Sometimes life throws some heavy obstacles in our pathway and we can feel defeated, rejected, disillusioned, frightened, and alone. We can’t find strength to persevere, nor can we find the courage it takes to go through those obstacles. I’ve been there. I’ve been so afraid to even fight through the battles, that I forget that I have a Source of courage and strength. This month’s devotional series is on courage. Matthew 10:22 says, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Endurance in a battle takes courage. That courage comes from one Source, God. David knew from where his courage came. I Samuel 17:45 says, “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”
When we are faced with things that come across our path, be it normal events that happen to everyone or entrapments set up by Satan to trip us up, we can rest in the knowledge that God is our source of courage, that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews13:5), and that He gives us the strength and courage to endure to the end when we can say with confidence that we weathered the storm and came out on the other side in victory.
Jesus knew His disciples would have a very difficult road to travel once He was gone. They would be persecuted, rebuked, and even killed for proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. The early church went through such horrific trials that we, in this day and age, can not even imagine. But Jesus encouraged them to endure to the end. He was their Source of strength and courage, even in the face of death. For the majority of us, we don’t have to be faced with persecution like that, but there are areas of this world where persecution of Christians is currently happening, and many have given their lives to proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior. We’ve all heard stories of how bravely missionaries and fellow Believers faced persecution and death. They knew the Source of the courage they possessed and endured to the very end.
David exhibited that courage when he faced Goliath. David was just a teenager, but because of his faith in God, he boldly stepped forward to defeat the giant, Goliath. Lest we think that David was perfect, he had his moments of doubt and discouragement just like we all go through. Read the Psalms, you will see David struggle with every emotion and battle we experience, but inevitably he always ends with praise to God and the assurance that God is with him, and he knows where to find the strength and courage to continue to endure through the battles.
A dear friend of mine is battling a rare form of leukemia, and I am amazed at her strength! She always has an encouraging word even when she is not feeling well. She does her best to be in church, and she is such an encouragement for me. I struggle with back pain that is constant, it never leaves. On the days when I feel like I can’t even get the energy to get ready for church, I remember what she is going through, and I know that if she can endure her battle, I can endure mine. She knows from where the source of her strength and courage come. Her faith is solidly placed upon the Savior! She is my hero! If she can be in church when she isn’t feeling well, then I can also. She has taught me so much in how to endure to the end. She has taught me to remember that my strength and courage come from God, just by watching her as she fights and prays for healing.
David’s courage came from the God of the armies of Israel. He fought Goliath in God’s name, giving God the honor due Him, and God gave David the victory. We can claim victory also when we remember Whom it is that gives us courage and strength, and when we give Him all the glory and honor despite our circumstances.