Full of Courage
Key Verse to Read and Treasure:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
It seems those words from God were a running theme and mantra, beginning with Deuteronomy and going forward. How many times did the Israelites, Moses or Joshua need to hear those words? “Be strong and courageous.” When we think about it, from the very beginning, as quickly as sin entered in and changed everything every single story has a need for and thread of courage running throughout.
It must have been especially difficult for Adam and Eve since they were the only creation of God to know what it was like to live in a perfectly ordered world and environment, to have the courage to keep pressing and making a life for themselves and their family once their perfect home was gone and they were out in the big world.
Abraham needed courage to obey God and leave his homeland. Moses needed courage to obey God and lead more than a million people who were hostile toward him and unsure of God’s promises. Sarah needed courage to submit to God’s plan of pregnancy at ninety-nine. Daniel needed courage to forge his own path of eating even though his enemies wanted to see him fail. Deborah needed courage to establish her own courtroom between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim. David needed courage to watch over his father’s sheep at a young age, slay giant Goliath when he was a teen and become ruler over God’s people. Jeremiah needed courage to become God’s servant at eighteen years old. Mary, the mother of Jesus needed courage to say “yes” to God at fourteen even though she was engaged to be married to Joseph, Joseph needed courage to go ahead with the marriage to Mary even though she was already pregnant. Mary of Bethany needed courage to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him teach even though she wasn’t welcomed and going against tradition and culture. Mary Magdalene needed courage to follow Jesus even though people whispered about and judged her. Peter, James, John, Matthew, each one of Jesus disciples needed courage to continue what Jesus started after he was crucified, risen and ascended.
From beginning to end, stories of courageous acts being performed by ordinary people no different than us. Courage is not the absence of fear, we are not born with a courage gene. Courage is doing and going despite being fearful.
I love reading the Book of Esther and seeing her courage push through. Like the sun coming out from behind a storm cloud. Esther had a difficult task and going before the king without an invitation could have cost not only her position as queen, but her life. Yet, filled with courage she did it and God’s people were saved from annihilation. Courage didn’t come easily nor quickly. Esther had to press for it, pray for it, fast for it. After much abiding she got the courage, she needed to perform the task she was put in place by God to do.
Courage is one of those attributes we pray (hard) for and seek God for when we get into trouble or need to do something out of our comfort zone. But we don’t think much about it until we need it. Yet, courage is already being sown into us as we abide in Jesus who is the Master of being courageous. Courage is a fruit of abiding. We may not think we have it but it’s there.
Today is a good day to remember whatever it is you need to do. It doesn’t take another prayer, you don’t need to fast one more day, you don’t need a command from God, just because you already abide in Jesus you are already full of courage. The courage within you is just waiting to be called upon and put to use.
Jesus, I don’t always “feel” courageous but I possess courage because I abide in you and whatever the vine has so do I.
What in your life would change if you drew upon the courage you have that comes from abiding in Jesus?
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