Get Courage – Part 2 is by Pastor Dwane Parsons. Worship with Cheryl Dunn and her team. CCLI License number 1001973.
The first part of our Get Courage series reminded us that:
Practice Courage even if you don’t feel it.
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. Joshua 1.9
Sometimes in life, courage is in the action of stepping out or speaking up, even if we don’t feel courageous.
Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela.
Just because you are afraid, it does not mean that you are outside God’s will.
Fear is the ticket price for doing something new, taking a big step of faith or launching out into the unknown.
So, to get courage, act in spite of your fear and practice courage anyway!
And here is why acting courageously is so important, even if you don’t feel it:
Other people get courage when a courageous person takes a stand.
MODEL COURAGE FOR OTHERS AROUND YOU.
Philippians chapter 1, the Apostle Paul says that “ because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”
Paul says: My courage helps others to be courageous.
You have no idea what your courage can do for others.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thess 5:11
Courage is contagious.
People are encouraged when they see you do something they know they should do.
People are encouraged you tell them you believe in them, even before they start.
People are encouraged when they know they are loved.
People are encouraged when they know that someone has their back.
People are encouraged when they know they are not alone when they face trouble.
Finally: The best place to get courage is by walking with Jesus
Acts 3&4: Peter and John perform a public healing (we don’t have any money – but what we DO have we will give you.) and preach to the crowd boldly to repent from their sin and believe on the risen Christ.
They are arrested and thrown in jail, and the next day Peter and John (along with the man that was healed) addresses the Jewish religious leaders. – Known Murderers!
Peter didn’t back down: “Jesus . . . whom YOU crucified” (10). “Jesus . . . whom GOD raised” (10).
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
ACTS 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
3 things they NOTICED: Ordinary Men (Uneducated/ unindoctrinated); Boldness (courage); They had been WITH JESUS.
Have you been WITH Jesus? It will show.
The religious leaders ultimately released Paul and John with a warning to not preach anymore.
They didn’t listen – what they had experienced in being with the risen Christ had set them on fire.
Just the fact they were walking around with a well-known man who used to be a cripple the day before – it was hard for people not to notice!
These men had been with Jesus, now they preach boldly and performing miracles.
When Paul and John returned to their brothers and sisters at the house church and told them what happened, the people were also amazed and encouraged.
The witness of the apostles gave them courage.
The sense and signs that God was truly with them gave them courage.
I want you to consider HOW these people prayed.
Acts 4: 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
These weren’t timid prayers.
I’m kind of tired of the, “Jesus, just keep everyone safe. Keep us safe. Safe, safe, safe…” prayers?
These were the prayers of people who recognized that Jesus was with them, so they were bold and courageous.
What happened next?
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
You are not alone.
You can be Courageous because Jesus is with you.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. –Deuteronomy 31:8
You can be Courageous because the Holy Spirit will equip you.
2 Tim 1:7 “God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
We get courage by acting even if we don’t feel courageous.
We get courage by hanging around with courageous people.
We get courage by walking with Jesus.
God, am I being courageous about the right things?
Am I being bold on a soapbox about stuff that does not reflect what you are doing and where you are working?
Lord show me how to put the welfare of others above my personal desires and comfort.
Who needs me to be courageous and compassionate during these stressful times?
What sacrifices are YOU asking to make during this global pandemic that will require the best of me and the most from me?
Lord help me to find my rest and security in your presence so this world will not intimidate me or distract me from walking in courageous love.
What does this mean as we go to communion today?
It took great courage for Christ to go to the cross.
He endured suffering and depravity on every level – physical, emotional and spiritually.
He did not shrink back, but with courage he pressed on.
What’s even more, he has promised His Holy Spirit to equip us with courage to be a witness for Him in this world.
With thankfulness in our hearts, we can boldly approach the communion.
We identify with his life and his suffering and see his courage.
He identifies with our struggles and He gives us courage.