Courage for Western Christian Families

Dear Western Christian Families,

Courage is often looked upon as something we “muster” up from within ourselves.  Courage in the Bible, though, is actually based solely upon the OBJECT of one’s courage.  Those who accomplished great feats in the Bible were more often than not flawed, broken and weak at their best.  From a young shepherd boy named David to 12 scared and misfit disciples, God toppled giants and conquered armies and spread the good news throughout the entire world.  So the question that we could all ask ourselves at this time of upheaval and fear is, WHO or WHAT is the object of our courage?  In other words, where do you and I get our courage to face the fear being thrown at us and our families and our world at this time? 

I think the key to this question is found in the simple word REMEMBER.  When David was just a teenager and was getting ready to face Goliath he said these words found in I Samuel 17:37, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”  David found courage because he remembered the great things that God had already accomplished on his behalf.  He had a TRUE view of God as being great and mighty.  You can see this in verses 45-47 when David says, “You come to me with a spear, with a sword and with a javelin.  But I come to you in the name of the Lord of the hosts, the God of the armies of Israel…Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”  And that is exactly what happened, too!!  That giant’s head went flying!!

How about, though, when we can’t seem to see God’s powerful hand, and we wonder where He is in the midst of the storm?  Where does our courage come from then?  Let’s look again at the example of some teenagers!  We know the account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego and how they would not bow to the golden idol that Nebuchadnezzar had put on display.  Listen to their words found in Daniel 3:17-18, “…Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O King.  BUT if not, let it be known to you, O King, that we do NOT serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”  WOW!!  These three young men had a correct view of God as the only TRUE God, and so they had the courage to stand against the lies of the King.  They had courage to even face death knowing that there would be life beyond the grave because their God held their times in His powerful, sovereign hand as He sees the beginning from the end.

I want to have the courage of the young shepherd David and also of Daniel’s three faithful friends in the furnace!  The only way this will happen is if I REMEMBER that my God is faithful and always good and all-powerful.  Courage won’t necessarily erase our fear, but we will be compelled to walk out on the water and face our giants and stand firm in our faith solely because the object of our faith and courage is none other than the Lord God almighty!  Rest in the powerful words of Jeremiah 32:27 which says, “Behold, I am the Lord the God of all flesh; is there anything too difficult for me?”  NOTHING!!

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