CHRISTIANS, Where Is Your Courage?

You have possibly heard the prayer: God, help me to accept the things I cannot change but the courage to change the things I can change and the wisdom to know the difference.  Courage can be overcoming fear of failure or rejection.  Many courageous people may be fearful but they are capable of reasoning that the risk must be taken because of the necessity of the outcome.  It takes courage to stand up for what you believe when others are rejecting your witness.  When you are led to give your Christian witness, but feel intimidated to do so, you condition yourself to reject each time the Holy Spirit encourages you to do so in the future.  You probably know by now, it takes courage to be different.  Do you consider yourself different from others or do you let others intimidate you when it comes to your beliefs? 

Do you feel paralyzed to refute what someone is saying about Christ knowing they are wrong?  This is why it is so important to be prepared.  Unless you have studied your Bible and have knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word it may be difficult to have the courage to state another is wrong.  Fear is often a lack of confidence.  Knowing the absolute difference between right and wrong, what’s moral and immoral can develop a Christian’s courage. 

Joshua 10:25 – “Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.”

I Corinthians 16:13 – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”

Do you have dreams or goals that require stretching your abilities?  Has fear limited your expectations? Courageous people have a certain confidence about life in general.  If a Christian is doing what he believes God has given him as a purpose in life, don’t you think they would do it boldly?  If you had true passion in what you do, wouldn’t you be more diligent in doing it?  Courage is the boldness to overcome whatever hindrance you are facing.    

The entire Israeli army was afraid to fight Goliath, the Philistine.  But a teenage, David took his sling shot and overcame the giant.  I Samuel 17:34 – 37 – “But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.  Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.  The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”   Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”   Do you see the advantage of being a Christian?  If the Holy Spirit is leading, you must be willing to trust Him.  Otherwise, you may lose your courage and fear can block your potential that God has given you. 

Fear is real and it can debilitate.  Though fear is real, we need not give in to it or allow it to misdirect our decisions.  Fear can inhibit us from not only using our talents and abilities, but also from reaching our full-potential.  And worse, we will be robbed of our peace and joy.  Once we identify fear in our lives, we can relegate it to its proper place: under the control of the Holy Spirit.  God does not want us to fear: rather, He wants us to trust Him for everything we need. He wants us to be confident and courageous. Then we are free to pursue and fulfill our God-ordained purpose in life. 

Let me share an experience that I was able to witness.  First, Scripture taught me that we can overcome fear and worry by listening to the Holy Spirit with spiritual ears, keeping everything in perspective and doing my best to remain coolheaded in the midst of madness.  It takes time.  It takes determination.  It takes practice.  But it works.  Having overcome fear gives to one courage.  Courage can change one’s perspective for life. 

Several years ago a client came to me for financial help.  He was not a Christian and he made a normal income.  His financial picture was so-so.  He was worried about his finances.  It was important to him to increase his annual income and fatten his net worth. 

Through a series of events, he accepted the Lord.  His life completely changed.  His financial picture, a high priority before salvation, became of less concern.  When he put God and his customers first, a new attitude emerged.  He changed from being focused on finances but to live for God.  Before his salvation, this man’s greatest concern was about making a living and having enough money to live on and retire financially independent.  After salvation he understood the time spent worrying about his financial affairs would better be spent living his life and working his business in a Christ-like way.  Because of his change of heart a “funny” thing happened: He focused on serving God rather than his bottom line and his financial situation increased exponentially.  I have continually worked with him over the years.  Unless the world falls apart, he will have adequate resources when he retires.

When the Holy Spirit fills your heart and guides your life, you will have little room or need for fear of any kind according to Romans 8:15 – “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.”  We may understand that we have no reason to fear and accept liberation from it, but we may not instantly be “cured” of fearing and become courageous immediately.  God, in His love and wisdom, may allow all sorts of problems to enter our lives.  But we’re not left on our own to deal with them; He helps us through our struggles and disasters.  He continually stretches our trust so we can break through the “wall of fear” and rely on Him, trusting Him more and more.  Unless we see God bailing us out of tough or even terrifying trials, we may find it difficult to lean on Him and trust Him to be with us during our times of need. 

Many Christians seldom realize that God allows failure to lead them in a different direction.  A number of lessons can be learned from failure.  For one thing, it strengthens us spiritually.  For another, failure not only teaches us to be dependent upon the Holy Spirit, but also it opens up unlimited possibilities.  Every circumstance in life, including failure, can become an eventual blessing according to Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  So how do we become courageous?  We place absolute trust in God.

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3 Comments

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  3. Dan

     /  December 1, 2013

    “Fear is real.” I am constantly fighting fear but, I also believe that fear is made up of False Emotions Appearing Real (FEAR) in our lives. What person-A fears most could be a walk in the park for person-B. person-A would have made the situation real at the time fear has enstranged their lives at that particular the moment.

    Reply

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