Today's blog is about Courage!
What is Courage? One definition that I am partial to is "it is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of the fear." A few blogs back we used a text that stated, "Rise up, take courage, and do it." What is it that you need to rise up, take courage and do? For me, it is to somehow overcome all the multitudinous tasks that fall onto my plate on a daily basis, to sort through them all and act on those that are most important and leave the rest alone!
Webster's dictionary defines courage as "the attitude of dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it;" and with this I agree. It goes on, however, to say it is the "quality of being fearless or brave; valor". With this I do not agree. Just Elizabethology, of course, but I do not agree.
It is very interesting to me that even the dictionary equates courage with heart and spirit having the connotation of having "the courage of one's convictions, the courage to do what one thinks is right." This is the term that is used in the New Testament - to lose or not to lose heart. Webster's says discourage means to dishearten, among other things.
If you will bear with me for a short span, I would like to refer to a few scriptures that are very meaningful to me and which encourage me on a routine basis. Galations 6:9 "let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." 2 Corinthians 4:16 "even tho our outward man is perishing, yet our inward man is being renewed day by day." Luke 18:1 & 2 Cor. 4:1 speaks of "praying and not losing heart".
Now, I don't know about you, but I have trouble "not losing heart". When I am faced with ongoing distractions and the daily situations that can present themselves just in the course of life, I tend toward discouragement or to lose the courage of my convictions to do what I know is right! I'm not talking about doing something immoral; I'm talking about giving up in the face of this onslaught and giving in to the doing of what seems most important at the moment leaving what I know I am called to do undone. In all honesty, sometimes am just too tired to do anything else when the dailies are over. I bet many of you can relate to what I am saying.
In my study of this subject, I went back to Moses and Joshua. The story of spying out the land is found in Numbers 13 where Moses selected the best of the men he could find...fathers and rulers, not inexperienced kids, to go and do the spying. There were 12 of them and ten of them returned with good news and bad news.
The good news was the land was indeed flowing with milk and honey and grapes that had to be carried a stalk at a time between two men. The bad news was that there were giants in the land that they perceived as "stronger". This word stronger has the connotation of violent or unyielding. Does that make you think of life as you experience it on a day to day basis? It does me! It seems that the daily duties are stronger, sometimes seeming to be violently unyielding in their ability to stop me in my tracks.
Two men, Joshua and Caleb, gave another report, similar, but more encouraging. Yes, there are giants, but "we are well able to possess the land". The "well able" term means "goodness". So they were looking to the goodness they knew they had backing them up, the goodness of God, Who had said the land was theirs for the taking. Unfortunately, as it often happens, the majority ruled and the people did not enter in at that time. Joshua and Caleb did get to go after all the others had died away many years later.
So what am I trying to say? For today, just let me quote Moses who said to the people, "be strong and of good courage, for the Lord is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed"! He is the one who can give us the "courage" we need to do whatever He is leading us to do, whatever He is calling us to, He has already equipped us and made all the provisions we need to go forward.
Let's pray for each other on a daily basis that we will be able to walk this out in our lives and accomplish that to which we have been called! Thank you for your prayers for me! My prayers are for you too.
I pray that the Son is shining into your hearts and lives today! And the strength of His goodness will encourage all of us to do what He promises to empower us to do... His will!