THE COURAGE FACTOR
And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
The power of God can help you overcome anything.
Once you discern a clear direction and the right thing to do, your greatest obstacle may often be fear. Fear can be a gift when it warns you about an unhealthy decision or situation; however, it may also paralyze you in pursuing your full potential. Paul pointed out that, even when God opens a door of opportunity for you, people will often oppose you (1 Corinthians 16:9). Faith is what overcomes fear. When Jesus calmed the storm, He challenged His disciples to have faith instead of fear: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? (Mark 4:40)” Jesus said this to stimulate their trust. Ask God to give you boldness, faith, and courage that are greater than your fear (Acts 4:29-31). As the apostle Paul entered Jerusalem, there was a very real possibility that he would be killed. He decided not to let fears become the determining factor in his decisions. As a result, many peoples’ lives were changed when they heard about Jesus’ love. When have you chosen courage over fear?
Many people know where God wants them to go and what He wants them to say and do; but never follow through because of the fear obstacle. There have been many key junctures of my life when I did not want fear, however powerful or deeply felt, to have the final say. Getting married was a step of faith for me, in part, because I knew the pain of my parents’ divorce. Moving to cities where I did not know anyone challenged my apprehension regarding the unknown and involved overcoming my hesitations. Starting graduate school without any money, but having a clear sense that I would graduate with no debt, was a step of faith. (God provided over $60,000 dollars during those four years.) Running again after having serious heart complications was not psychologically easy. God does not always ask us to take the riskiest path. He wants us to walk in wisdom, but faith often beckons our forward movement. The most significant work on earth includes relying on God for heavenly courage.
What are your biggest fears and how is God helping you to overcome them?
For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org