Courage

In thinking about living in the world but not being of it yesterday, it brought to mind this verse, Joshua 1:9:

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

You probably already know that this was said to Joshua as he and the Israelites were preparing to cross over into the promised land.  Moses has died and the torch is being passed on to Joshua so to speak.  They are preparing for an invasion to take the land by force.  They are also cautioned to be sure to keep the laws of Yahweh.

When you think about it, that is exactly what we are being charged to do as well.  We are to go forth into a land that has forgotten God or never known him to begin with and to spread the gospel.  Our land, our country, our communities, our homes.

And this takes courage.

Unlike the Israelites, we don’t need to have actual weapons and armour, but we do need to dress ourselves in the full armour of God.  And that includes our Bibles and the truth that it contains.   We need to prepare our hearts and minds for battle by soaking in the Spirit breathed words of God so that we can hide them in our hearts, ready to bring them forth when needed.

Jesus calls us to conquer our world with love.

And this takes courage.

It takes courage to be the one person to stand up in a crowd to say that something is wrong.  It takes even more courage to try to right the wrongs we see.  Whether it be bullying or racism, we can be strong and courageous and be a voice for the persons being wronged and we need to take that stand.

We are called to be light bearers in a broken world.

And this takes courage.

It takes courage to be the dissident voice in the crowd in order to point out that a popular movie or show or song isn’t pleasing to God.  However, we need to be the torch bearers leading the way to things that are wholesome and draw us closer to God rather than displeasing to him and alienating ourselves from him for the sake of being one of the gang.

We are called to speak truth, even when it isn’t popular opinion.

And this takes courage.

I have heard it said recently that you can’t talk religion without bringing your politics to the table.  I don’t know if that is a universal truth, but it certainly seems to be the truth here in our society today.  How many of us go along with things for fear of crossing party lines if we don’t?

Abortion.

LGBTQ rights.

The Death Penalty.

Syrian Refugees.

Continuing Warfare with U.S. assistance in the Middle East.

All of these issues, and many, many more are hot topics right now.  The supporters on both sides of the aisle are convinced their solutions are the only right solutions.  The only ones that make sense.  But how did they all come to those conclusions?

They also think in many cases, at least in religious circles, that God is on their side and they are in the right.  Their cause is just.   But is it?

 When is the last time we actually came together on both sides of the table to engage in God’s word to see what is actually there?

When did we last pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we search for answers to these difficult issues that involve the lives of very real people?  Hurt people.  Marginalized people.  God’s people.

My friends, it takes courage and strength to stand up for what we KNOW is wrong.  We need to take that stand regardless of what our friends and family may think of us.  We need to quit worrying so much about being politically correct and start worrying about being spiritually correct.

We are just sojourners here.  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid.  Do not be fearful.

He is always with us.  Filling us with love, light, and courage.

Courage dear heart

Aslan to Lucy in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

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