God has been speaking to me a lot lately about courage and resilience. It's definitely something that we are all growing in at this time, and for many who have lost jobs and homes at this time, it has stretched them to the end of their courage and beyond.
In the Bible, the Hebrew word most often translated as courage is amatz (Aleph-mem-tsadi), and it means to be strong, alert, courageous, brave, stout, bold, solid and hard. If you're like me, there are times we do not in any way shape or form feel like we have courage at all. There are days when we feel like we're hanging to the last shreds of hope by our fingernails.
Courage is standing up in the face of fearsome reality determined to overcome an obstacle. It is taking one more step than you think you can. It is feeling the fear and praising God in the midst of it. It is not giving in or giving up when everything feels dark and overwhelming. Courage is courage whether in a big thing or a small thing. The object of our courage is relative to us, and what may seem like an uncourageous step for us, might be a huge one for someone else. It all takes a step of faith and trusting in an awesome, faithful God.
Lee Robertson said this: "Nothing but encouragment can come to us as we dwell upon the faithful dealing of our Heavenly Father in centuries gone by. Faith in God has not saved people from hardships and trials, but it has enabled them to bear tribulations courageously and to emerge victoriously".
GOD'S PROMISE TO MOSES AND TO US
In Dueteronomy 31:6-12 in the Message Bible, God says to Moses "Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because God your God is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you".
Then Moses summoned Joshua. He said to him with all Israel watching, 'Be strong. Take courage. You will enter the land with this people, this land that God promised their ancestors that he'd give them. You will make them the proud possessors of it. God is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you. Don't be intimidated. Don't worry"
Wow, that is a passage so full of reassurance and promises, full of faith and trust that we can lean on at this time.
I hear God saying in this, 'don't look at the obstacles, keep looking at me. Don't listen to the lies of the enemy, he'll try and intimidate you but he has no teeth. I'm your enduring strength, I'm your courage. Come to me to be fortified and strengthened in this place of transition and birthing. Don't look at the challenges, don't let them overwhelm or intimidate you, I'm the God of the impossible, who doesn't change from one day to the next and I keep my word. I'm taking you where I promised to take you. You're going to possess all that I gave your ancestors, your inheritance is being returned to you, everything is being restored and I'm right there alongside you, and going before you to ensure that it is all done'.
We are all learning to be more courageous in so many ways at this time. Many of us are shifting homes, towns, jobs. Some of us feel to leave mainstream gatherings and do something else. We're learning to be pioneers, not knowing what we are going to see when we get there (wherever there is haha). God is asking us to embrace diversity, be vulnerable with each other, put ourselves out there, step outside of the box, deal with wrong beliefs and attitudes, run the risk of being judged for stepping into new revelations that others haven't got a hold of yet. Courage is a sacrifice. It asks us to go deeper and demands greater faith of us. Father honors that sacrifice and meets us at that point. Sometimes for me it's almost like I can't stand the pain, the pressure anymore, but I push my faith and choose to step in and bam!, it's like everything opens up - God has made a way, gone before, strengthened me just as He has promised he would.
LEND OUR COURAGE TO OTHERS
There's a thing about sunflowers. They turn their faces towards the sun. When there is no sun they turn their faces towards each other and share their energy with each other. We need to share our courage with each other. When you're strong you can strengthen and encourage me. When you're feeling up against it I can be there for you. Courage is meant to be shared. We give courage when we share our testimony. We give courage when we pray for each other. We give courage when we do acts of kindness for those who aren't doing so well. Our courage inspires and encourages others. It is meant to be given away - we're a Body - we can't be strong without each other.
I'd love to hear your testimonies of courage - of how others have lifted you up, of the impossible that God has done when you had lost hope. Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook.