I was thinking about a line of a movie today, “Have courage and be kind”.
It actually takes having something down on the inside of you to be both courageous and kind. Courage and kindness are all about strength and an inner beauty and charm that captures people’s attention.
The bible talks about courage quite a lot, and it is also referred to as “good cheer”, as in Mark 6:50 when Jesus gave the command to the disciples when they saw Him walking on the water.
“..because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Mark 6:50)
The Greek word courage and good cheer literally means “boldness and confidence” In God’s terms courage is the opposite of fear.
But God doesn’t simply command courage and not give us a reason to not fear. He backs up his request that we be courageous, and walk in boldness and confidence with the encouragement that He is with us, that He is our shield and great reward (Genesis 15:1). He says “Fear not for I am the One who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:14)
God asks that courage be displayed in our life, not because it is necessarily natural for us to be brave and courageous, but because when God is protecting and guiding us, we can have courage because we find a confidence in Him.
Personally I have had to learn to be courageous. As a child I was very timid. I wasn’t particularly brave, and was scared of doing anything new or that took me out of my comfort zone. I missed out being like that, and it is the motivation which causes me to encourage our own children and those I get the opportunity to share with, to not live in fear but to be courageous.
I’ve discovered that fear limits; it steals, and it squeezes the life out of us. Instead of running towards life and trying and experiencing new things, fear causes us to run and hide, always stepping backwards or sideways instead of forwards.
Being courageous is a gift. It’s a gift we receive when we realise how much we are loved and cared for by God. The more we understand the depth of His love for us the more courageous we become. That knowledge increases as we spend time with Him, as we pray, as we read His word, and how He responds to mankind, and as we learn all His promises for us.
Courage also increases from being filled with the Holy Spirit and His power, and knowing that the one who is with us is greater than any adversary or threat. Plus we have a myriad of angels who are ready and waiting to assist us.
“For He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4)
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14)
When I started to understand and spend time with God I realised I had nothing to fear because He really is with me. He strengthens me when I am weak, He gives me words to speak when I have none; He releases wisdom, boldness and power to walk wherever He asks me to go. I know angels go wherever I go, and they have my back at all times. They’re my helpers!
Today if you are lacking courage, don’t be afraid. Be of good cheer because God, when you ask Him into your life promises that He will be with you, to help, to strengthen and to enable you to do whatever you need to do. Where you lack strength He says He is strong in us. Where you lack wisdom He says ask and He will give it. Where you are timid He says He will make you bold.
Courage is a gift that is available to all of us. Its just takes knowing who we are, and who is on our side. Today “Be of good courage, do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. (Joshua 1:9)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you promise that when I invite you into my life you will never leave me. Help me to understand your promises, and to take the time to learn them, because courage is found in knowing how much you love and care for me; and knowing there are resources from heaven available to me, and how very powerful you are. In Jesus name Amen