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Posts Tagged ‘brave’

The Cowardly Lion is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum. He is an African Lion, but he speaks and interacts with humans. Since lions are supposed to be “The Kings of Beasts,” the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does frequently. Only during the aftereffects of the Wizard’s gift, when he is under the influence of an unknown liquid substance that the Wizard orders him to drink (perhaps gin) is he not filled with fear. He argues that the courage from the Wizard is only temporary, although he continues to do brave deeds while openly being afraid.

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So what does courage look like and how do we respond? Courage looks like three young men standing next to a fiery furnace knowing God is able to save, but acknowledging that God might not. Even so they refuse to worship another god. (Daniel 3) The courage of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego flowed from faith in a Sovereign God. “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23) Their faith developed a hope that God is able (Ephesians 3:20), His ways are perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4), and God has good plans (Jeremiah 29:11). This hope developed a love for God so deep that they refused to bow their knees to another god. This type of courage then is founded in faith, hope, and love.

Nicholas Wolterstorff wrote, “To love our suffering sinful world is to suffer.” Therefore whoever exhibits courage – the kind that comes from faith, hope, and love – will suffer. Jesus promises as much Himself, “…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). It takes courage to love this suffering sinful world and God calls all His children to love and suffer. In our culture, courage means in faith accepting all of life’s circumstances as part of God’s sovereign plan when we would prefer to name and claim the course of our lives. In hope courage understands that ultimate victory lies on the other side of eternity and so we can ask, “what can man do to me.” Finally courage is speaking the truth in love when our culture would rather their ears be tickled than their sinful lives exposed. This is courage.

You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way
– Jesus Culture

May you this week rediscover this courage. May you choose to act with courage and bravery when you find yourself in situations that require courage. God will give you these situations. May you be reminded that courage is birthed from vulnerability – this is not weakness, it never was. May you choose courage in the places of life where it is easier to be passive. May you remember that in the cave you fear to enter lies the courage and the treasure that you seek.

You make me brave

I asked for courage
Then they came
Rolling thunder, storms
Driven by rain

Here’s the thunder
For you today
Be courageous
In all you say

Here’s the storm
Tossing you around
Be courageous
Stand your ground

Here’s the rain
With it’s angry wind
Be courageous
But don’t take it in

And here’s my heart
Mighty to save
Be courageous
I’ll make you brave

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