage from God because He’s with you.
Remember, my friend, there’s nothing you face that is too hard for you and your God. Because He’s created you, consecrated you, and called you, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Learn More About the Take Courage Bible Study
- Discover more about how you can take courage in my newest Bible study, Take Courage: A Study of Haggai (LifeWay, July 2020). Get a free sample chapter of Take Courage and watch session one free here!
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- Jennifer Spills the Beans With KC About Weathering the Storm [Episode 60]
- Can I Know My Calling? With Paula Faris [Episode 87]