I was struggling with fear. Fear that I was not going to be able to accomplish all that I needed to get done. Fear that I did not have the resources necessary for the task. Fear that I was going to fail. The result was stress, anxiety and acting like a jerk. Have you ever walked that road? Don’t feel bad. It is well traveled.
The frustrating thing is that the issue is not complicated. The solution is not hard to figure out. An advanced degree in theology is not required to discover the answer. Most of life is like that, but we overwork problems in our minds until we feel lost. Fundamental truths will carry us through most of the challenges that we face. So it is with fear.
In 2 Samuel 7:27, King David declares that he “found” his courage. Where did he find it? Where did all the world changers in the Scripture find it? The same place that we can find it for the daily courage that we need to move forward, obey God and do the hard thing.
We find courage through faith.
David found his courage to lead Israel as her greatest King because he trusted God’s promise that He would be with him and make his house great. You can read God’s words to David here in 2 Samuel 7:5-17.
Joshua found his courage to lead Israel into war for the promised land because he trusted God’s promised to be with him and give him success. You can read God’s words to Joshua here in Joshua 1:1-9.
Abraham found his courage to leave his country and all that he knew in order to start a new nation because he trusted God’s promise to bless him and bless the entire world through him. You can read God’s words to Abraham here in Genesis 12:1-4.
Nehemiah found his courage in the face of opposition and doubters to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem because he trusted God to do it. You can read his simple declaration here in Nehemiah 2:19,20.
It was Nehemiah’s declaration that pulled me out of fear and stress this week thanks to a new devotional project called “Calloused Hands” that is designed for hard working people in the trades. Check it out here.
Nehemiah’s declaration was that “The God of heaven will give us success.” It’s so simple. Who are we trusting in? Where does our faith reside? God convicted me. I was acting like a faithless man. I was worried like a man that doesn’t know God. Why would I do that? Why do we do that? I was limiting my progress to my ability rather than the limitless abilities of God.
My favorite representation of this might be from Hezekiah. Sennacherib, the King of Assyria, had been running over the cities of Judah and is now threatening Jerusalem. The people are scared so Hezekiah gathers them together to calm their fears and stoke the fires of courage. This is what he said….
“ Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” -2 Chronicles 32:7,8
Do you see Hezekiah’s argument to the people? Yes, Assyria has this great army. Our fate appears dire, but it is not. We have something far greater than a mighty military. We have the Lord fighting for us. It is in Him that we trust. It is in Him that we find our courage. The text goes on to say that the people gained confidence from Hezekiah’s words. They grew in courage because they remembered that they had more resources than they thought. God was with them…like he was with all the other biblical greats. They found their courage through faith.
I know…I know. There is nothing new here. I’m sorry. It’s nothing but the fundamental of faith and we tend to run after the new idea or the latest principle as THE thing that is going be the key to our problems. Yet, from Genesis to Revelation…from Abraham to Jesus, faith is where courage is found. Faith is the key.
Where in your life do you need courage? It is easy to think that courage is something that we only need to summon if we are heading off to war or into some other dire circumstances. That is not true. Whatever causes fear or stress or worry to rise up in you is a place that demands courage. It takes courage to tell the truth. It takes courage to admit you were wrong. It takes courage to try again. It takes courage to confront your sin. It takes courage to proclaim your faith. It takes courage to grind it out at your job day after day. We don’t just need courage to win the war. We need courage to win the day. The first step to getting better is courage.
Find your courage. Live for Jesus Christ. Act in Faith!
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