Courage Not Conformity

Psalm 31:19 – 24

Jesus loves the hopeless. He loved Zacchaeus who was hopelessly lonely. He loved Mary Magdalene though she was demon possessed. He loved Mary and Martha whose brother Lazarus died.

A sense of futile hopelessness is so foreign to the Lord that the word “hopeless” does not occur in the Bible.

Knowing human nature, our Lord realizes it exists and proposes an antidote. The Psalmist describes himself as a person for whom persons have set a snare and caught him in their net. Have you ever felt trapped, hopeless? Framed in such a feeling three release principles are noted. These are to be dealt with in this three part Post series. They are:

God’s people need to study God’s Word in order to understand our times and know what to do. In this time of uncertainty and apprehension let’s explore a rich passage. The first is:

COURAGE  (Psalm 31:24a)

This brings to mind what has been called Jesus’ favorite text: “Be of good cheer.” This He said to the helpless paralytic, the woman who touched the hem of His garment, the terrified disciples in the storm.  Before His ascension Jesus said, “In this world you shall have tribulation but be of good cheer.”

Fear of conditions might cause some to try to retreat into the past or flee into the future, but reverence for God brings us to confront the current with courage. Almost anyone can show physical courage. It refuses to abandon convictions. Don’t be a moral turn-coat. Be courageous enough to die rather than compromise.

In the day of Charles II, Margaret Wilson, a woman of great faith, was falsely accused and sentenced to death. She was tied to the stake on the beach at low tide and offered release for recanting as the tide rose. Her last words – “Christ only is my Master.”

Our word courage comes from the Latin word meaning resulting from two basics: cor and ago. “Cor” is the word for “heart” and “ago” the word for “to put in motion.” When the heart is put in motion there is courage. Courage refers to the condition of the heart. Heart is the summary Hebrew word for mind, purpose, intention, or insight.

Spiritual courage is a human’s inner strength and determination. This is strengthened by a knowledge of and application of Scripture. The Bible says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I may not sin against you.” 

Being strong and of good courage means trusting in the Lord as our true source of strength. “When I am afraid I will trust in you.” Remind yourself of that and purposefully turn to Him and trust Him.