God is able to give you courage

Published 10:00 pm Friday, October 10, 2008

In previous articles we have considered the simple truth that God is able to save and that God is able to keep you saved. Today: God is able to give you courage. There have come times for me and there has or will come a time for you that the one thing you need most is courage. Our key Bible verse today is Hebrews 2:18, “For since Jesus Christ himself has passed through the test of suffering, He is able to help those who are meeting their test now” (NEB). Courage is what can happen in you no matter what may be happening to you or around you. And our Lord is able to give us that courage. The truth of this article could make the difference for all of us in this unusual time of uncertainty, disappointment, loss, fear, anxiety and change.

The Bible speaks often about discouragement. It is something that takes hold of our minds, our emotions and our inner human spirit. A Bible description of discouragement is that the heart melts. Deep within, something happens. Joshua 2:11, “As soon as we heard these things our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man.” Joshua 14:7-8, “But my brethren that went up with me made the hearts of the people melt.” Psalms 107:26, “Their soul is melted because of trouble.” Discouragement is described in a different way in Psalms 42:5-6; 43:5, “Why are you cast down O my soul. Why are you so disturbed within me?” Another description of discouragement is found in Psalm 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Things can happen that make us feel that the foundations under us are breaking up.

It is the very nature of God to give courage to His children. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 God is called “the God of all encouragement who encourages us in all our troubles.” In the midst of all that may be happening you may cry out in the words of 2 Corinthians 2:16, “Who is sufficient for these things?” The answer comes back from 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Our sufficiency is from God.” But, how does God give us courage? I will list five of God’s resources for courage.

First, God gives courage by his word and his promises. Psalm 119:28, “My heart melts because of heaviness. Strengthen me according to your word”. Consider some of God’s promises. “God is faithful and will not let you be tested beyond that you are able but will with the testing time make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). “God said to me, my grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in your infirmity” (2 Corinthians 12:9). “And we know that in all things God works together for the good of all them that love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Second, God gives courage by his presence. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” By the courage of God’s presence persons have risen up out of ashes to build again, to turn difficulties into opportunities and to endure the painful.

Third, our Lord Jesus gives courage by his example. Exhorting us to remember the sufferings of Jesus relating to his crucifixion, the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2-3, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, who endured the cross. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Fourth, God gives courage through prayer at his Throne of Grace. “Jesus the Son of God has been tested in every way just as we are. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 14-16). A wonderful invitation from God is “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15).

Fifth, God can give you courage through others. Often this is God’s way: “But God, who encourages the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Corinthians 7:6-7). Barnabas was known as an encourager. Allow God to give you courage through others. And, be one of God’s encouragers.

Sixth, God gives courage through the believers’ hope. How life will finally climax for the believer is a primary source of courage. It matters not whether the climax of your life is the return of Christ or death. The Apostle Paul said that though we may see death on the horizon, “We do not lose heart – our eyes are not on the temporary that can be seen but on the eternal which is unseen – an eternal house in heaven” (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1). If the climax is the soon return of Christ then it is the encouragement of the great reunion in the visible presence of our Lord Jesus where all things will be new. And the Bible says, “Give courage to one another through these truths” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). God is able to give you courage.

Note: Charles Christmas is a religious columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Saturday.