We Are To Be Courageous
by Shannon Hutchison
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“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” (Walt Disney). God gives every human a purpose to achieve through Him. To reach it, it requires constant surrender to Him, in spite of our life struggles, doubts, fears, and temptations to terminate the journey.
To climb Mount Everest, to be the boxer who beats Muhammad Ali, to successfully sail across the Bermuda Triangle, demands enormous hope, courage, perseverance, and faith in spite of gargantuan life obstacles. However, accomplishing lofty goals like these show greatness. That is why God gives giant-sized purposes to people – to show His greatness to a dying world, so individuals will realize how much we need Him, in spite of our giant-sized problems.
You may think your life doesn’t matter; but I believe God has a special dream for you and me to accomplish in our own lives. We may not see the rippling effect our words and actions each day have upon people, society, and generations to come, but God knows. Whether or whether not our dream is greater than ordinary, it still the same. All God wants is a surrendering heart that desires a love relationship with Him and others.
In every mind is a warfare for supremacy: between doubt and faith; selfishness and love, and fear versus courage. Days of sorrow and confusion, where the trials seem too overwhelming and out of control, where there are struggles not to hate after being hurt, where you just plain want to disbelieve the dream of freedom, often torment the human mind. Trying to be the onward Christian soldier who continues to march forward no matter what, we can’t let the uncertainty of the unknown compel us to give up the fight - just like the Israelites who wanted to forgo their “land of milk and honey” because they feared what lies ahead. Our courage must be stronger than our doubts, hurts, and fears.
“Fear defeats more people than any other thing in the world” (Ralph Waldo Emerson); however, it doesn’t have to beat me or you. In spite of being told by King Saul, “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win!” (1 Samuel 17:33), David, an ordinary shepherd boy, with only five stones and a sling, conquered fear and his giant Goliath, through the power of God. “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).
When you trust in the God who is always on your side, no giant can defeat you. “There are no hopeless situations, just people who think hopelessly” (Winfred Newman). So, how was David back then able to muster sufficient courage and faith to risk his life in the process of testing God’s trustworthiness in delivering David through his trial?
“The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion a bear will rescue me from this Philistine” (David, 1 Samuel 17:37) – words of David, indicating David’s growing confidence that gradually grew from his previous smaller victories of conquering lions and bears through God. In Romans 5:4, it says that“trials worketh patience; patience, experience, and experience, hope.” David’s earlier trials taught him that “I can do all things through Christ (God) which strengthened me”, as each faith experience gave him more and more conviction and hope to face the next trial. This faith principle is also true for us today.
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalms 34:4). Our faith grows further when we are able to associate God’s promises found in His Word, with our faith experiences. When we can correlate “What God says He will do” (found in Scriptures) with “What God has done in my life” (our faith experiences versus adversity), our courage, in time, will increase, and our doubts and fears will gradually diminish.
“Courage is being afraid, but going on anyhow” (Dan Rather).Through the power of Christ, we must daily confront our fears, embrace the conflict of the adversity, believe in God’s promises as we surrender our anxieties to Christ, and finally, replace our pessimism with optimism. Doing all this, in spite of our personal strongholds, is definitely a difficult task, accompanied by many failures. However, according to Dale Carnegie, “Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed possible.”
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Wholeheartedly knowing truths like these will not only liberate you from your strongholds, but can, depending upon our purpose, remove the shackles of the people around us.
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