I recently came across these inspirational words from an unknown poet. They identify two great qualities Christians need in dealing with life’s challenges and overcoming obstacles.
It takes strength to be firm.
It takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to stand guard.
It takes courage to let down your guard.
It takes strength to conquer
It takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain.
It takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in.
It takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain.
It takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to hide feelings.
It takes courage to show them.
It takes strength to endure abuse.
It takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone.
It takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love.
It takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive.
It takes courage to live.
Courage, from God’s perspective involves spiritual commitment, moral convictions, combined with mental and emotional strength founded on faith. Interestingly, we read of God calling on His people several times to imbue these two great virtues as they prepare to accomplish His work.
David, a teenage Shepherd boy, was courageous when he stepped up to fight Goliath. Not just because he was a kid and Goliath was giant champion. But he overcame the fear of his fellow countrymen, the ridicule of his older brothers and the doubt of King Saul. David was morally courageous and displayed spiritual strength.
Later, as the sweet Psalmist of Israel, David would write, “Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord. (Ps 31:24).
When God called Joshua to assume the mantel of leadership from Moses and led Israel into the promised land, he challenged him “to be strong and of good courage” (Josh 1:6).
At the end of his life King David called his son, Solomon to his side and encouraged him as he ascended to the throne, “Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (I Chron 22:13).
Following the last Supper, on the way to the cross, Jesus admonished his apostle to be faithful in the face of tribulation, opposition and hardship. He said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Later they would face obstacles that would require every once of spiritual strength and courage.
Often our confused culture labels people as courageous, who really aren’t and overlooks those unknown and unheralded people who really are courageous and display moral and mental strength.
In a culture that is rapidly changing and often critical of Christians and those who espouse traditional, Biblical values, we are called upon to be strong in our faith and courageous in our actions. Henry VanDyke called courage, “the standing army of the soul which keeps it from conquest, pillage, and slavery.”
Courage and strength originate within and are demonstrated in actions and attitudes.
Courage and strength stand firm on principles instead of public opinion.
Courage and strength is doing what is right for the right reasons, even when there is the temptation to do wrong.
Courage and strength are founded on faith, fed by God’s Word, and fostered by prayer.
Courage and strength are exercised daily in the “small issues” of life.
“Be strong and courageous”!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman