It's interesting, courage is rarely directly mentioned in the Bible. It's not one of the Ten Commandments, Fruits of the Spirit, or featured in any of the great Christological passages. However, the command "DO NOT FEAR" is the number one most-repeated phrase in the entire Bible. I think Jesus knew that fear is our life-default; too often we trend towards worry and a lack of trust in God.
I'd contend that the best way, hands-down, to fight fear and to follow Jesus is courage. Perhaps this seems obvious to you...but courage is more integral & base to following Jesus than we realize. In the same vein as C.S. Lewis, I firmly believe that every single characteristic of Jesus we might want to emulate is requisite on courage (For example: humility takes courageous ceding of self, love takes courageous vulnerability, discipline takes courageous follow through, etc.).
Contrary to what movies portray, real courage is harder, quieter, and less glamorous than we've been sold. We don't have to go of to war, embark on a quest to Mount Doom, or defeat Lord Voldemort to be courageous. Courage is a choice we make in the leap between fear & growth. It means looking hard things in the face & saying "this makes me uncomfortable", "I don't know about this", and "is this safe?". Then doing it anyway,
It's easy to slip into neutral over winter break. It's been a whirlwind, stressful semester of school, Young Life, & everything in between. We all need some well-deserved R&R. But I think staying in neutral with Jesus over break is a missed opportunity. I hope this blog is a place that revs us out of neutral for the next month...right off the cliff of safety, and into the courageous unknown. For the next 28 days, let's keep asking ourselves these three questions:
What is God trying to teach me?
How does God want to change me?
How is God calling me to courageously respond?
You are more courageous than you know, & more loved than you can possibly imagine.
By Ben Battaglia
This blog is operated by the Young Life Leaders at the University of Illinois & Parkland. A different leader will post daily over winter break. Our hope is to push each other to grow, & to love Jesus more.
Feel free to write your thoughts or encouragements back in the comments at the bottom!