Our passages look at different facets of Christian courage. The verse from Psalm 27 recommends cool courage that remembers not to panic – to wait… wait… and do everything in the Lord’s timing, listening and watching for his “Go!”
The Ephesians’ passage reminds us to have the courage not to get paranoid about our fellow human beings, however they appal us. God is on the side of humanity; our neighbour isn’t the enemy; we must look deeper than that. The verse from Matthew challenges us to have the courage to take risks. The wonderful passage from Daniel holds up the example of men with the courage to trust in God whatever life throws at them, whether they see a happy ending or whether they don’t. This is the courage we need when we watch a good life end with a grim cancer, or a faithful family sitting at the bedside of a dying child: “… the God we serve is able to deliver us from it… But even if he does not”, we stand firm in trusting him. This is courage.
Can you think of two examples from your own life when it took courage to stand firm in faith?
Taking risks (Matthew 14:29) is one kind of courage, endurance (Ephesians 6:13) is another, staying calm in a tight spot (John 16:33) is another, standing up to authority (Acts 5:29), what Quakers call “speaking Truth to Power”, yet another. Which come more easily to you and which do you find harder?
What is the bravest thing you have ever seen a person do for their faith?
O God, our rock, we know that you are always there for us and will never abandon us. It’s easy to say that in times of calm and peace, but we pray here today that when the storm hits our own little boat and it looks as if we will go under, you will give us grace then to go on trusting, and never let go of our faith in Jesus. Keep us strong, keep us loving, keep us faithful. May we never forget we asked this, and may we see it fulfilled in our lives: for we ask it in Jesus’ holy name; Amen.