My husband and I were ready to buy our first home, but we couldn’t afford a move-in condition property. We were young. I was pregnant with a three-year-old in tow, but we were excited about our aesthetically distressed fixer upper. The house could have appeared on an HGTV reality show for one of those potential makeovers.
We knew the house had potential, but it needed a little love. As we walked through the neglected property, my daughter looked around and said, “Mommy, it has owies!”
Have you ever felt like a house full of owies?
For years, I was a distressed house because of fear. The Holy Spirit lived in a temple full of owies. The worst part about living in distress is that no one can see what you feel. No one can fully understand what made you feel so different.
Jesus, however, wants to begin spiritual renovations and restore every house. (After all, He was a carpenter.) He sees our potential and desires to replace the distressed areas with His peace.
Beauty for Ashes
I love Isaiah 61:3 because God reminds us that joy and praise will replace mourning and despair. I believe our overflow of gratitude compels us to give back. Ironically, it usually revolves around the issue that caused us pain. Now that’s courage.
“…To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3 The New King James Version
Faith in Action
As we begin to step out in faith, fear will try to sabotage God’s plans.
Fear tells us we’re powerless, but faith tells us we’re victorious. Courage is faith in action and not passive. It’s a contending process to live by faith and not by sight. It begins with prayer and continues with practical application. Yes, God can transform your fear into faith. He did it for countless spiritual leaders in the Bible, and He can do it for you.
Below, are seven practices that can help you develop resilience and resilience produces courage.
7 Practices to Develop Your Resilience
1. Begin your God assignment with a small step.
If you’re not sure where God is leading you, take a small step of faith. God often gives us a micro view of His plan, so we don’t get ahead of Him.
2. Get comfortable being vulnerable.
We are weak and vulnerable in different areas, but weakness doesn’t disqualify us. Through God’s grace, His power is realized when we are weak and vulnerable.
3. Release control, and look up to God.
Control is our “fear” taking over to protect what we value. When we let go of fear, power is released, and faith looks up to God to perfect what we value.
4. Love consistently and unconditionally.
God can fill us with His agape love so we can love consistently and unconditionally without fear of rejection.
5. Reject negative thoughts.
Be an intentional steward of your mind. Replace negative thoughts with God’s truth, and trust that God will make all things work for good. Leverage today with yesterday’s wisdom and tomorrow’s hope.
6. Trust God’s direction.
Fear of the unknown can cause us to doubt God’s direction. Instead, choose to thank Him. Recall every milestone, miracle, and blessing. God is always faithful.
7. Value failures and expect growth.
God develops our spiritual foundation when we experience failures. As painful as they may be, failures teach us valuable lessons which help us grow and appreciate each success.
Restored from Distress
We loved our renovated home, and there was a vague memory of its former distress. It was made new.
In the same manner, we can be restored with a vague memory of our former distress. We are made new to glorify Him.
The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Is 61:3.