Summary: Life needs to have courage, and we need to know our God who is the true source of courage. There are promises of God that assures us that there is nothing to fear, nothing to worry.
Today is our 2nd Sunday of the month of April with a theme “Know God, Know Courage” and we have our theme verse found in Isaiah 41:10. Allow me to give a short exhortation of this verse that will give us encouragement and upliftment that we need.
This is the 1st Sunday after we celebrated Resurrection Sunday wherein we declared the victorious work of Christ in the cross. Let us see what happened after Jesus has been resurrected. We take note that Jesus has promised to them the Holy Spirit who will guide them and strengthen them. John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever”. And after that, in Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And true enough, in chapter 2 we can see how they were filled with the Holy Spirit empowering each one of them to fulfill God’s plan for all of them.
We also take note that when Peter received the Holy Spirit, the old Peter who is proud yet not brave enough to stand with Jesus during His trial, is not the same Peter as he stood up and delivered his 1st preaching about Jesus in verses 14-39 of Acts chapter 2. Now what could have happened to Peter and to other disciples when the Holy Spirit came upon them? It is one of the result of the power of the Holy Spirit and this is courage.
Courage in Tagalog “katapangan”, according to Philippine history, courage is by nature one of the attributes of the early Filipinos like Lapu-Lapu, Raja Sulaiman, Humabon and the likes. This is also evident even in our history during the colonization of the Philippines under different foreign lands. We never ran out of heroes to defend our country. And until today, Filipinos are considered one of the courageous people. Ex. OFW who is willing to sacrifice his/her own family for the sake of their future.
However, we also have natural fears like phobia. Some are afraid of water, heights, space, etc. But what about the fears we have when we have worries, problems, trials, sickness, and even death?
Courage within us will automatically comes out whenever it is badly needed, especially if our lives or the lives of our loved-ones are at stake. And the Bible speaks about a courage that comes not from us naturally but comes from God. You see, man has many limitations and sometimes if we are in a situations that it is on our limit already, our courage is not enough to carry us through. But if we can have courage that is coming from a Great Source like God, then this courage is limitless.
Today, a great promise and assurance we will need to claim and accept so that whenever we are in danger, or in a limited situation we can still have courage to continue. Let us open our Bible in Isaiah 41:10:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
What a great verse! And from these promises of God we can see that there is nothing to fear because of:
1. His Presence in us – “fear not for I AM WITH YOU”
We have nothing to fear because God’s presence is in us. When we think that God is absent, or doubt whether or not He is with us, when we are anxious and frightened . . . we need to stop, as the Psalmist tells us in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God!” We need to do the same, be still and know that God is God and He promises to be with us. Exodus 14:14 NIV “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” This is the great difference of the courage that comes from God and not man. In God, we He will be the One fighting for us and we only need to be still.
With that in our spirit, heart and mind – we can hold fast and be confident to the fact God is with us. If God is with us, if we really believe that, then we can stand on the foundation that we will not be overwhelmed by life. In order to face our fears, the first thing to remember is that God is with you. David reminds us in Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. Those are great words of comfort when we’re going through the difficult times of life. We don’t fear because we are confident God is with us. And in Matthew 28:20, after giving the Great Commission, Jesus promised His presence when He said “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” When you’re filled with fear, remember this truth and declare it out loud: I will have no fear because He is always with me! Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Nothing! There’s nothing to fear when we are with God.