Monday, September 12, 2016

Courage is Expressed Faith

One of the Greatest Casualties of our Faith is Courage

Brethren, the Lord has revealed to us through various messages and visions that the courage of many Christians are failing them to walk fully in the will of the Lord. This, the LORD said, led to many Christians  dishonouring Him and they instead choose to honor man more than Him. Therefore, after prayer we are reposting this message to encourage and remind the brethren to be courageous and stand firm especially given to the times that we are living in. We are going to need courage to overcome the temptation of being ashamed of the gospel and our good confession that Jesus Christ is LORD! Be blessed and share the word as you continue serving.

We have numerous Biblical examples of failed courage and how this led to disaster. Here is one powerful incident of failed courage. Moses sent out 12 spies to explore the promised land of Canaan, and upon their return they displayed some of the rich produce from that land. They also reported how powerful the people were. They saw giant-like people there, “descendants of Anak”. The spies (with the exception of Joshua and Caleb), presented the report in such a negative and unfaithful manner that the people were discouraged and their hearts failed so that they longed back to the days of bondage (Numbers 13: 1-33).

Even though Moses, Caleb, Joshua and Aaron pleaded with the community to trust in the Lord and not to be afraid, the people were determined to turn back in disobedience (Numbers 14:1-9). Brethren, I encourage you in the Mighty Name of our Lord Jesus Christ never to turn back to bondage after you experienced the Lord’s deliverance. This will result in your destruction (Numbers 14:21-30). From the above Scripture, we learn that this same rebellious community experienced the mighty acts of God’s judgement upon the Egyptians, and yet they still doubted Him. They were driven by fear and they had given up. The Lord forgave them and promised judgement for their lack of faith, and we know that He fulfilled the judgement He promised them (Joshua 5:6).

God: Our Source of Courage

God the Father says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV). Furthermore Joshua, being a man of faith, took God’s Word literally when the Lord said to him, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6-7 NIV).

As it turned out, Joshua took faith in the words of the Lord and God’s command to be strong and courageous, and he brought the Israelites into the Promised Land (Joshua 24:8-14). This was a combination of faith and obedience which resulted in the promise. Faith is expressed through courage in facing the uncertainty. I am not talking about human courage that seeks to elevate our own strength and abilities. I am talking about taking courage in God’s abilities. If we expressed such faith, God would be recognised as the Source of our achievement, rather than us. The result is always supernatural and beyond human ability (Joshua 1:3-9).

In addition, courage is often mistaken for risk in today’s language. The world encourages people to take risks by experimenting their strength and weaknesses. The benefit of success in taking the risk is wealth and self-glory. When we take risks, we base our faith in our own abilities and not in the Lord. In the Lord however, we express our courage by faith in God’s abilities for His glory and our deliverance. In other words we say, “Lord you said, so we do” (John 15:14).

In many instances, I have witnessed how the Christian’s courage is usurped by fear. In the examples above, Joshua had faith but he needed to have courage as well. We have also seen how fear seized upon the people‘s courage and they gave up (Numbers 14:4). Although they fell in the desert, God used Joshua’s courage to bring their children into the Promised Land. Likewise, God wants us to take up Joshua, Paul and Peter’s courage as a testimony to trust in His ability. We read how they overcame all adversities. These courageous men witnessed fearlessly (Acts 4:33), they had courage to face prison, ridicule and death, and yet they persevered (2 Corinthians 11:23-33).

Today, many Christians are discouraged to witness because they fear what others might think about them. They fear being ridiculed more than witnessing to save souls. We often see and hear the lukewarm, disobedient and self-righteous believers hurling insults, such as “fundamentalists”, to truly God-fearing servants of God. Do not lose your courage because of insults and abuse, and do not allow man to judge you on the convictions coming from the Holy Spirit. Keep marching on in obedience and inherit God’s promises! (Joshua 1:7, Luke 6:22-23). God has promised success to the courageous and obedient believers. Also, let your courage not fail because you see that many Christians have befriended the world and live contrary to the scriptures; don’t join in, but hold on faithfully to your confidence (Hebrews 10:23, 1 Corinthians 15:58).

Furthermore, have courage like King Josiah who, when he heard about God’s judgements, repented and led his entire kingdom to national repentance (2 Chronicles 34:39-33). King Josiah took God’s word literally and acted in obedience to it. He was led by a strong conviction and committed himself to follow the Lord with all his heart and soul. He was possessed by fear for God and he followed the commands of the WORD (2 Chronicles 34:31). He showed contempt for the wrongs his forefathers did by destroying the evil they did against the Lord. A flame for God’s justice was burning within him (2 Kings 23:4-25).

Before I conclude, I would like to share with you a short testimony. Before I arrived to the position of faith and courage I enjoy today, I faced many tests and challenges. I fought the fear I had for man through prayer and obedience to God. I am not mentioning this to be pitied, but when the Lord tested our faith and courage, He sent us out witnessing with our Bibles only. He sent us out from morning till late at night. To read more about our faith and the courage we displayed kindly read our article “Obedience Through Test.” This is the courage we expressed in God to protect us and to provide for us.

In conclusion, I encourage you as a fellow servant of God not to allow the ungodly talk of the faithless to consume your courage. Instead, use your faith to draw courage from God, since He said in Scripture “…And I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV). We therefore say AMEN to His promises and unfathomable ABILITY!

How do your faith and courage measure up? Is your faith like that of Joshua and Caleb, focusing on the Lord as your strength and courage, or are you like the 10 unfaithful spies? If you have a desire to start trusting the Lord, here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Grace to you in His courage,

Brother Glenn.