I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2 That you receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
by Brandie Cottrill
Section 2 LM Director
Spring has arrived, and we have closed the chapter on winter. Flowers are staring to bloom, grass is green, and we starting to work outside. Maybe you are planting a garden or getting your flowers ready. I know that we are all ready to enjoy the sunshine and some warm months ahead. Our minds are making the shift to a “season change”.
In our spirits, we experience seasons. Some are cold, dark, hard, long seasons, where we are ready to pack up the “clothes” our spirits have been clothed in. We are ready for lighter spiritual garments. Spiritually, it might seem like there has been no growth. It may seem as if the light has not been bright for a while. It may seem as if we have been in the dark and cold for a long time. You have gone to your prayer closet, time and time again, asking the Lord for strength to make it through “this season”.
In these winter seasons, fear of the unknown, will often manifest itself in our minds. The unknown future of your job, a child’s education, fear for your health, or fear of not being in control. Fear can so quickly grip our hearts and mind. Just as a small vine grips the side of a building, before long the vine will completely cover and intertwine with the building. Fear will knock at our minds door every morning when we rise, during the day as we are going about our chores and before we close our eyes to sleep. Fear distracts us from accomplishing the work God has called us to do. Fear paralyzes us from completing the call God has placed upon our life. Fear can grip a family and fear can be passed down from generation to generation, causing strongholds in the family heritage.
2 Timothy 3:16 Amp “All Scriptures is God- breath (given by divine inspiration) and is profitable for instruction.” Let God breath on you as you continue to read. The scriptures given to encourage you, are literally God’s breath. God your creator cares so very much for his children. As his daughter you are so special, He knows the number of hairs on your head. If you feel like you don’t have the strength to move forward, God wants to encourage you with His breath today.
How do we silence the fear that can so quickly grip us? I challenge you to make this your prayer Deuteronomy 31:8 Amp “It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
The Lord, your creator, has gone before you. The Lord, your creator, has paved the road you are walking down. The path you are on, may seem cold, dry, dark, maybe stony, but we cannot see what’s happening in the spiritual realm. The Lord your creator, is with you. The Lord your creator, will not fail you. The Lord your creator, will not abandon you.
Esther was faced with many fears. Esther could have been fearful because she was an orphan, feeling all alone. Esther could have been fearful with the knowledge that her people were going to be killed. Esther could have been fearful facing execution, going into the king’s throne room. However, we do not read of Esther giving into fear, rather we see her choose faith over fear. Esther in the “winter season” continued to push through. The stories Esther had heard as a child, of the faithfulness of God, gave her the courage to build her faith, instead of sinking into fear. The bible records that Esther fasted and prepared herself for the battle she was facing. Esther knew the Lord went before her, He would be with her, He would not fail her, He would not abandon her. Esther even says “and if I perish, I perish”, Esther exercised her faith over her fear.
Another way fear can grip our life is by death. Physical death, death (ending) of a relationship, death (ending) of a ministry. Closing a chapter in our life can bring pain. Closing a chapter in our life can cause growing pains we are not ready to feel. Once something ends and we are forced to change, there can be hurt brought with that change. Ruth gives us a great example of faithfulness over fear. Ruth was faced with death, pain, fear of the unknown in her life. Ruth chose to exercise faithfulness over her fear. If something in your life has died, I challenge you to exercises faith over fear in this “winter season”. Here is God’s breath, speaking to you, Isaiah 41:10 Amp “Do not fear (anything) for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand (a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation)”
In this season Ruth, had to learn new ways. Ruth went with her mother-in-law to a foreign land. When a ministry ends (dies) or a relationship ends (dies) we will move to a foreign land. We will be forced to do things differently than we have in the past. In these times, God your creator, is with you! The scripture says He will take your hand. With God holding our hand leading us, we can be faithful instead of fearful. The story of Ruth ends with her bearing a child. In this season that looks “dead” remember choosing faithfulness over fear, will enable you to be fruitful.
The “winter season” will end, how will your spirit be when spring comes? David said in Psalms “The Lord is my light and my salvation; who shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of who shall I be afraid?”Choose to be like Esther and Ruth, trust in the Lord, let the Lord be your salvation, choosing faith and faithfulness over fear.