As the summer morning opens up with a quiet vibrance of life and sunshine, I sit, stilled by the sound of the constant water fall flowing in my back yard pond.
I consider struggles; from my personal life of the past 4 years (a job loss, depression of a spouse, loss of a parent, 3 moves in 4 years) to the current news headlines (international and national violence, African plagues and a very public suicide).What pulled me through those life events? What do we all need to live in this chaotic world?
The word Courage came to mind.
Does courage require strength, pride, self-confidence and an intelligent mind? For me finding courage was acknowledging my weakness, living in humility, accepting my vulnerabilities, embracing my fears, loving instead of hating, and opening my heart to a trusting hope in my Lord not my own strength and abilities.
Psalm 31:24 and Psalm 27:14 helped make the connection for me that a courageous heart is a hopeful heart, steadfast in expecting strength from God. The following are different translations of those verses:
Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord! AMP
So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord! NLT
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. NIV
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord! ESV
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. AMP
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. NLT
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. NIV
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! ESV
Reading all of these versions conveys that courage of the heart involves waiting and hoping confidently in God. A humble heart is the key to placing all your hope and trust in God creating a courageous life open to His purpose. Prideful hearts fear failure striving for self perfection living a cautious life in a comfort zone, stifling God’s direction.
Courage for the impossible can only be found in the possibility of humility. Ann VosKamp
Jesus, the example of courage, gave his life as he humbled himself, the son of God, to fulfill God’s purposes.
“he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8).
His courage is the source of our hope as we wait and expect the Lord to be the provider of our strength and courage.
So be strong and courageous….
Can you be courageous? You have a choice. It is a life style, a life focus, built on the hope and trust in the love of God. Still your heart and see how God’s presence will light a way to a vibrant life of courageous choices.