Out of the Wreckage

By Linda Tancs

All kinds of events can reduce a life to wreckage in one way or another: an earthquake, a job loss, an accident. The wreckage is both tangible (loss of habitat or earnings) and intangible (grief, depression or anxiety). Regardless of the nature of the wreckage, one thing will never change: God is always present (Deuteronomy 31:6). That’s hard to swallow in the midst of turmoil, when the propensity is great to view God as silent or absent. But have you ever noticed the folks who, in the midst of a disaster, reflect a peace that defies understanding? They possess the capacity to be still and let God do His work (Psalm 46:10). Scripture assures us that God delivers the brokenhearted from their troubles (Psalm 34:17-18). His power is perfected in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Seek Him out in your turmoil, and you’ll find Him (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

***************

As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES (a teaching and speaking ministry), Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith.

There He Is

By Linda Tancs

You’ve probably heard the expression, “No matter where you go, there you are.” In other words, you can’t escape yourself. That might not be comforting to some. But one thing that should be comforting to all is this: No matter where you go, there He is (Deuteronomy 31:6). He’ll even pursue us to the remotest part of the sea (Psalm 139:9). What a great peace to know that He is a constant presence in your life and nothing escapes His notice.

***************

As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

A Brain, a Heart and Courage

By Linda Tancs

In the movie The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy meets up with three characters, each seeking a different attribute. The scarecrow wants a brain. The tin man wants a heart. And the lion wants courage. That’s a pretty good summation of what we need to persevere through life: wisdom, love and courage.

The Bible exhorts us to gain wisdom (see, e.g., James 1:5; Proverbs 3:13-18). How do you do that? By reading the Bible, the source of all God’s knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is a gift from God, the means to discern the truth in all things. We’re told to love wisdom, and wisdom will protect us (Proverbs 4:6-7). Above all, though, we are commanded to love God (Deuteronomy 10:12) and extend that love to our neighbors (Luke 10:27). It’s fair to say that the pursuit of wisdom and love takes courage. It’s so much easier to hide one’s head in the sand, avoiding truth and neglecting the work to build strong relationships. Yet we’re reminded to be strong and of good courage (Deuteronomy 31:6). That’s because fear, insecurity and anxiety undermine the courage we need to foster effective personal and professional relationships. But you’re an overcomer! Stand firm and apply the power formula of wisdom, love and courage to persevere through life’s tasks and struggles.

Who, Me?

By Linda Tancs

“I’m not up to the task.” How often have you felt unworthy or unfit for a task? At least once, no doubt. We often shrink with fear when faced with an assignment that we perceive will test our limits—physically, mentally, emotionally or socially. During those times it’s good to remember how ordinary folks in the Bible were used by God to accomplish extraordinary things. Consider the prophet Jeremiah, called by God at a young age to minister to a nation; he thought he was way too young and inexperienced to be effective (Jeremiah 1:4-8). Mary pondered how she, a virgin, could become mother to our Savior (Luke 1:34). Moses felt inadequate to the task of demanding Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery (Exodus 3:11). Jonah was so intimated by God’s call for him to witness at Nineveh that he fled on a ship (Jonah 1:2-3). Gideon thought himself too lowly of a man to deliver Israel from the Midianites (Judges 6:11-16).

You get the picture. Yet in each case, God didn’t expect his draft picks to act alone. He promised to be with them. And so it is with us. He’s present in every task, duty, charge, assignment or obligation (Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10; Deuteronomy 31:6; Matthew 28:20). Because of that, you can accomplish anything with the strength that He gives you (Philippians 4:13).

Who’s Your BFF?

By Linda Tancs

BFF (best friends forever) is a sweet sentiment, a cherished part of our digital culture. But friendships don’t last forever. After all, we all die. And, sometimes, relationships fail. That doesn’t mean we should neglect pursuing friendships in this life, but it’s comforting to remember that we do have an unfailing BFF—Jesus.

Paul recognized the value of the Lord’s fellowship when he remarked to the Philippians that he counted everything else as loss (Philippians 3:8). For each of us, Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is our refuge, fortress and shield (Psalm 91). He promised never to leave us nor forsake us, not to abandon us physically or emotionally (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). He gave His life for us.

What would you give for a friend like that?