Finding Spiritual Courage.
Today’s topic is spiritual courage. Welcome to another message on Living a True Christian life. Today I want to look at courage. There are all types of courage. We can be brave and stand strong when we are facing physical danger. It takes emotional and psychological courage when we are thinking about making changes in life. We also need emotional and psychological courage when we are trying to overcome obstacles in our life’s journey.
Today I want to speak with y’all about a type of courage that I believe is missing from many Christians. That is true spiritual courage. By true spiritual courage I mean the ability for us as Christians to stand up for what’s right. As Christians we are called upon to behave in a certain way that makes us stand apart from the rest of the world. There are several areas of spiritual courage I will address.
Where can we get the spiritual courage to go on when the obstacles seem too big. How do I find the courage to face change? What are the consequences of a lack of courage? Do we have the courage to stand tall in the face of crowd disapproval?
Let’s start with where we can find the spiritual courage to go on when the obstacles we face seem too much for us to overcome. Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” True courage comes from God. Nowhere else, not booze, not drugs, no one, nothing, can bring us true courage except God. When we say, the lord is my light, that means that He shows us the way. There’s no doubt about the steps to take. No confusion as to our path. That’s important because, once we truly believe that then the answer to whom shall I fear is simple. No one. There is no one we need to fear, especially not their opinion of us.
Many times we are worried about what people think of us, wondering if we are doing the right thing. We find the answer to that question in Isaiah 41:10
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
We can’t allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear, when we are it means we really don’t believe that God has our back. When we doubt that God can help us, that He is there to stand by us, then we can have problems. This is especially true when we face change in our lives. This change can be personal, or it can be when we witness society or our family changing around us. The reality is once we have accepted Jesus into our lives change has already begun. And that is where we find the answer to the question of How do I find the courage to face change?”
In Ephesians 4:22-24, “that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
Once we have truly brought Jesus into our live, we experience a change. Now it’s not like when Bruce Banner turns green and into the hulk, or when Peter Parker gets bitten by the spider and starts climbing walls. No, the change is mostly internal. Now, don’t get me wrong, some people might see us in a different light, we usually talk and act differently then before; but for the most part, we’re pretty much the same on the outside. What is different, is that we can see things in a new way, we can see the truth, and we can understand ourselves and our mission much clearer. When that happens we do have the courage to face change and to stand up to peer pressure, but what happens when we don’t embrace the strength we are given. Are there consequences to a lack of courage?
Yes, and we can see that in Luke 23:13-18 “Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” [Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner] But they cried out altogether, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!”
In today’s society, so many people find it’s easier just to go along with the crowd. For whatever reason they’ve lost sight of what Jesus actually calls us to do and how to act. There is a mob mentality that appears to have taken control over so many of our churches and denominations. People are moved by passionate appeals that do nothing to solve the problem, and in fact only serve to make it worse. It is true that standing up for what is right can get you in trouble with corrupt people, in fact I have seen that in my own life, where I didn’t want to follow the crowd. That has repercussions but I find it necessary to show spiritual couragel even in the face of crowd disapproval. We are expressly told to do that in Exodus 23:2
You shall not follow the crowd in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to join together with a crowd in order to pervert justice;” We cannot allow ourselves to be swayed by the emotional outburst of the crowd. When we are we are open to following truly evil people. Much like the Germans did when they followed Hitler and sat quietly when 6 million Jews were put to death. When we see wrong we have to be willing to put ourselves on the line as we read in Mark 15:43 “Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself also waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.” Joseph showed true spiritual courage. He risked everything to do the right thing. Why was he willing to do so? Because he remembered the Promise from God we find in Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
So when you’re facing a situation where you are fearful or you are being pressured to do something that you know is wrong, then try this prayer.
Prayer for Courage – Jesus, today I stand before you a person who is often afraid to do the right thing. I worry about what others will think if I truly follow your teachings. I know that regardless of what I face if I just believe and have faith you will help me find the courage to do what needs to be done. I humbly ask that in those moments when I am weak and uncertain, that you imbue me with true spiritual courage. Thank you Amen
That’s all for today, be kind to one another, I’d appreciate it, if you’d subscribe to my YouTube channel, tell your friends about the program, You can also find the program on Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Spotify, TuneIn and more. Find the links to my social media accounts on the website.
God bless y’all Peace.