Christian Courage

J. D. Conley
January 24, 2016

Courage is an admirable virtue, whereas cowardice is repugnant. No one has much respect for a coward, but the courageous are held in honor and esteem. When considering the brave and courageous, one thinks of soldiers who fight protecting our shores and freedom, and law enforcement officers who keep our streets and neighborhoods safe. In fact, anyone who places the safety and welfare of others above their own and acts accordingly, is deemed to be courageous.

But courage is also a quality that is to be seen in God's people. God expects His people to have courage. Timothy was told, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). Courage has been the longstanding earmark of Godly people. It took courage for Abraham to leave his fatherland and offer Isaac, (Genesis 12 and 22). It required courage for Gideon to attack the Midianites with three hundred men, (Judges 7). David demonstrated valor in slaying Goliath, (1 Samuel 17). The three Hebrews, who refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar's image and were thrown into the fiery furnace, showed a rare from of courage, (Daniel 3). Esther in going before a despot king to save her people, acted in courage, (Esther 4, 5-7). The apostles showed courage, that even persecution and threat of death could not defeat. Early Christians, such as Stephen, Antipas, and others expressed the courage of their convictions and suffered martyrdom. Christ exhibited tremendous courage when He prayed to the Father, "not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).

But what about you and I? Are we as Christians willing to stand up for what we believe? Do we have the courage of our convictions? Conviction apart from courage means little. Let us not rationalize our way out of showing courage. Let us not sell out to the world because we lack the courage to stand up for Jesus. Paul urges, "Watch ye, standfast in the faith, quit [behave/conduct] you like men, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13). If we have courage then our enemies will be helpless in terrifying us in the least, Philippians 1:28. Remember, its "the fearful," who head the list of those who "...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone..." (Revelation 21:8).

Christian Courage: Do You Have It?