I was out on a walk with my wonderful wife and noticed some commotion up in the trees. A raven had a live baby bird in its beak and two other birds were boldly diving in on the raven. As this bit of the circle of life was going on I was feeling a bit sorry for these littler birds being harassed by the big nasty raven…by the way I’m not that fond of ravens anyway. Their crow is irritating and I don’t know if it’s because of Alfred Hitchcock’s infamous horror movie “The Birds,” but ravens kind of give me the creeps…I was also amazed by the little bird’s gallantry, these smaller birds strapped on some real courage to defend one of their own.
This whole slice of nature got me thinking about courage, but not so much the courage of mustering up the energy to brave the elements to accomplish something. No, I was not thinking about the inspiring courage of rescue workers who, while others are running from danger, these courageous men and woman are running towards danger to save lives. I am in awe of that kind of courage.
The kind of courage I was thinking about is a resolution of faith in God. It’s that bravery to believe in our Lord Jesus, the Christ, and place our trust in who He is, what He has done, and out of daring faith, live life His way.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
As Moses challenged the nation Israel in the face of hostility, we are challenged to take courage in the adverse current of our own world, a hostile environment that wants to pluck us out of our faith in God. But this courage is not some gathering of our own actions or pulling energies from our own resources, this kind of courage is the brave choice to trust in Jesus; our Redeemer (Galatians 4:4-5), our Deliverer (1 Thessalonians 1:10), our Savior (1 Timothy 1:15) and place our lives in His care.
Ephesians 3:16-19 16 that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
The courage of faith is the boldness of trusting in His Spirit, the commitment to rely on the truth of His Word the Bible, the focus of, and confidence in, who Jesus is and what He has done. The courage of faith is being willing to be rescued by Jesus. Too often we try to rescue ourselves and strap on brave religious actions, and though those may do good outwardly, it’s in our inner self that makes the difference. The question we should be asking ourselves is, are we truly placing our trust in who Jesus is and what He has done for us? That’s when faith becomes courageous. Is yours?
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
So live with courageous faith!
Now, I never found out what happened to that little bird, I hope it got free, but the challenge of those other courageous ones was a good reminder to be relentless in my trust in Jesus.
Persisting in ‘the courage of faith’ with you,
PS Cypress Church and our Branch churches are talking about the victory we experience in Jesus this week. We would love for you to join us or listen to our sermons online. Check out our website for more information: www.cypresschurch.net