Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
What is courage? The dictionary’s definition is . . . “The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, without fear.”
I counted seventeen times in the Old Testament, that God tells us to be of good ‘courage’ and ‘do not fear’, and I am sure there are more.
In order to have courage to face this Corona virus thrust upon us, along with the many other difficult problems arising from it, such as loss of jobs, income and freedoms, one has to have a very strong faith that everything is going according to God’s plan. Jesus is the only One who will endow us with the courage needed to face each trial bravely with courage to not fear. In my own life I find that the paralyzing fear Satan loves to throw my way depletes my courage in two ways. The first is to make me feel weak and powerless; The second leads me to think I can be successful in my own power and don’t need God to get me through any problem.
Negative thinking is always used by Satan to make us feel weak and helpless. He also loves to appeal to our pride, especially when we feel strong in our own abilities and wise in our own eyes.
Dan Schaeffer writes – “When you’ve learned to quit, to surrender, to imagine failure in all you do, your eyes are constantly on your weakness, not on His power. When you’ve learned to think positively, to believe in yourself and your own ability to succeed, your eyes are constantly on your own power, not on God’s. In both situations we are finding the answer to the test or challenge within ourselves – forgetting God and His power that is available to us.”
Tara McKnight a young mother of two wrote the following prayer…
“Today I pray for courage. The courage for one person to open their heart and life to Jesus. Courage to not only hear a calling, but to accept a calling. Courage to live life and laugh through life. Courage to walk the path, and faith in the destination. Amen.”
I would have liked to have that kind of faith when I was a young mother of two, or even when I had four!
How many people around the world are forced to practice their faith in secret, yet have the courage to face persecution and death every time they dare to share their hope in Christ Jesus? We have it so good here in Canada, and yet we know that is only for a short time before the same thing will happen to Christians throughout North America. Right now we are free to practice our faith openly but do we share it? In most cases we tend to keep it a secret lacking the courage to tell others about the only hope they will ever have for eternal life.
Dan Schaeffer continues – “The New Testament is itself an anthology of change — change in people and ultimately change in culture. Christianity didn’t begin with powerful people. In the early years of the church, Christians were unpopular, persecuted, and maligned. Yet, 300 years later the official religion of the Roman Empire was Christianity. If we don’t see the power of God here, we are missing it in one of its greatest forms. The power of God poured out on the human heart is an amazing thing to watch.”
When I pray to God for courage He more than supplies me with all I need. I don’t stay inside my home, but prepare myself with the precautions recommended of mask and distance, and go out and do my shopping, go for appointments, and attend church services. I do not put my faith in a Vaccine, but in Jesus who is my sustainer. My prayer is “Here I am Lord, use me until you call me home”.
I encourage you to recognize where the true Power lies and be transformed in faith by trusting in Jesus. Be filled with His strength and be an overcomer and don’t listen to Satan’s discouraging lies. Live your faith openly with the courage that only Christ can provide this side of heaven. I love this poem by Helen Steiner Rice called —
Mover of Mountains
Faith is a force that is greater
than knowledge or power of skill,
And the darkest defeat turns to triumph
if we trust in God’s wisdom and will.
For faith is a mover of mountains,
there’s nothing man cannot achieve
If he has the courage to try it
and then has the faith to believe.