Yes, the battle is real. And Jesus is always the answer to the struggle Christians face every day: How do we stay faithful instead of freaking out when this world is like a relentless, spoiled brat desperate for our undivided attention? Jesus says we need to "take heart."
Yep. "Take heart" even when we are tempted at every turn by the rowdy, rebellious kid who is deceitful, manipulative, and loud. Very loud. Worldly. Uh-huh.
If we don't turn our backs on the world and turn our hearts to Jesus we won't know about His power or even see or experience the deep love Jesus has for His people. We won't know of His amazing, tender side, either. Yep. That's right. Even His tenderness is full of greatness! Nothing about Him can be contained! "...His greatness no one can fathom" (Psalm 145:3).
The world speaks with a megaphone calling out to us to become idolaters, seekers of celebrity status, and instant gratification. God speaks to us with a still small voice and we have to "be still" (Psalm 46:10) to hear Him. Remember, He says, "My sheep know My voice and they follow Me" (John 10:27).
Only God's children have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us Who can speak to our hearts and souls in this troubled world. Only Jesus can calm our troubled hearts in this sin-sick world. Yes! Yes! Yes!
Check this out! He's saying, "Take heart, Child, I've got this!" [my paraphrase of course!]
- Psalm 27:14 - "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." ESV Bible commentary on Psalm 27:14 says, "In the midst of present trouble, do not give up; give God time to answer."
- Matthew 9:22 - Jesus healed the woman with the issue of blood after she got close enough to touch Him. Jesus' response to her was, '"Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed at that moment."' (Amazing, isn't it, what happens to people who believe He is who He says He is and they are hungry to be close to Him?)
- Matthew 9:2 - "Some men brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." ESV Bible commentary: "Forgiveness is the prerogative of the one who has been offended, and for Jesus to forgive sins was to claim divine authority."
- Psalm 31:24 - "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD."
- John 16:33 -- "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33). and this verse was referenced to this one: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me." (John 14:1) and "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27).
In light of Jesus' Words of Life, I'm gonna choose to "take heart" and keep on pedaling! He says, "You, dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). How about you, Sister? Let's "take heart" and pedal together!
For HIS glory,
"Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together!"