“Be strong, and let your hearts take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord.”
—Psalm 31:24 (NRSV)
Psalms like this one, one of David’s laments, declare the majesty of the Lord’s Presence in assuring, at serene peacefulness, the situationally faithful servant of God. Those who are deep in their darkened distress, disposed disparagingly to the midst of their grief, but who wait on the Lord have within their hearts, taken courage.
It may be a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. What comes first: the courage of faith to step forth or the blessing of courage for having already expressed faith?
It may be irrelevant, or it may be that both influence each other. Irrespective, expressions of courage despite our fear redeem the blessings of courage—faithfulness begets faithfulness.
Going Forth In Courage Despite Fear
We can know where God is calling us to, simply by virtue of the fact of our fear. This is an astounding truth, to think that God makes good out of bad.
Because we all struggle with fear, and with many varieties of presenting anxieties, we can know for sure that God is leading us into the scary battlegrounds-of-our-potential through our fears. We can know that the stimulus of fear is a godly construct that the Lord uses in our discipleship. We are tested to be proven.
Would we know fear in a perfect and unbroken world? Perhaps only fear of the Lord.
But just as God is creating good out of the evil we are called to grapple with in this broken life, we can trust that our Lord is using fearful situations to take us to another level in our development.
Courage is the final frontier, leading us through our fears, to conquer each one in the name of Jesus.
When our hearts take courage we adhere to the truth that God is with us, and our faith attests to the fact that God will give us what we need when we need it.
The purpose of life is to glorify God, and we may not have any better way of glorifying God than via our courage to do what is necessary despite our fear. When we go forth in courage, especially when we trudge a lonely road in obedience, when we are prepared to wait on God, we stand to be inevitably blessed.
When our hearts take courage we step forth in faith and we please God. Perhaps the hardest courage that our hearts can take is the courage to wait; to faithfully pray; to obey; to endure our fears and press on past them.
It is ours to step forth, to trust God, and to take courage.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.