Courage

Study: Courage to Trust God’s Plan

God created mankind to love and trust Him. From the beginning we struggled against doing just that. We want everything to make sense in our heads, not our hearts. We want to attribute reality to the things seen with the eyes and discount what our spirit is telling us. Trusting God completely requires letting go of our independence, our sense of superiority and our ego. We must become childlike and eager for the blessings He wishes to bestow upon us and the life He has outlined for us to live. It takes courage to let go of the hefty physical things of life and reach for the eternal spiritual elements of life. It takes courage to trust God, His Word and His plan for us – especially when He hasn’t shared the daily details of every situation. However, in trusting Him, the details that can trip us up cease to matter.

It takes courage to reason with God

God has a case against us. You may not know it, but you are born of the seed of the first man that disobeyed God and forfeited his right relationship with the Lord Almighty. As natural descendants of that man, Adam, we are heirs to his sin. In Isaiah Chapter One, God lays out his case against mankind – against His special people, Israel. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are a spiritual heir to God’s promises. In verse 18 of Isaiah Chapter One, God invites us to talk to Him. To reason with Him. To present ourselves to Him. Even though our history says we are condemned and deserving of punishment, God’s Word says we can be cleansed, redeemed and restored.

Isaiah 1:18 “ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (NKJV)

It takes courage to act — to perform God’s word in your life.

God is speaking to you. He’s telling you to do something. Don’t take His words lightly. Whatever action He is requiring of you, He will back it up with His performance. Believe that and act now! Don’t make the mistake of trusting someone else’s contrary word (something in direct opposition of what you know God has spoken to you).

Isaiah 55:10  Rain and snow fall from the sky and don’t return without watering the ground. They cause the plants to sprout and grow, making seeds for the farmer and bread for the people. The same thing is true of the words I speak. They will not return to me empty. They make the things happen that I want to happen, and they succeed in doing what I send them to do. 12 “So you will go out with joy and be led out in peace.

Jeremiah 1:11  Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”17 “ Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces,  Lest I dismay you before them. 19 They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the LORD, “to deliver you.” (NKJV)

Number 13:1  And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.”

Numbers 13:30  Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants; and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (NKJV)

Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, but before they married, she learned she was pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man, he did not want to disgrace her in public, so he planned to divorce her secretly. 20 While Joseph thought about these things, an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her is from the Holy Spirit.21 She will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus,because he will save his people from their sins.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel had told him to do. Joseph took Mary as his wife,25 but he did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to the son. And Joseph named him Jesus.

It takes courage to see beyond our circumstances

It’s so easy to get caught up in the problems of the moment; the fears for your life, the concerns regarding your children. We are blinded from God’s promises and blesses by the daily circumstances that weigh us down. The Word doesn’t say that we shouldn’t have painfully consuming life situations, on the contrary we are to count all our trials and sorrows as joy. The Word tells us to keep our focus on Jesus Christ. To follow Him and be His disciple. In doing that, we will live a daily life that honors God and transcends our circumstances.

John 9:24 So for the second time, they called the man who had been blind. They said, “You should give God the glory by telling the truth. We know that this man is a sinner.”

25 He answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.”

26 They asked, “What did he do to you? How did he make you see again?”

27 He answered, “I already told you, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his followers, too?”

28 Then they insulted him and said, “You are his follower, but we are followers of Moses.29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”

30 The man answered, “This is a very strange thing. You don’t know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.31 We all know that God does not listen to sinners, but he listens to anyone who worships and obeys him.32 Nobody has ever heard of anyone giving sight to a man born blind.33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

It takes courage to go where God instructs you to go

Abraham is someone I believe my life has been modeled after (during my thirties anyway). I, too, was told to go to an unfamiliar land and trust the Lord’s provision. I know friends, family and casual observers thought I was crazy for moving to New York City six years ago with no job, no contacts, no resources and no savings. I questioned my own sanity – for a couple of years! Now I know that God had (and has) a plan. He has His own way of working things out in me that will bring about the results He desire. I’ve grown so much spiritually in these years that I can’t even explain the upward arc with any detail. To God be the glory for all that He allows me to do and become!

