Courage

Last night, I had an encounter at church that got me started thinking about this topic. As I’m sure you know, our churches, the groups of people we live in community with, can be messy at times.  I have written before about the commitment it takes to love people you might not be in agreement with all the time. It also takes courage, at least for me it does, as I have the tendency to avoid conflict and not talk to people honestly about my feelings. I’ll get to the encounter in a minute.

But, first, what does God say about courage? Is it something He really talks about? Let’s go to Scripture and find out.

It turns out God says a lot about courage–in the Old Testament and the New Testament as a matter of fact. Some of the verses I found through my concordance are some of my favorite verses. I will quote just a few of them. Here is Deuteronomy 31:6.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”

Another one is Joshua 1:6.

“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”

What about the New Testament? Can we find examples of courage in there? Of course, there are. One reference is John 16:33. Jesus is speaking.

“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

The last verse I want to quote is from the book of Acts. In Chapter 23, Verse 11, God is speaking to Paul.

“The following night. the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage! For as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

So, as you can see, there are plenty of examples of courage. Now, let me go back to the encounter and tell you what God showed me. After church last night, as is my usual thing, I spoke with several people, people who are precious to me, people who are brothers and sisters in Christ. I hugged people, was hugged in return and was generally encouraged.

When my husband and I were getting ready to leave, I heard a voice clear as day in my head which said, “You need to share what’s going on with you with such and such and ask them to pray.” The voice wasn’t from anyone around me, so, I could only surmise, as this has happened before, that the voice was from God. Of course, I started my arguments. “No, I can’t do that, God. That person intimidates me. They have it all together, and I don’t. I know I don’t.”  It had nothing to do with the particular person. I just have a hard time letting my guard down with them because they…intimidate me. God wasn’t having any of that though. “Yes, you can, Alisa. I will give you courage.”  There was no way I could argue with that one. I walked over to the person, and the words spilled out. I had not discussed the situation with the person previously, and I think they were surprised. They said they would pray though. I walked out of church, almost with my mouth open. I had actually spoken with someone who was usually not my first person to let my guard down with. God is teaching me continuously about trust, and last night He added lessons about courage too.

When we got home, I told my husband something else that had been itching at the back of my head. I said I thought God might be calling me to teach in some capacity at church, but I didn’t think I was good enough. I heard the voice at the back of my head again. “You’re not good enough. But, you have Me in you. That makes you good enough. I will give you courage.” Don’t know where this exact call is yet, but I know God is gonna get me there!”

God’s blessings on you today!

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