No Punishment; No Fear

no punishment no fearIt’s no secret that my family has been through some rough times over the past couple of years.  We have dealt with the failure of a business, bankruptcy, unemployment, cyberbullying, and other issues which I hope to deal with in future blog posts.

Through it all I have managed to hold on to my hope.  I remember Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you.  Plans to prosper you — not to harm you.  Plans for hope and a future.”  Sometimes I wonder how long I will have to wait for God’s promises to come true, but we can talk about my lack of patience some other time, LOL.

For a long time after events took a bad turn I have wondered what we were doing wrong and why was God punishing us? I felt almost paralyzed with the fear that if I did the wrong thing we would never get out of the mess we were in.  Maybe we would wander around stuck in the same loop like the Israelites did on their way to the Promised Land.

Then, while reading Renee Swope‘s A Confident Heart, I was reminded of the story of Simon Peter.  As Renee says, “His biggest failure came the night of Jesus’ arrest, when Peter denied he even knew him, three times.”  But despite Peter’s failures, He was also “the rock” on which the early church was built.  “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

I slowly came to the realization that if I never tried a new direction, I would never be able to move on.  That God was not punishing us for our mistakes, nor does He judge us by them.  Through God’s grace and the resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ, we are redeemed.  If we sin, or try and fail, God forgives us, and helps us to see the way to make things better the next time.  His love is unconditional and He would rather have us try and fail and try again than to hide our light “under a basket” (Matthew 5:15)

In the past few weeks I have had the courage to commit to this blog.  I hope that it has helped my readers as much as it has helped me.  I finally feel like I am able to “let my light shine.”

How are you letting your light shine?  Please let me know in a comment.

no punishment
Photo Courtesy of Emmanuel Huybrecht (Manu_H) on Flickr Creative Commons

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