If you want to be Courageous, you've got to be Scared. After all, it's easy to be courageous when you've got nothing to be courageous about. Sixteen years ago when my wife told me she was expecting our son, I was Scared. Although saved much younger, by the age of 29 I had perfected the art of "nominal Christianity" and made life all about yours truly, bless my heart. Now I was faced with the reality that I might actually be responsible for another human soul. My immediate thought was, "time to get serious about my Faith."
Turns out, my reaction was much like Samson's father in the Old Testament when he found out he was going to be a Daddy. Judges 13:8 says, "Then Manoah prayed to the Lord: 'O Lord, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born.'" Now that's a prayer! In an effort to learn how to bring up our own boy, we started going to church, even Sunday School, got baptized and started tithing. It was honestly not a "vending-machine" experiment with God but an authentic compulsion toward obedience that I can't fully explain, apart from the Power of a very patient Holy Spirit.
Then came what James promises. We encountered 'various trials'. A near-death delivery of our son that left us praying through sobs, "Lord, he was yours from the beginning. You get to take him if You want." Courage. $22,000 of neonatal medical bills (on top of foolish credit card debt) and my wife asks, do we tithe or buy groceries this week? Courage. A surgeon who tells you your young, beautiful wife may not live through the multiple-bypass surgery he must perform. Courage.
At tonight's IronMen screening of the movie Courageous, I was reminded that Courage is indeed what it takes to get you through being Scared. There's a great line in the movie where the main character, Adam, tells his son, "What I want for you is that you seek the Lord, that you trust Him, even if it means you're standing alone." Isn't that exactly what happened to Jesus at Calvary? Talk about Courage!
Selling out to Christ is Scary and takes Courage. You will definitely have plenty of opportunities to be courageous when in service for the King and, yes, you might even find yourself standing alone among men. But remember, the God who gives you Courage will never leave you nor forsake you. Take it from me guys, it's not too late for you to be Courageous but real, lasting Courage starts at the Cross. Why not begin there today?