We at HeartStrong Faith are celebrating another life-changing conference! The Lord created a space for respite, reassurance, and renewal on February 22 and 23, when almost two-thousand women gathered at First Baptist Dallas to learn about the Bible. Through our powerful teaching team, God delivered a word for all of us, especially those struggling with feelings of inadequacy. The conference focused on the gospel, which is the good news that God offers salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Understanding the gospel naturally leads to a greater love for God and a desire to share the good news with other people. Do you ever find yourself hesitating to fulfill your God-given, gospel-centered calling? Maybe you worry what others will think or say. Perhaps you think you are not capable.
Kat Armstrong reminded us to run with the good news as fast as we can, refusing to let fear hold us back. Jesus commissioned Mary Magdalene—not the men—to tell the world that their Savior was alive. Kat exhorted us to run like Mary with the gospel, free from fear and free to love the Lord with all of our minds and strength. “Don’t stop,” she exclaimed, “Sister of the faith, don’t ever stop!”
Pain threatens to slow us down as we run with the good news. Sharing her own testimony of fear and depression, Sheila Walsh reminded us that God is with us, even when we can’t see His plan.
One week after she had emergency spinal fusion surgery, Rebecca Carrell took to the stage to remind attendees that God never allows pain without purpose. “Anyone can praise God during good times,” she said, “but you praise Him in the pain, and that makes you a burning bush. People will stop, look, and wonder.”
Julia Sadler shared a particularly painful season of infertility. God met her in her pain. She reminded us not to waste our suffering, regardless of the pain we may face.
“God uses everything,” Chrystal Evans Hurst declared. She talked about the current painful time she and her family are facing: the death of her beloved cousin. Chrystal encouraged us to let our pain shift our perspective. “If you only focus on what’s wrong,” she said, “you will miss the point. And the point is that you have been saved by grace.” The gospel changes everything. It changes our identities and mocks the most painful experience on earth: death. Because of the gospel, believers have life after death and hope in every circumstance.
Jada Edwards preached through the first chapter of Galatians, instructing us to run with precision. “Don’t be enamored by anything less than the gospel,” she said. This means seeking the approval of God over people, speaking the truth when it’s unpopular, and avoiding the temptation to “return to Egypt”—pockets of our lives from which God has delivered us. “God gets the glory when we give the gospel.”
As we run with the Gospel, thoughts of inadequacy can trip us up. Bianca Olthoff taught us to run with confidence, knowing that we belong to the King and are uniquely equipped to carry the gospel. In Christ, we have everything we need.
Whatever you are doing now, whether you are drinking a cup of coffee, on a lunch break at work, or waiting in the carpool line at your child’s school, I echo Kat’s words. Run with the gospel. Share the good news! Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. “Don’t stop, sister of the faith. Don’t ever stop!”
This is only a snapshot of the incredible work God did at this year’s conference. Did you attend? We would love to hear how He worked in your life! What did He teach you? How do you plan to apply what you learned?
About The Author
Laura Courtney lives in Dallas, Texas and is working toward her Master of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. She loves teaching and writing about the Bible. Her passion is to see people fall more deeply in love with God and His word. Laura currently serves as an intern for HeartStrong Faith.