Christianity calls for real courage among those who embrace it.  On a number of occasions, Jesus warned of its dangers (Matthew 5:10, 11; John 16:1, 2). The Apostle Paul expressed to Timothy that one must be willing to “endure hardness” if they are to be successful as a Christian (2 Timothy 2:3).  The word “hardness,” here, would be in reference to the difficulties that the Christian will be confronted with from time to time.  The New Testament teaches us that all who will live “godly shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Within the New Testament, we find numerous exhortations to be strong and courageous in our daily walk as a Christian (1 Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 6:10; 2 Peter 1:5). May these thoughts on courage strengthen our determination to be “Steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

SOME EXAMPLES OF COURAGE – Within both the Old and New Testaments we find numerous examples of those who stood firm, even in the face of life threatening circumstances.

                                     Job – Job 1 and 2; 23:12 (See Job 1:22)

                                    Joseph – Genesis chapters 39 and 40

                                    Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego – Daniel 3:17-25

                                    Daniel – Daniel 6:6-10, 1-22

                                    Paul – Acts 20:22-24; 21:10-13; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28       

With these in mind, we should be challenged to understand that we cannot be pleasing to God doing anything less than these did when faced with the trials that came upon them.

WHAT COURAGE TO STAND FOR THE RIGHT MEANS – When we have the courage which we see in such examples above, we will obey God regardless of the degree of difficulty that we are experiencing. When we have this type of courage, when confronted with difficulties, we will “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).Both Abraham (Genesis 22:1-12) and Jesus provide us with great examples of this type of courage (Matthew 26:36-44).  When we have the degree of courage necessary to be a faithful Christian, we will guard our virtue such as Joseph had this kind of courage (Genesis 39:7-12).  Paul’s words to Timothy help us to see the truth on this matter (2 Timothy 2:22). When we have the courage that the Lord would have us to have, we will guard our integrity. Regardless of what came upon Job, he was unwilling to “remove” his “integrity from” him (Job 27:5).

 When we have the kind of courage that God desires for us, we will rebuke sin, regardless of how it affects us. Both John the Baptist (Matthew 14:3, 4) and Peter (Acts 2:23, 36) provide us with examples here.  Furthermore, when we have the courage God demands, we will preach and teach God’s word faithfully regardless of what others want us to do (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

 THE CONSEQUENCES OF STANDING FOR THE RIGHT – Standing for that which is right is not always popular with man. As a matter of fact, more times than not, it isn’t, as can be seen by what the New Testament teaches on this. We can see what is in store for the one who stands firm.

                                    Persecution – 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12-16

                                    It cost some early disciples their lives – Stephen (Acts

                                    7:55-60), James (Acts 12:1, 2). Tradition says that all

                                    the apostles died martyr’s death except for John.

 However, whatever comes our way; we must recognize the fact that standing for the right also has its blessings and rewards.

                                    The happiness of doing what is right – Matthew 5:10-12

                                     A glorified body when the Lord comes – Philippians 3:20, 21;

                                     1 John 3:2

                                      Eternal life in heaven – Mark 10:30; 2 Timothy 4:6-8

 As Christians, we have every reason to be courageous (Romans 8:31; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13; Jude 24, 25).  There is no question as to whether God would have us to be courageous, the question is, will we be such?

 

 

 

 

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