Monday, March 22, 2010

30 Days of Character Development - Courage

1.the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

2.have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism.

Today we will talk about Courage - Notice it doesn't say courage is the absence of fear but it withstands fear. Joyce Meyer had a saying that I think relates well, "Do it afraid." That is basically what courage is - it is doing it afraid - whatever "it" is.

One of the greatest biblical examples we have of courage is Queen Esther. Esther was just a ordinary woman, an orphan raised by her uncle who because of her beauty became queen. But Esther had much more than outer beauty - she also had great inward Character. She had Courage. There comes a time in the story of Esther that she is called upon to stand up for her people. Because she was queen her uncle asked her to go before the king and save her people from destruction. Esther knew that she might die by going before the king without being summoned (Esther 4:11). She initially resisted because of fear but then she took these three steps which we can also apply to most of our "fearful" situations:

1. She used her fear to find her faith - it is during times of pain, difficulty and fear that we draw closest to God. We begin to realize during these times what our faith is made of. Is it real? Is it solid? or was it just something we talked about but didn't really live. Difficult times brings the answer to these questions to the surface.

2. She prepared herself and asked for help - Esther used a pause of three days to think through and pray about her plan , asked others to pray for her and with her. This is something we all need to do during trying times. Sometimes we need to just get alone with God and pray and come up with a plan. We also need to ask those who are close to us to pray for us and with us.

3. She changed her focus from concern to herself to concern for others - First Esther was worried about herself being destroyed then she began to worry more about her people being destroyed. As we are enduring hard times it is easy to get "tunnel vision" about our problem but as we begin to look beyond ourselves we can take great courage in helping others during our times of greatest need.

Beth Moore had a great way of looking at fear. She told of a fear that was gripping her, it was tormenting her and finally God spoke to her heart and said, "Beth, What if it happens. What will you do." Beth replied, "I will be devastated! I will hide, I will cry, I will feel like my life is over." Then God spoke to her heart again and said," Then what" she replied," Well, I will tell people how bad it is, I will grieve, I will feel like I could never minister again." so He said, " Then what?" so she said, "Well, eventually I would start praying and reading your word and get back up and start moving forward because I know that you will help me and give me the strength." And then Beth said she realized what she said and that is was all true. Even if her worst fear came about, and usually they don't she would have the Courage eventually to get back up and keep going.

When you feel fearful, ask yourself what is at its source? Walk through Beth Moore's scenario of fear and see if your outcome isn't the same.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9


Beverly Walters Whaley said...

I read your post tonight late.....thinking I could sleep....however.....I just had to tell you I was sooooo glad you moved on....cuz, patience is not my virtue or the one of the otter......courage......not really either.....but like it better then patience! So had to get 1132 pm...and say thanks......I can write about courage! Love ya.......

CoachK said...

Your too Funny Miss Otter!
I moved quickly past patience because it was too painful for this otter too!