I was recently prompted to check out ‘courage’ and ‘courageous’ in the concordance of my Bible. Interestingly this led me, via God’s exhortations to Paul (Acts 23:13), Joshua (Joshua 1:6), Gideon (Judges 6:14) and the Israelites (Deuteronomy 31:6), to Ruth.
Ruth left her home to become an outsider in another land, putting herself in situations where she risked rejection, humiliation and even physical harm, for the sake of another. She only knew of God via her mother-in-law, but through courage and commitment she fulfilled her purpose as part of the family tree of Jesus. “Look”, said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her”. But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:15-16). Like Esther, who also found herself in an unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situation, she stepped out in faith to fulfil the destiny that God had created for her and created her for.
We too are called to follow Ruth, Esther, Paul, Joshua, Gideon and the Israelites to, in faith, ‘take courage’ and ‘go in the strength we have’, as the Lord invites us into challenging situations for His purposes ‘for a time such as this’. The call is to trust that God will give us what we need: the words to speak, or not speak, the actions to take or not take, the forbearance to endure. Our challenge is to trust in God’s promises and His faithfulness, no matter what the circumstances, to trust that He will provide and that He won’t leave or forsake us. This often feels like a big ask, but we need to remember that we serve, and are loved, by a big God.
So, inspired by Ruth, Esther, Paul, Joshua, Gideon, or whoever God encourages you through, ask yourself the question: “In what area of my life do I need to take courage from and through the Lord, in order to play my part in His purposes for a time such at this?”
Prayer: Heavenly Father please help me to trust in You and the truth of Your Word, which clearly tells me that You love me. Please help me to take courage and to step out in faith for whatever purposes You have for me. Please forgive me for slacking around and for coming under fear, and for plain old disobedience as I have ignored Your call on my life. Thank You that You are a good God and a loving Father. Please fill me with Your love so that I can be the person You created me to be and fulfil the destiny You created me more and created for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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