“Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.” Ephesians 6:11-13
The Definition of the word Courage
1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
2. Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.
3. have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism.
Does it take strength and courage in this day and age to be a true follower of Christ?
Most of us have read or heard the stories recorded in the Scriptures of the strength and courage of those who served God and followed our savior Christ Jesus. Men and women like Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Ruth, David, Mary, Joseph, and all of the apostles just to name a few.
There was an article released recently, in which a man named the son of the man who founded the Hamas militant group shared his personal story which involved a stint in an Israeli prison, renouncing of his Muslim faith, departure from his family and conversion to Christianity. He is quoted as saying that when he read the words of Christ which said, “Love your enemies”, it was like his medicine for the suffering he’d been enduring for so long, while Islam in comparison is like a drug. This man now lives in the United States, but he also has a death warrant on his head for his defection.
This is an exhibition of strength and courage in this day and age of a Christian; but he is only one man. There are thousands and perhaps millions of people all over the world who face persecution for their Christian beliefs in places like China, India, Indonesia and many others.
Do not be blinded to the fact that this hatred towards Christians is only in far off places. It exists here in the United States as well. I have personally read news article after news article that give accounts of hatred and persecution towards Christians, including a man in Colorado just this week who was shot and killed after responding to his assailant that he was a Catholic. This hatred towards Christians is here, on our own soil, and it is growing and will continue to grow.
In addition to this hatred, there also exists the influences around us that condone un-Christian-like behavior and morals. Everything from the way we treat and speak to one another, the entertainment that we view on television, in movies, the internet and listen to on the radio, what is accepted in regards to relationships and sex, to politics and in those things and people that we (society in general) idolize.
There also exists the spiritual war that rages around all of us in which the forces of darkness which consist of fallen angels and converts working on the side of Dawn Lucifer are permitted to test mankind via thought injections intended to ensnare mankind and bind them forever to the eternal chains of darkness and cause the ultimate loss of their eternal lives. These demons and converts have nothing to lose, so their goal is to bring all they can with them into the pit of destruction with them.
And let us not exist the struggle of the spirit versus the flesh that also rages within each of us, and how as innately sinful people, must exhibit self-control on a daily basis in following The Way of Christ Jesus and our heavenly Father’s will.
I hope that I have managed to paint a true and realistic picture of all that we, as footstep followers of Christ are up against and why it takes strength and courage to be Christ’s followers and that as the definition of the word courage explains, that we must all “act in accordance with one's beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism.”
And in this evil day, where is this strength and courage to be found? Because we all exist within God, it can be found in God and inside our very own hearts as it is where Father and Christ reside.
“Be strong and courageous; don't be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
Obedience. Faith. Loyalty. Love. Strength. Courage. Endurance. They all go hand in hand. And they all reside within us already. We only have to seek them out in order to find them. We are provided with all we need and Father will not leave us or forsake us. So in this evil day, we move forward as soldiers and defenders of truth, wearing the armor of God and knowing that where we go, God goes with us for Her word is truth and She is the source of our strength and our courage.
“Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!”