“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Courage is defined so well in 31:6, it is grace under pressure and is the act of doing what we are afraid to do. Karl Barth states, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” The Bible describes great acts of courage: Moses before the Pharaoh, David as he faced down Goliath, Abigail as she saved the entire household of Nabal, Esther when she went before the king to save the Jews, and Peter and John as they stood before the Sanhedrin.
There are four realities of courage as defined by David Dewitt. These realities help us understand what courage is all about:
- Courage starts on the inside – God has called us to do His will in this life and in this world. Our convictions to do as He has called us to do allows us to be courageous. He provides us with a powerful promise…He goes with us as we tackle the difficult situations of life.
- Courage makes things right – If we submit to pressure from peers then we move down to their level. If we speak up for our own beliefs then you invite them up to your level. If you move with the crowd, you will get no further than the crowd. Bottom line…if you believe in something that is good, honest and bright – stand up for it!
- Courage spreads like wildfire – Once courage starts to spread and begins to move there isn’t much that can stop it. One single act of courage can move an entire community. It is impossible to follow God and not grow in courage. If your courage is not growing, it is likely that you are not fully doing what God has called you to do.
- Courage moves you beyond your limitations – A nurse tending to George Smith once said, ” Courage is knowing the worst – and discovering that, in God’s world, the very worst can’t really hurt you.”
As we go about our day today I hope that we can seize the opportunities that God places in our path. That same courage will allow us to serve God to the best of our ability and “cash-in” on God’s promise…to reach the potential that He has placed in our life.
Anyone willing to accept the courage challenge?