“The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted but to the brave.” Ronald Reagan, January 1986, following the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
by Matt Davidson
In our mission statement, we state one of the reasons for our existence is to “inspire courageous leadership….” I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. As superintendent here at Timothy, I have plenty of shortcomings. I would have to agree with Sinatra when he sang these words: “Regrets, I’ve had a few….” Actually, I probably have several. Just like everyone else, I have made bad decisions, I have let people down, and I have made plenty of mistakes. I should be frozen in fear and cowardice because of the amount of times I have struck out, and yet I can honestly say that God provides me with courage for each day.
When we see commands in the Bible to love one another, to be kind, to forgive, or to help others — we accept these commands without hesitation. It’s not always easy to live our lives in obedience to these commands in the Bible, but no one argues against the virtue or noble character of them. As followers of Christ, we accept these commands as “the basics” and fully aligned with Christianity. No brainer, right? What about the multiple commands in the Bible to be courageous? Wait…what? That’s a command? In the first chapter of Joshua, God commands him repeatedly to “be strong and courageous.” In 1 Corinthians 15:58, one of my favorite verses, the Bible commands us to be “steadfast and immovable.” When the disciples were stuck on a boat as a mighty storm swept across the lake and saw a man walking toward them on the water, they were terrified. As the man got closer, they saw it was Jesus, and what was his command to them in Matthew 14:27?
“Take courage. I am here.”
So, yes, God commands us to have courage. There are many other verses in the Bible that demonstrate this. Ephesians 6:10, Psalm 27:1, John 14:1 and so much more! Being a person of courage does not mean living in denial of adversity or trials, and it certainly doesn’t mean we can eventually develop a complete immunity to fear. There are still plenty of times my knees knock. Rather we press on in any circumstance with the overwhelming conviction that God has everything under control. He never fails. He is almighty and everlasting. There is no one like our God.
Check out Psalm 27:14 below. I’ve always thought it contains interesting wording and sentence structure.
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”
Sound redundant? The command to be brave and courageous is sandwiched in between another command: “Wait patiently for the LORD.” Courage requires pressing on and moving forward — while waiting patiently for the LORD and trusting Him with the outcome.
Think of a time when a family member, immediate or extended, displayed courage. How does it make you feel when you talk about it?
Cabin fever settling in yet? In what way(s) are you feeling impatient right now. Talk about it as a family. Be honest and shoot straight with each other. If no one in your family is feeling impatient about anything, then call me! I’ve got a long list.
Now spend some time reading the verses in the devotional and then have each member of the family pray for each other. Be specific in your prayers about the areas of impatience. Pray for courage for your family and for patience to accompany it.
Be brave and courageous…you bet! That’s a command…and let’s learn to wait patiently for the LORD in the process. It’s hard to have courage without learning to wait patiently for the LORD.