True Courage

8:13 PM

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "courage"? When I hear this word, I usually think of it in terms of risk-taking, like maybe putting your own life at jeopardy to save another's life. I sometimes even think of it as being less noble, like jumping off a cliff. But this isn't what true courage is. Even the English dictionary doesn't completely agree with this definition.

Courage: the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous.

One of our memory passages for this year is Joshua 1:7-9: "Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

A few months ago -- yes, I know that I'm behind on blogging if I'm just now getting around to writing about something that happened a few months ago -- I was thinking about this passage, and I realized that it teaches us what courage really is. Courage isn't taking unnecessary risks; this passage says that courage is being careful to obey God's Word! Now that is something that is quite difficult.  It's takes a lot of courage to obey God's Word. First of all, obedience is hard. Although we have been set free from sin, we still struggle with our flesh. Like Paul said in Romans 7:15, "I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." But thanks be to God that He is sanctifying us, growing us to become more like Himself. Someday, He will return and "transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21).

Obedience to God's Word is hard for another reason: we're people-pleasers. We know that if we obey God's Word, we may be ridiculed, misunderstood, or even just ignored. A verse that God has been using a lot in my life recently is 2 Corinthians 5:9, "So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him." It's as simple as that. I don't need to worry about what others will think if I do this or don't do that. When I go places, this verse reminds me to focus on pleasing the Lord, not on being accepted or liked by the people around me.

God is with us! He abides in us. Our aim is to honor Him in all that we do.

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  1. Great post, Anna! You're right, true courage is a lot more than just saving a person's life (though it's that too!). We may never have that opportunity, but we always have the opportunity to obey God's word. Praying for you!

  2. Anna, these are some really good thoughts on courage. Thank you for the reminder to be strong and careful to obey and meditate on God's Word, so that we might be pleasing to Him.


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