Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Welcome to our Coffee Hour and our WOW for April! For the next couple of days, we’ll be having our coffee in Cabo and as I write this for you and to you, imagine the sound of crashing waves, one right after the other. There is a seagull flying just out of our view now. The sand is warm between our toes, and all is right in the world in this moment. So before April’s gone, grab your coffee and your Red SOF and let’s go talk about courage.
I actually chose this WOW before I left to come to Cabo and set it aside to begin writing it when I got here, but my interest was truly piqued about this topic from one of my professors who spoke on this subject just last week. He began the class by asking us to shout out one word that described the best characteristic/virtue needed to live a fruitful Christian life … and courage was not up there, not even once! The majority of the virtues given were words all having to do with integrity and faith.
He then went on to share that he felt that courage was the most undervalued virtue in the Christian life. Talk about proving his point in the first few minutes of his lecture! Have you ever thought about it, the fact that it does take courage to live a life of faith-filled fruitfulness? Just two weeks prior, I realized the value of courage as well as the necessity and was able to see that God had indeed given me doses of courage along the journey of writing and ministry, but I don’t think I quite gave it the placement it needs to have in the realm of virtues.
So let me get back to our professor and this lecture on courage. He went on to share a couple of quotes that really tugged on my heart; the first one is by Aristotle: “You will never do anything in this life without courage.” As I rewound the years that had brought me to that night, I could see that courage was a big piece of the puzzle of my life.
Professor Cervantes gave us another quote, only this one by C.S. Lewis: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”
Don’t you just love those truths?
So these quotes, especially C.S. Lewis’s got me to thinking; uh-oh; that’s dangerous! 🙂 Anyway, if courage is the form of every virtue at its testing point, then that means, for example, when tempted to not be completely honest, it takes courage to defy the temptation and keep your integrity. It takes courage to love someone, especially when they are unlovable. It takes courage to work through fears. I mean think about it; anyone can be happy when things are going right, right? But it takes courage to choose joy when surrounded by trouble; it takes courage to overcome sorrow. But how can it be that it takes courage to be discouraged? Because at the testing point of courage is discouragement!
Here’s the definition he gave for courage: Courage is the capacity to persevere through fear, uncertainty, doubt, disappointment, pain and injustice for the sake of something greater than one’s self.
Isn’t that what God told Joshua in our WOW? And not just once; but three times in His pep talk to Joshua He told him not to be afraid, dismayed, discouraged as He prepared him to take over Moses’ position to lead the Israelites into the promised land … finally!
Oh, what courage it takes to get to our own Promised Land. And while everyone’s Promised Land is different, each of us will need courage to go where He sends us, to let go of what He takes, to give what we didn’t know we had, to trust with abandon the One who tells us: “Have I not commanded you, ______?” (Fill in your name.) “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go, _________.”
Oh, I can hardly wait to share a dose of courage I gained as I worked through a bought of discouragement, and more than once, on this trip to Cabo!
Join me tomorrow for more