Genesis 12:1 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you. 4 So Abram left Haran as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. At this time Abram was 75 years old.5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and everything they owned, as well as all the servants they had gotten in Haran.

Acts 9:3  So Saul headed toward Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

5 Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?”

The voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.” 8 Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but he could not see. So those with Saul took his hand and led him into Damascus.

It takes courage to wait

Waiting is a painful. It sounds passive, but it’s really a way of activating your faith and keeping it engaged. When you wait on the Lord, you are saying that you know, understand and appreciate that whatever He has for you is what you want. You are telling Him that He and His blessings are sufficient and temporary substitutes have no place in your life (after all anything you can do for yourself is only temporary). God wants to bless us to the fullest of  our ability to receive.

Isaiah 30:18  The Lord wants to show his mercy to you. He wants to rise and comfort you. The Lord is a fair God, and everyone who waits for his help will be happy.

Psalm 123:1  Lord, I look upward to you, you who live in heaven. 2 Slaves depend on their masters, and a female servant depends on her mistress. In the same way, we depend on the Lord our God; we wait for him to show us mercy. 3 Have mercy on us, Lord. Have mercy on us, because we have been insulted. 4 We have suffered many insults from lazy people and much cruelty from the proud.

Galatians 4:4  But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

It takes courage to speak

The power of life and death is in the tongue. God spoke the universe into existence and we have only to speak to form our own lives. Such power can be frightening! What if we get everything we speak of? No worries, if you are righteous because the blessings of the Lord do not come with added sorry and He will make sure you are able to handle what He gives you. Still scared? Then perhaps you aren’t speaking life. Talk to God and He will certainly clean up your speech to make your words more effective.

Jeremiah 1:4  The Lord spoke his word to me, saying: 5 “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

6 Then I said, “But Lord God, I don’t know how to speak. I am only a boy.”

7 But the Lord said to me, “Don’t say, ‘I am only a boy.’ You must go everywhere I send you, and you must say everything I tell you to say.8 Don’t be afraid of anyone, because I am with you to protect you,” says the Lord.

9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth. He said to me, “See, I am putting my words in your mouth.10 Today I have put you in charge of nations and kingdoms. You will pull up and tear down, destroy and overthrow, build up and plant.”

Learn God’s Word and Learn More About Yourself

God is calling warriors who have the courage to Hear, See, Believe and Obey Him; the courage to Seek Him, Follow Jesus and Receive the Holy Spirit; and the courage to Build, Maintain and Restore Relationships. All in all, we need courage to Trust God.

Courage is needed for so much of life, this study is only a small portion of the scope of situations we need to be brave for. We are all warriors – we may not feel like it or look like it, but that’s what our God is calling us – Mighty Warriors, Men & Women of Valor, More Than Conquerors! There’s a reason for that – we aren’t intended to be passive wimps.

In looking for God’s warriors in the Bible, we learn that none of them look or sound like we think they should – like our Hollywood-influenced popular opinions. They are not able or qualified to do the required task on their own. That’s the beauty of God’s plan – it’s not about us! It’s not about the warriors, aka the workers. It’s all about God! Everything He calls us to do in the Kingdom of Heaven is for His glory – we do what we are told in order that others may come to know the greatness of our God! Hallelujah! We, the warriors, are only symbolic; God is the True Fighter. He has already won victory and has already made a way for His victory to manifest in our lives. When we struggle with impossible situations, circumstances, pains, betrayals, anger, hatred, bitterness, unbelief, lack of knowledge, etc… When we struggle with all that, we show the world (people who intersect with our life) where we are and where we came from. However, when we overcome all that, we show the world what our God does for us every day. And what He does for each of us, glorifies Him in the highest. It takes courage to trust God in His infinite wisdom. It takes courage to live in Christ.

Be courageous, mighty warriors – you Godly men and women of valor!

Other Courage studies:

Study: Courage to Hear, See, Believe and Obey God

Study: Courage to Seek God, Follow Jesus and Receive the Holy Spirit

Study: Courage to Build, Maintain and Restore Relationships

Study: Courage to Trust God’s Plan

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