Monday, October 22, 2012

"Courage For The Crazy Journey!" [Notes For A Sermon To Myself...]

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." 
[Isa. 41:10]

The older I get the more I see this life as a journey... a simple pilgrimage. I mean, don't get me wrong... I knew this was true all along, of course, but it's one of those truths that just gets truer all the time! Know what I mean?

There's this old Bluegrass Gospel song that begins with this couplet:

I got my hands on a Gospel plow,
And I won't take nothin' for my journey now!

And that there is just the way it is, ain't it?  For the believer, anyway.

Still... The Christian Pilgrim on his way home needs all the help he can get!  What a blessing that God did not leave us without a Helper!

Now, they say  "Courage" is that quality of mind and spirit that gives one the strength to refuse to accept defeat. I'll buy that, I reckon.  I know of it firsthand as that elusive quality we summon sometimes [not often enough in my case!] that allows us to meet danger and difficulties with a firmness not our own! It's that casting aside of fear... that head-on facing of stress and strain with determination... because we know there's a goal ahead.

Now... If that Old Book is right, and I am convinced it is, then this type of strength and character is available to any believer.  But it can still be hard to lay our hands on it, can't it?

In the beautiful scripture before us, I see a few things that surely might help us along and encourage us.
Consider FIRST that,


SECOND, consider that,

THE MASTER GIVES US STRENGTH.  ["I will strengthen thee..."]

And FINALLY, consider that,


["I will uphold thee..."]

See... I am known as a pretty happy-go-lucky feller, but I actually get discouraged by a LOT of things.  Circumstances discourage me.  Other folks can sometimes discourage me.  The world, the flesh and the Devil discourage me.

But honestly?  My own worst enemy seems to be ol' Albie "The Good" himself! 

Oh my... All the people I have wronged. 

The relentless memory of all my past sin.

Sometimes it is positively overwhelming.  And truth be told: the circumstances and relationships that have discouraged me most were my own fault to begin with!  What does a guy do then?  How does he get his joy up and running then??

Well, if I am in Christ, I have it on the word of my very best and strongest friend that I am  a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Part of that horrible “old” which has gone is the remembrance of past sins and the guilt they have produced. Sad to say, though, I am annoyingly prone to wallowing in memories of my sinful past and its deceptions, memories which, I know, should have been dead and buried when I got grace and forgiveness.  My feelings regarding these rags [actual biblical term] are pointless, I know,  and run counter to the victorious Christian life my Father God truly wants for me.  Trust me,  I know-- in my head at least-- the wisdom of these oft-repeated words:

“If God has saved you out of a sewer, don’t dive back in and swim around.”

But its just plain HARD for me sometimes, folks.  It truly is.  Sorry to whine.... But, can anyone relate?

If you think to, friends... Pray for me, would ya?

And --Thanks to anyone who has actually read this far! God bless ya :)




David C Brown said...

Keep right on to the end of the road!

"Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee", Jer 31; 3.

Albie The Good said...

DAVID: Thanks for that, brother. I appreciate the encouragement!