Read: Romans 12:1-13
Do you feel ill-equipped to serve the Lord?
A sense of inadequacy is one of many excuses people use to avoid ministry and service, but it’s not a valid one. Evading the Father’s call can affect His work on earth, prevent the blessings that come from obedience, and keep us from eternal rewards in heaven.
Jesus Christ knew all about the human tendency to feel inadequate. That is why He assured His followers they would receive a Helper—the Holy Spirit—who would come to abide in them forever (John 14:16). The Spirit enables, energizes, and equips believers to serve the Lord. One of the ways He aids us is by providing spiritual gifts, which are capabilities given to believers.
Our heavenly Father has a ministry in mind for each of His followers. Therefore, necessary spiritual “equipment” has been selected to help us carry out His work, and these gifts were planned by our Creator before we were born. It is His purpose that we embrace our gift and combine it with other believers’ gifts in order to serve Him wholeheartedly as the body of Christ. Even the smallest job contributes to the Great Commission and the strengthening of Jesus Christ’s body, the church.
The Lord has a plan for every believer. To ensure that we can meet His expectations, He first builds natural talents into us. At salvation, He adds a spiritual gift. Then the heavenly Father opens doors of opportunity and the Holy Spirit manifests His power so that we can carry out the work set before us.
Courage feels like a big word. By definition, courage is mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. (merriam-webster.com)
Sometimes, courage is loud and obvious like when David fought Goliath. Right there in the action, everyone around saw how he defeated the giant. And those not there to see it definitely heard about it.
But courage isn’t always showy. Sometimes it’s quiet. You might see it but not be able to identify it at the time. But it’s courage nonetheless.
I think of Mary who probably heard the whispering of others as she walked by and Joseph who took Mary as his wife, even though she was already pregnant. Although the angel confirmed what the Lord wanted them to do, I imagine they still faced the town’s gossip and rumors. And they had to have had courage to face what others said without starting to doubt themselves and maybe even what they heard the angel say.
But what about us? What does it look like to be courageous?
I don’t know what you’re going through, but I know sometimes it’s hard to feel courage within ourselves. Disappointments and setbacks make us feel like courage is something for other people and that our lack of courage is too great.
But don’t be fooled. Even when we can’t see our own courage, others can see it in us.
What does courage look like in our everyday lives?
* Courage is getting back up when we feel like we keep getting knocked down.
* Courage is trying again when nothing is working out or we don’t know what to expect.
* Sometimes courage is just getting up again in the morning and facing the day. Maybe it will be just as hard as yesterday was. Maybe it won’t. But we won’t know if we don’t keep trying.
* Courage is persevering when we don’t like our circumstances. It’s looking at the hard day ahead and putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving forward. It’s saying, I don’t want to do this, but I have to, and I know I’m not alone—God is walking with me.
* Courage is knowing what we can’t do alone, we can do in God’s strength.
* Courage is crawling out of bed to face the day when we’d rather stay buried under the covers.
* Courage is making the decisions we don’t want to make and taking that next step we don’t want to take.
* Courage is sitting with someone in their difficult, heart-breaking circumstances so they won’t have to sit alone.
* Courage is continuing to dream when our dreams seem unrealistic or someone says they can’t happen. Courage is finding a way around the doubt.
* Courage is walking through the known and the unknown with eyes focused on Jesus.
* Courage doesn’t look one specific way. It’s different for every individual and every situation.
And sometimes we don’t even know what our own courage looks like until we can see it in hindsight. Then we look back and wonder how we made it through a particular season of life.
There’s no shortage of verses about courage in the Bible, but here are a few to think about.
“Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.” Job 11:18
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
“So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” Psalms 31:24
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9
“And because we so often need God’s strength to have courage…”