I've been thinking about courage...

FEARLESS

So little time on earth, so many fears to manage!

NEPHO.PHOBIA - fear of clouds
OMBRO.PHOBIA - fear of rain
SELENO.PHOBIA - fear of the moon
SIDERO.PHOBIA - fear of stars
XYLO.PHOBIA - fear of forests

These are just a few fears concerning nature that I picked out of a long list of phobias. What is a phobia? It is an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical, fear of a particular thing.

By the way, have you noticed that phobias/fears do not remain static in your life? They either seem to grow and overtake when you are weak or diminish and fade when you muster up courage. Courage by definition is the strength to venture, to persevere, to withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. It implies a firmness of mind - an unshakable confidence.

I noticed when I looked up the use of the word courage in Scripture, there are many occasions when individuals are instructed to "take courage" or to "take heart." Here is an example from Psalm 31:24, Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all of you, who wait for the Lord!

To take courage means to make it one's own possession by seizing it, grasping it, clutching it. In Acts 23:11, the resurrected Jesus visits Paul in prison and tells him, Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome. Jesus steadies and strengthens Paul for the task ahead by reminding him to "take courage."

In Acts 28:15 Paul thanked God when he was greeted by Roman Christians upon his arrival in Rome and it is recorded there that he took courage. Here is evidence that even Paul, a mature believer, needed inspiration and strength. He was able to grasp courage for himself and make it his own.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquest of it! God instructs us to take courage by seizing it - grasping it - clutching it. God believes we are able to do this! So why is it such a difficult choice?

As my husband, Darryl, says, "It takes a greater fear to cast out a lesser fear!" Getting into one's head that displeasing God - shrinking back from His plan for my life - rationalizing outright disobedience - is a far more serious concern than dealing with my petty earthly phobias. FAR MORE SERIOUS!

So... we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:9&10).

Jesus said:
"Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven" (Matthew 9:2).
"Daughter, take courage, your faith has made you well" (Matthew 9:22).
And then, in response to His disciples who were terrified, crying out to Him in fear, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid" (Matthew 14:27).

Yes, Lord, speak for Thy servant is listening! Help me take courage right now! Help me be fearless in the pursuit of Your pleasure and blessing on my life. Help me hold on tight to courage with all my might!