Be of Good Courage
Posted on August 14, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Freedom Fighters
Don’t lose heart,
Be of good courage!
Over and over again, Paul encourages us to ‘not lose heart’ and ‘be of good courage’… why? Is it not that he recognizes life is not easy and to do what’s right and good, we struggle with opposition and heartache? God does not promise to remove these struggles, He promises to walk with us through them, using them to prepare us for what is of greater importance than anything in this life… an eternal life of enjoying His presence. In this chapter of our lives we must walk by faith, which reveals what our hearts truly love, and it is our choice to love God ‘because He first loved us’ that sends us in a trajectory towards an eternity with Him. To love ourselves more and willfully reject God culminates in an eternal life of despair without Him and all aspects of His perfect nature. We already see the evidence of these choices in our lives today. People don’t choose to kill themselves because they rest in the promises and hope of Love… they do so because they are blinded to the reality of these truths by their own willfulness.
Why does Paul repeatedly remind us to ‘not lose Heart’ and ‘be of good courage’? Because God is at work! He is making us ‘adequate servants of a New Covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6). Therefore, we have a glory that doesn’t fade, hope that is never ending, and liberty anchored in ‘knowing, with an understanding that is being renewed Day by Day, that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us to our Heavenly Father with you, and that these momentary light afflictions we struggle with daily, are producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond All comparison.’
I understand wanting the pain to stop; I understand how it wears you down and you want to give up… even rejecting what you know to be true if the pain would only stop! I know many who have struggled for most of their lives with heartache, acute pain, and abuse… we all know some level of pain; but what I know to be true is that without the pain… we would not know God. With only pleasure to entertain us, we would wallow in insatiable boredom, miserable and discontent, desiring it All to end in death. Wake up and don’t lose heart! There is hope… for God is at work! Look up and be of good courage, fix your eyes on Jesus who is producing a faith in you that is likened to His; that is for the Joy set before Him, He endured ‘the momentary afflictions (His was the rejection by His Creation and the agony of bearing the curse of sin in the cross) He despised its shame, and having accomplished your salvation, He sat down in the presence of our God. I pray you consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself for doing what was right and good, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
James brings our focus in a little tighter on how we view our circumstances when he writes, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. ‘Let’ perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:2-8) When we are able to view each circumstance as an opportunity to glorify our Savior and Lord, and as a way to reveal His Love for us so that others see it and accept Him, joy takes over and swallows up all misery and hopelessness. It was true of Jesus at the cross; it can be true right now for you….
Just choose wisely….
Praying 4 U
Written By David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “The more you focus on yourself, the more distracted you will be from the proper path. The more you know Him and commune with Him, the more the Spirit will make you like Him. The more you are like Him, the better you will understand His utter sufficiency for all of life’s difficulties. And that is the only way to know real satisfaction.” – John MacArthur
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. – Hosea 14:9
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.