The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines courage as: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
Why would God call us to have courage? Josh 1:7, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.” Why does it take courage to follow the law? Matt 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Apparently, some will not be happy with the example we are setting when we follow the law, some of them will be upset to the point of trying to kill us. Even today, 11 Christian are killed every hour because of their faith in Christ. Here is a link to an article that discusses this problem: http://www.christianpost.com/news/11-christians-are-killed-every-hour-says-irish-catholic-bishop-who-warns-persecution-of-believers-is-at-an-unprecedented-high-139312/
Should we then be afraid of those willing to kill us for our beliefs? Deut 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” The answer is no, for fear is the weapon they are trying to use to silence God’s witnesses. God has promised us eternity, so the loss of a few years should never stop us from fulfilling His calling of spreading His Word, Matt 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Has God not given us a duty to perform?
1 Pet 3:14-16, “But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” Does God not call us to spread His Word in meekness and without fear of death? Are we not to have studied His Word, so that we may have an answer for those who seek one? Does that answer not fully explain our hope in an eternal life with God? Rom 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Is this not a hope worth facing death without fear? Is our hope not the proof of our faith in God? Is faith not at the heart of the courage we display when we face adversity?
Ps 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” God knows we walk in the valley of death when we fulfill His calling of spreading His Word and that is why He has given us so many verses on courage.
Is 41:13, “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Is God talking about this life, or a combination of this life and the next?
Dan 3:16-18, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Is God saying our courage serves as a light to others, even if we face death in this life?
2 Tim 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Jn 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Rom 8:15, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
1 Jn 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Does God call us to love everyone, spread His Truth and fear no one?
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