Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 10, 2011
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
Courage is an asset Christ dispenses to His disciples. It is the ability to stand for what’s right in the face of what’s wrong. It is an attitude of hope for someone struck down by illness, who chooses to look up and glorify God in life or death. Courageous Christ followers set boundaries for business or leisure travels and avoid activities that lead them into temptation. Courage is the gumption to get on God’s game plan and not give up.
Alertness to courage dismisses dullness to sin and replaces it with energy for eternal matters. Courage from Christ gives confidence in the face of conflict. It provides a quiet assurance that Almighty God is in control and He will carry out His purpose in His time. The Lord gives sufficient courage to stand firm in the faith and remain faithful to Him.
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20).
So, what are you facing that requires you to courageously come through? Is death staring you in the face? Take courage, it is your ticket to transition to be with Christ. Has a financial free fall crushed your net worth? Take courage, Christ is King, not cash. Is there a conflict at work or home that consumes your thoughts? Take courage in your mediator and master Christ Jesus. Courage is a gift from God that gets you through difficulty.
Courage comes in various forms and functions. It may be a phone call from a trusted friend who listens and affirms your character. A single scripture from the Bible may ring true to your spirit and, in the process, ratchet up your faith. The chorus from a praise song to Jesus can become a capsule of courage, that when ingested in worship soothes your soul. It may be a prayer, a smile, a kind word, a check or a sermon that bolsters belief.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
You receive courage so you can give courage. Encouragement is a gift that keeps on giving, not meant to be stored up and ignored. Like manure it can waste away stacked up in a barn or it can be spread around and make things grow. How do you know if someone needs encouragement? You know they need encouragement if they are breathing. Be courageous in Christ and infect others with courage. Indeed, courage creates courage.
Where do I need to trust Christ for courage? Who do I know who needs my encouraging word and works?
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