Summary: We cannot please God without faith, should our faith make us courageous?
This afternoon I want to discuss something that I believe is foundational to our Christian
character. I want to talk about courage. We all love to hear stories about people being
courageous donʼt we? I mean our culture is full of stories of super heroes and ultimately
isnʼt what makes superman super his courage? Can you imagine how many comics
they would have sold if Superman had all the power but none of the courage? Like he
was too scared to go out onto the mean streets of metropolis so he just stayed home
with his door dead-bolted and he used his xray vision to cook microwave popcorn? It is
his courage that makes the story compelling isnʼt it.
Our language is full of words and phrases that denote courage, we say things like, “ that
kid has a lot of heart and she sure dug deep.” We say things like that is unbelievable
and oh my goodness, when we hear stories about people doing courageous things.
I remember the story of a man names Terry Bullard who one Sunday was sitting in
church when a man walked right up to his pastor and begin shooting him. Terry jumped
out of his seat and running straight at the man tackled the shooter. The shooterʼs gun
jammed but he also had a knife that he used to stab Terry but now wounded and
bleeding Terry tackled the attacker again and soon his courage stirred the other men
and women sitting around him and they too began to help detain the killer.
I remember shortly after 9/11 when as a nation our hearts were collectively broken and
we were in a national state of shock, the story of flight 93 and its courageous
passengers, when the words, “ Letʼs Roll” became a national reminder that we had been
attacked but we were not defeated!
And you know history is full of Godly super heroes too. Men and women who have been
called to face situations that seemed impossible. Foxʼs book of Martyrs is filled with
stories of men and women who showed tremendous courage under extreme
persecution. And this book too, the Bible is filled from cover to cover with stories of
people just like you and me who through one circumstance or another were called upon
to be courageous.
And I donʼt know about you but everytime I hear a story like the one about flight 93 or
the one about Terry Bullard I quietly ask myself, “What would I have done if I had been
in that situation.” I mean I think I would have acted bravely and done what those either
guys did. But then I think I sure am afraid of a lot more now then I was when I was 14 or
15. For instance when I was a kid we lived in this apartment building and my best friend
Mark and I would climb up the second story roof and we would jump off into the bushes
below. Years later I had this other friend named Kenny and he and I would climb the
tallest pine trees we could find, I am talking like 60 or 70 feet off the ground and when
we got to the tippy top of the tree, I am talking about the top, like where you would put
the Christmas star of this giant pine tree we would begin trying to knock each other out
of the tree!
But one day something funny happened, I was on this watch tower with my son and as
we climbed to the top I suddenly was gripped by fear. Fear that my son might fall and
then fear that I might fall. And then I rode the Dumbo ride at Disney land and I was in a
full blown panic!
So what happened, why do we become more fearful as we get older. Do we have more
to lose? Have we become more responsible? Isnʼt it funny how we can take fear and
make it seem like responsibility? I think that both of those things are true, I think society
begins to convince us that we must carefully guard our lives and we must be
responsible. And it gets even worse once we have kids. All of a sudden the motorcycle
goes on Craigslist and we go shopping for something that has side curtain airbags.
Donʼt get my wrong I am not saying that we should live foolishly all I am saying is we
cannot live fearful lives and please God.
You know that is true because I just said so. And also because the Bible tells us so. Lets
take a look at Numbers 13 and 14
So you see I told you the truth, God hates cowardice, God wants us to live courageous