Courage is faith in action. We are called to step out in faith, regardless of opposition. Please join me for August Scripture Reading: Courage.
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I need courage. I’m terrified at failing at this blog. Deep down, I wonder if I’m tough enough to handle all the crazy curveballs parenthood throws. Did I ever mention that my marriage to Dan is actually my second marriage? Yup, my first marriage failed after he left me for another woman. I get sick to my stomach if I entertain the possibility of this one ever failing. Here is another big secret – I’m in the market for a new mom tribe, but too scared to actually go out and make friends. Right now, my husband is unemployed and I don’t work. God has promised us a job and we are trusting in Him to provide. I need courage.
Then there is the courage we need out in the world. Right now our culture is rapidly descending. Truth is being assaulted in every facet of society. The church has always been charged with proclaiming truth into the world and this moment is no different. Christians who understand Biblical truth are going to be persecuted here in the West. Christians will need the courage to stand up against “cancel culture.”
We all have things that we either too scared to set out and do or situations that leave us cowered in a corner. We need courage. Well, we’re blessed because Christ provides it. The bible is full of examples of courage.
Joshua & Caleb
One of my favorite stories about courage in the bible is about Joshua and Caleb, two of the twelve spies sent to scout the promise land. Here we find the people of Israel, they’ve been led out of Egypt and finally they found themselves at the threshold of their new home. The spies came back with a report and proof of plentifulness of the land. “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is the fruit.” There was just one catch. The current inhabitants were formidable and giant. “We were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so were in their sight.”
That was all the people of Israel needed to hear. They immediately became despondent and began to whine and complain. After all they had suffered they were overwhelmed by the thought of having another obstacle in front of them. Even though God had promised to give them the land and victory, the Israelites began to rebel. Only Joshua and Caleb remained faithful – and God was watching.
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors.
God ordered that all the non-believers over the age of twenty to remain in the wilderness. Those over twenty, along with Joshua and Caleb were permitted to enter. The disobedience of the Israelites cost them their promised land.
I like to think of courage as the physical manifestation of faith. In other words, courage is faith in action. Throughout scripture God encourages us to “fear not” and ” be courageous.” He tells us “do not be discouraged.” Courage is how we obey those commands. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is feeling fear and doing it anyway.
It is important to understand that God never lies. God does not change (Malachi 3:6). Therefore, we can rest in His promises. I have learned in my Christian walk that courage and faith are daily choices. In other words, when fear starts to creep in and my mind begins to worry and dwell on negative outcomes, I must actively choose not to entertain it. I once heard a pastor say that worry is just negative meditation. Although our feelings of fear feel very real and overwhelming, we should remember that our feelings are not truth. The word of God is truth. This is why, when we are afraid it is so important to stay in the Word.
Fear focuses on ourselves. Courage focuses on Christ.
“When we can do nothing, Jesus can do all things.”Charles Spurgeon
Peter and John
After the death of Christ, the apostles continued performing miracles in the name of Jesus. John and Peter are subsequently arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin, the very council of holy men responsible for crucifying Christ. First they are interrogated. Then the Sanhedrin forbade them from healing in the name of Jesus Christ. In holy courage, Peter and John stand up against the council and stand in faith refusing to stop. The Sanhedrin, faced with the healed man and a growing crowd of support for Peter and John, agree to release the apostles. As a Christian, you can expect to be told to stay silent or reject the teachings of Christ.
Of all heroes in scripture, I find Paul the most inspiring. Paul faced numerous threats of imprisonment (Acts 20:23, 21:11) and death (Acts 20:3, 23:12-14) and refused to yield. In fact, Paul wrote about half the New Testament imprisoned, surrounded by a sewer. During his imprisonment he even dared to evangelize to his captors (Acts 23:1-10, 24:21-26, 26:32, 28:30-31). Regardless of circumstances, he reminds us we are “more than conquerors.” This kind of steadfast courage is not generated by the flesh, but rather manifested by the Holy Spirit.
Pray everyday for God to bless you with holy courage.
Courage & Conviction
Don’t think that persecution was only in the time of Christ. Christians today are facing immense opposition. The world (society at large) will always try to promote and normalize sin. Christians should not only remain obedient to God’s word but continue to speak truth into the world. However, this is both unwelcome and unpopular. Christians can expect to ridiculed, humiliated, ostracized, and mocked for our beliefs. In these moments, we will have to find holy courage to remain convicted. Jesus told us that most of the world is fleshly and on a path to destruction. Doing the right thing is a lonely road. Most of the world, won’t agree with you.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
When we endure humiliation or persecution for His sake, we should remember that we have the great reward of heaven. Earthly persecution is temporary.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:10
How to Use This Scripture Reading
First, please do not take these scriptures out of context. Context means that you read only this verse and apply meaning to it. Rather, take a moment and start reading at the beginning of the chapter. Instead, you’ll focus on these verses, but within the context of the text. Here are some things to ask yourself when studying scripture:
- Who wrote the text?
- To whom is the writer speaking?
- Who is involved in the verses?
- What are the cultural and historical contexts?
- Why did the author write the book?
- What themes stand out?
- When was this written?
- What does this text say about God and His character?
- What does the text say about man’s sin nature, character, or condition?
- How does this fit into the big picture of scripture / the Bible? (Fall of man, salvation, sanctification)
Scripture Reading: Courage
- 2 Timothy 1:7
- 2 Chronicles 15:7
- Psalm 18:39
- Ezra 10:4
- Philippians 1:12-14
- Psalm 23:4
- Isaiah 41:10
- Psalm 56:3-4
- Psalm 31:24
- Romans 8:31
- Isaiah 41:13
- 1 Corinthians 16:13
- Deuteronomy 31:6
- Ephesians 6:10-17
- Daniel 10:19
- Joshua 1:9
- Acts 27:25
- Matthew 10:26
- 1 Chronicles 22:13
- Romans 8:15
- Philippians 4:13
- Psalm 27:14
- Haggai 2:4
- 2 Samuel 10:12
- Mark 6:49-50
- Joshua 10:25
- Psalm 27:1
- Hebrews 13:5-6
Pin For Later
Don’t forget to pin this post for later. If you missed some of my prior scripture reading posts, you may find them here:
- Depression & Grief
- Identity in Christ
- Love & Kindness
- Anxiety & Fear
- When to Stay Quiet
- Jealousy & Comparison
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