Cultivating Courage

Men are supposed to be brave. We are supposed to be like Jack Bauer (on the TV show 24), willing to step up when the need arises, no matter what the cost, no matter what the pain, just because the mission is more important than any personal comfort or safety. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is essential.

Courage makes a good theory, but sometimes we need help to practice it. We have many opportunities each day to step out of our comfort zone to serve God. When we don’t have courage, we need to be reminded of God’s promise in 2 Timothy, and we need others’ encouragement to take the leap of faith.

Perhaps you need someone to tell you: Volunteer for that job at church because they need you. Teach that class. Have lunch with your co-worker to discuss matters of faith. Maybe you should join that small group, or the Men of Steel. Remember the mission that Christ gave to us, to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). First we seek the lost (Luke 19:10), because God is seeking true worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).

We recently read the book of Esther, which tells a story of love, sacrifice, and God’s timing. Mordecai, a Jew in exile, refused to bow to Haman, second in command to King Ahasuerus. Haman became furious and plotted to destroy Mordecai and all the Jews. So Haman deceived the king and persuaded him to issue an edict condemning the Jews to death. When Mordecai told his cousin Queen Esther about the edict, he urged her to intervene. “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” he said (4:14). Approaching the king uninvited was punishable by death. But Esther seized the moment to save her people!

When we are able to rescue others, we should do so at all costs. Ask God for His direction and act! He may have placed you here “for such a time as this.”

Be courageous for Jesus. Be obedient to the point of risk. Sometimes it takes just that first step of courage to serve our wonderful Savior.

Erwin McManus has something to say about courage.

Try these steps for size:

  1. Identify your calling.
  2. Identify your fears.
  3. Consider how your fears will thwart your calling.
  4. Consider the authority of Christ over your fears.
  5. Trust God’s ability rather than your limitations.
  6. Decide whether you want a life of compliance or rebellion.
  7. Always choose obedience in the face of fear.
  8. Join forces with others of similar calling.
  9. Remind yourself that God’s side wins.
  10. Embrace the adventure of a life of significance.


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