Friday, February 6, 2015

courage


Courage is something that has been on my mind as of late.  It is not something that very many people have today, but people long to see courage.  Great leaders have this quality.  In fact, there are TV shows made to share what some people call feats of courage when people do extra ordinary things.

But I believe that courage is something we need in every day life and not just on specific occasions when someone wants to do something different.  To be a godly dad I have to have courage and do things differently.  To lead our church to grow and serve people I have to have loads of courage.  But to do what we’ve always done doesn’t take courage.

I heard my friend Trey Harris say something like this recently, “doing something different doesn’t always determine if something is better, but if you want to have or be better, you have to do something different.  It is my conviction that often doing something different takes courage.

So be strong and take courage, all you who put your hope in the LORD!

That verse suggests that living by faith takes courage.  Do you agree?  I take this another step forward to say that what many people call faith really is not faith.  If we don’t need God to intervene in what we are doing to do what we are trying to do, then we aren’t exercising faith.

Living with courage is not arrogance.  Courage has nothing to do with pride.  Courage has everything to do with knowing God and pursing Him with all you have.  The world may say that courage is something that comes from personal fortitude, from inside of us, but I honestly believe courage comes from knowing, believing and following our God.

A person who has and demonstrates courage is a person who is a great leader.  Jesus had courage.  Would you agree?  His courage came from the fact that He was God, but what demonstrated His greatest courage was the fact that He never disconnected from where real courage comes from.  It took courage to go to the cross for your and my salvation.  His courage came from God.

So God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence.

Here are some thoughts for people who desire to have and demonstrate what it is to take courage:

(the following notes are mine from John Maxwell’s book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader)

1. courage begins with an inner battle … letting God have and rule your heart.  Courage goes further and stronger because the battle within has given you loads of passion.

2. courage makes things right ... when our choices, decisions and life line up with God’s word, we chose what is right.  Integrity takes courage.

3. courage inspires commitment from others … lead people to act in the best possible ways takes courage.  People long for leaders who are going somewhere, and when you prove you are going somewhere with purpose, people will go with you.

4. courage can expand your life … following God and believing and living out what God says takes courage.  Much of what we find in the Bible turns man’s reasoning upside down.

Remember that faith pushes out fear, but when we chose fear, faith is pushed out of our lives.  It is not easy to live with courage.  It is difficult but worth it to live by faith.

I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Courage is not an option.  It is a command.  Courage is not something to read about in a book.  It is something to invest in your life and to act upon.  Courage is not only something we must see in others.  It must be seen in our lives as we pursue God.  That takes courage!

NOTE: Some of this post was first shared in October of 2006

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