Friday, May 24, 2019

Thursday Thoughts: Take Courage!

We often think of courageous people as those who have performed great or heroic deeds.  This is how the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz viewed courage.  What he failed to realize though (as do we sometimes) was he had the qualities of being courageous within himself the whole time.  Webster’s defines courage as, “mental or moral strength to persevere and withstand difficulty.”  This definition should help us understand that anytime we overcome difficulties or struggles we have demonstrated courage of some kind.

Some of the greatest difficulties and struggles we face as Christians come in the form of temptation.  In Daniel 3 we read of three men who demonstrated great courage by simply saying “No” to King Nebuchadnezzar when tempted to conform like others around them.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down before the image that the king had built; even though all the governors, judges, counselors and rulers around them did bow down (3:7, 12).  They showed they had courage to do what was right simply by saying, “No.”

In Daniel 6 we find Daniel himself going through a difficult test.  King Darius made a decree stating that anyone who prayed to any god or man other than to Darius himself would be cast into the lion’s den.  Trusting in God to protect and take care of him, Daniel said “No” to the king’s decree (6:10, 23) and continued to pray to Jehovah God, just as he had always done.

Sometimes it also takes courage to say, “Yes.”  When Jesus called His disciples, they said “Yes” and followed Him (Matt. 4:19-20).  When Philip taught an official from Ethiopia about Jesus, the man said “Yes” to God’s plan of salvation (Acts 8:36).  Even though Jesus dreaded the pain and suffering of the cross, He said “Yes” because it was God’s will.

As God’s children today, let us have enough courage to say “No” to temptations and worldliness and say “Yes” to God and obeying His will.  We have the God-given courage within us, if we will but use it!



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