Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Alpha of Courage

UV 2962/10000 The Alpha of Courage
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Deuteronomy 31 v 6

Even if our strength fails us, if our courage remains we can emerge from any situation victorious. Courage, going by its etymology, comes from the root “couer”, the French word for heart. It is the strength of heart. If the strength of a person is the bow, the string with which every arrow of intention and action is released is our courage. Ours is a faith-inspired courage. It is a Christ-inspired courage. If Christ could conquer the weakness of human flesh with His strength and courage, we too can be conquerors in the realm of the spirit. We draw our courage from the fact that the Lord our God is present with us, that He will go with us wherever we go, that He will never fail us or forsake us.

We have courage as the Lord has spoken the word or Alpha to us to remove the bad root of fear and replace it with the good root of faith and courage. The Lord asks us not to fear not because there is nothing to fear in this life or the next but as He is with us. He will help us deal victoriously with every fear, every threat, every enemy, every foe, every risk and danger. Our courage is not based on our physical, intellectual, emotional or spiritual strength but on our relationship with the Lord. Yes, there are formidable enemies that cannot be wished away, there is the threat of perishing at their hands. There is a threat of failure, the threat of defeat, the threat of death, of loss, of shame, of pain. Even conquerors will shrink at the thought of their own deaths but Christ has made us more than conquerors. He has tasted death so that we will fear death no more. He heals His followers and the faithful of all types of afflictions.

It is clear that what we are talking about here is not mere physical courage- the courage to face physical threats and dangers that a fireman or a policeman or a soldier exhibits by virtue of their profession and training. It is not intellectual courage – the courage to speak the truth, to write what might offend the powerful- the courage characteristic of writers, activists, reformers. It is spiritual courage to remain undaunted in the face of all types of odds against us in life. Spiritual courage comes from strengthening oneself by feeding on the good root of the Word. It comes from hours spent in fervent prayer. It comes from remembering all the previous occasions, the Lord has helped us deal with our various fears and threats. Daniel and his three companions in exile in ancient Babylon exhibited such spiritual courage. Joseph is another model of spiritual courage even as David faced the challenge of Goliath boldly. The disciples who were initially terrified after the death of Jesus were also transformed to be bold apostles for the resurrected Christ.

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