Finding God's Goodness

Week Twenty-Three. Fortitude in Love. Courage.

Month Six – Fortitude in loving myself infused with God’s love produces goodness.

When I persevere in loving myself in a rightly ordered way, I have moments of understanding what it means to “Be Not Afraid.” These three words are cited 365 times in the Bible, signifying their importance. I like to think of it as one for each day of my year.

When I am connected to God, it doesn’t free me from strife or hardship but it grounds me and keeps me from living from a place of fear.  As I’m connected to something larger than myself, I love in meaning and purpose.  I’m connected to a living God who is here with me creating the universe as sure as I take my next breath. All is well with my soul. No matter how much violence and mayhem is going on, I have a place of safety.

How wonderfully Jesus expresses this: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” The body passes, but the soul, that place where you are in contact with the living God, lasts forever. I have courage when I get my fears in right order:

 Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

John 15:18-21

The saints, especially the martyrs, are a model to me of those rare human beings who had rightly prioritized their fears. Of whom were they afraid? Not the wickedest human beings around them. Rather, they feared God. They worried not about what people wanted them to do but about what God wanted them to do.

None of these great figures lived a serene life, a life free of worry, threat, persecution. Instead, they found courage in the struggle. Their courage got them through the negativity. Lord, thank you for being with me in the struggle of being human and accepting all that means and giving me the hope that I can find in Your love.

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