a good day to find courage in God.
“…for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, ‘Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.’ ” Mark 6:50 NASB
No one makes it through life without experiencing fear. There is no shame in it, nor is it a sign of weakness. It is a human response to something unknown or dangerous. Fear – like all who encounter it – comes in all shapes and sizes. For some, it is small and comes in the shape of a spider. For others, it may be as large as, and in the shape of, an airplane.
It can be fear of a specific thing or of a particular situation such as a job interview, moving to a new city, speaking in public or starting in at a new school.
The question is not the size, shape or source of our fear. The question is how we confront it. The question is where we draw the courage to deal with it.
Let’s place ourselves in the boat with the disciples in the middle of the Sea of Galilee as they rowed toward Gennesaret. They were more than likely discussing the incredible events of the day. They had just witnessed the man they had chosen to follow – a man they did not fully understand or believe yet – as He fed thousands of people from a meager supply of five loaves of bread and two fish.
As they discussed this miraculous event in the darkest of night three or four miles from shore, a fierce storm descended upon them, tossing their little craft about and filling them with fear. Suddenly, out of the darkness, they see this same man walking toward them – on the water! Now they were terrified. They thought they were seeing a ghost.
But Jesus told them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Whereupon He climbed into the boat then calmed the wind and the sea. With calm restored, the disciples took courage from the presence of the Lord.
And so it is with each one of us. We must know that we can all rely on the Lord for courage no matter what fear we are facing and no matter what sudden storms crop up in our lives. And although new things can be exciting, they can be frightening as well. Imagine the trepidation Joshua must have felt when he succeeded Moses as Israel’s leader. How would any of us feel if our new job description included leading two million people into a strange land? A land that would need to be conquered to boot! As Joshua looked out on that sea of expectant faces, one can imagine the fear he could have felt were it not for the assurance of God when He said, “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous.” (Joshua 1:5-7a NLT).
The rest of the book of Joshua chronicles the fulfillment of Joshua’s obligation and God’s promise to him to help fulfill it. The reading of it reveals the courage Joshua exhibited as he faced the daunting task before him by trusting God and following His direction.
When we are afraid, we need to look to God. When we think we are alone to face our fears, we must turn to God. He will not fail us and He will never abandon us.
Take your courage from God and you will have everything you need to face your fears.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson