courage…


What is godly courage? Whatever it is, we know from reading Scripture that we need it — we need courage to live out gospel truths. Let’s face it, we are Americans and we tend to embrace a really shallow understanding of courage. We often view courage like this:

Courage means that I can follow and obey God because He would never allow anything bad to happen to me.

or

Courage means that I can follow and obey God because life will be easier for me.  

At the end of Philippians 1, Paul instructs believers that as they are marching side by side for the gospel’s sake,  they should not be terrified by the adversaries. Should we not be terrified because we know that God will disallow anyone from killing us? I think not. Paul himself was most likely beheaded by the Roman government. Should we not be terrified because God will actually make our lives better if we serve him with courage? No. Paul himself got stoned and left for dead because he had courage! How could he live such a life?

Verse 21

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Since Paul’s life was so utterly bound up in Christ, he could say that life is Christ and death only means more Christ! That’s the basis for his courage — he knows that the adversary can’t destroy him, just his body — that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord — that life is a vapor — that the heavenly tribunal awaits and he wants to hear a “well done my good and faithful servant.”

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  1. #1 by michael on July 18, 2007 - 2:14 pm

    i think joshua is a great book on how god calls us to be courageous.

  2. #2 by clearly on July 21, 2007 - 12:39 pm

    Michael,

    Joshua is a great book dealing with courage and leadership.

    Joshua 1:5-9

    There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

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