The lives of men and women of great faith and courage are highlighted throughout the scriptures. In the Old Testament, we read of Moses who responded to God’s call facing his insecurities and fears. David was willing to face a giant with steadfast faith and confidence. Esther was willing to risk her life to save the lives of many others and Daniel boldly and constantly prayed to God even when he was ordered not to.
In Mark 15:40-41 we read of others who firmly stood in their faith: “Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.”
Jesus had been betrayed, arrested, unfairly tried, sentenced to death, tortured and was hanging from a cross, the most brutal of executions, yet it was all part of God’s redemptive plan for you and me. Many of His followers in the hours leading up to the crucifixion scattered and Peter one of His faithful disciples even denied knowing Him…three times. Yet, while He was dying there was a small remnant of followers who were there in His final moments. Even in the midst of it all and the risk to their lives because they were followers of Christ, they stood and remained faithful.
Life can be difficult, uncertain, frightening and often things come our way that we doubt we can handle. Sometimes we don’t know what each month, week or even each day will bring. There seems to be an increasing push back against the Church, against Christian beliefs and morals and the way we have been commanded by God to live. More so than ever it is vital that we know our identity in Him, to know who we are, be led by the Holy Spirit and be willing to take a stand.
Are we living boldly, willing to stand like those few believers at the foot of the cross while Jesus died? When trials and public opinion comes against us are we strong enough in our faith to stand and not cower? Friends let’s continue to get to know Him intimately, to build our faith, to hear from Him and trust that He will continue to give us the courage and strength to stand in the days ahead.
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Father, as believers throughout Ireland and around the world I pray that we would be courageous messengers of hope and we wouldn’t walk in self-confidence but in God-confidence. Father, help us to be bold and courageous in our faith, led by the Holy Spirit and have the strength in whatever circumstances come our way. In Your faithful Name, we pray, Amen.