It has been defined as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear.” (taken from dictionary.com). It means bravery.
Google “courage” & you will get 23,600,000 results.
We all face circumstances in our lives that will require courage. Some of us may appear to be more courageous than others. Courage may look differently for each of us. But there is no denying that living this life requires that we all have courage. We need courage ……
- when life is uncertain
- to continue on when a spouse leaves
- when raising children alone
- to raise children in a rapidly changing world
- when unemployed
- to face the rising pile of bills
- when sitting in a doctor’s office & hearing the word “cancer”
The disciples knew they needed to find courage when they find themselves in a boat facing a storm. Scripture tells us that the “boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves.” (Matthew 14:24 NIV). Out in the middle of the water, far from land, notice they feel “buffeted”. In the Greek, that means the waves “tortured them, tormented them, caused them to be in pain”. (taken from The Key Word Study Bible). Ever notice that life can do that at times? Push us around. Cause us to feel tormented by emotions, thoughts & fears.
As their fear begins to rear its ugly head, things only get worse. They see a figure walking on the water towards them. Matthew tells us “they were terrified”, (verse 26). Basically, they were screaming their heads off.
“But Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (verse 27).
Notice that He immediately speaks to them. He tells them to TAKE courage not GET courage. It is an act that we must do for ourselves. We do not wait to feel courageous. We take courage. And Jesus says it as a command & with an exclamation point. It is imperative that we take action – immediately. We do not let our panic fester, ferment or grow.
Remember the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard Of Oz”? He takes hold of & exercises that which was within him the entire time. We immediately take courage by recognizing Who Christ is & that He is with us. His very Presence dispels the fear. As we acknowledge His Presence with us, fear is dispelled.
In his book, “Fearless”, Max Lucado writes this:
Courage does not panic; it prays. Courage does not bemoan; it believes. Courage does not languish; it listens. It listens to the voice of God calling through Scripture, “Fear not!”. It hears.
taken from Fearless by Max Lucado – page 178)
Listen to His voice in & through the pages of Scripture.