As we begin this New Year, many have said, ‘I’m glad 2012 is over! It’s a year I’d rather forget!’ I’ve personally found ANY year comes with its own unique challenges. I feel to write on the importance of cultivating courage. Some of the Biblical meanings of courage are ‘be alert, steadfast minded, strong, established, fortified: harden, make yourself strong’. Some more meanings, ‘strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify, aid. To be constant, established, lay hold of, play the man, become mighty, prevail, be stout, behave valiantly. When we read of our ancestors who defended this great Nation in war and look at the character of the early explorers – they exhibited this kind of courage. Courage is a God given gift available to us all. We need desperately to see that courageous spirit re-emerge in our Nation.
The dictionary describes courage as ‘the ability to control fear when facing danger, pain or the unknown’.
BIBLICAL COURAGE FACES UP! IT DOESN’T AVOID! COURAGE STANDS ITS GROUND IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY AND STARES IT DOWN!
Recently, good friends of mine were facing bushfires caused by lightning. It was night time when they arrived home not knowing where or how extensive the fires were. As we prayed together on the phone, we asked God to bring a wind shift and turn the fire back on itself! They then went up the paddock to see what was happening. Just as the wall of flame was about to leap the fire break, my friend testified the wind suddenly changed and the fire did, indeed, turn back on itself. If this young woman hadn’t the courage to believe in that ‘back to the wall’ situation, she would never have seen this miracle take place. As a result of prayer/faith/and courage, livestock and valuable grass was spared. A young man working with her also witnessed to this miracle. When we know with certainty that there is One far greater than us standing with us through every challenge we are filled with greater courage.
There are many great stories of courageous exploits in the Bible. Joshua Chapter 1 is a wonderful exhortation to courage. Some excerpts – paraphrased …as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you ….be strong and very courageous …. do not turn from it to the left nor the right, that you may prosper wherever you go. V.9 Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
I wonder if you might take time to seek out these stories out for yourself. I KNOW you will be greatly encouraged.
Courage is not the absence of fear, its sometimes ‘doing it afraid’!
Many times in life I’ve found a seemingly insurmountable situation wasn’t that difficult once I had faced it head-on. How much more sure when I know God is with me!
One of the most valuable treasures of assurance I possess is knowing I am not alone, that I have a Heavenly Father who PROMISES in His Word that, ‘He will never leave me or forsake me. Isaiah 41:10 (Amp version) says, ‘Fear not (there is nothing to fear), for I am with you: do not look around you in terror or be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you: yes I will hold you up and retain you with My victorious hand of rightness and justice’.
Is there a situation in your life right now that could do with a shot of courage?
I pray that as you seek answers, you will experience the supernatural Presence of Almighty God in all areas of your decision making this year and that God would show Himself real to you in such personal ways that are truly meaningful to you.
My precious friends, I exhort your, whatever the need, put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – He is only a muttered breath away – as close as ‘God help me’! Why not make a decision to welcome Him into your life this year. You’ll be so glad you did! I continue to pray for each person who receives the little ‘Word For Today’. May it be a source of inspiration and encouragement to you always! Thank you for allowing me the privilege of walking with you on this journey called life! I pray that the peace of God which passes all understanding will overshadow you this year in a greater way than you have ever known before.
I so look forward to seeing you on my travels west later in the year.
Lovingly as always,