I've commanded you to be strong and brave. Don't ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the LORD your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.
-- Joshua 1:9
Are you the type who shies away from scary or dangerous situations? Or are you more of a thrill-seeker who actually seeks excitement and adventure?
If you don’t mind taking a few risks, there’s always skydiving. And you might be surprised by the sport's relative harmlessness. The United States Parachute Association reports that there were just 24 fatalities out of the estimated 3.2 million skydiving jumps made by its members in 2017. On the other hand there’s BASE jumping, which stands for Bridge, Antenna, Span, Earth. Considered by many to be the world’s most dangerous sport, BASE jumping involves parachuting off of objects--like buildings, cliffs and towers--at heights lower than 1,000 feet.
It’s probably hard for most people to relate to such fear-inducing
Christ-followers, however, are called by their Creator to be bold and courageous. But what does courage really mean? First, it’s not the absence of fear. Instead, it’s more about moving forward in spite of fear. Our God stands with his people. And we can be encouraged by the everyday people he’s enabled to accomplish extraordinary things. We read in the Scriptures that David--an obscure shepherd boy--killed the fierce giant Goliath with a single well-aimed stone from a slingshot. This is the same shepherd boy who eventually became the King of Israel and the one God called “a man after My own heart.” Likewise, the Apostle Peter literally dove into the deep end when he accepted Jesus’ call to walk on water. Although he would one day deny even knowing Jesus when the going got tough, Peter ultimately became a bold preacher who led many to faith in Christ. Two books of the New Testament also bear his name.
“With God with us, who can be against us?” wrote the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Romans. And this is more than a rhetorical question. Christ-followers can take heart that our Creator is preparing us now for what will be required of us later. Whatever we fear in life, we can rest assured that we don’t face it alone. In fact, it’s when we’re in God’s presence that we’re the most protected. We just need to come to our Father in prayer, listen for his response and guidance, and then obey accordingly in faith.
That’s how we’ll find the boldness and courage to make a world of difference--even if it’s making that difference one person at a time.