To live as an authentic disciple of Jesus is to live courageously. Jesus didn’t call us to a life of shrinking back. We’re not commanded to sit on the sidelines. He didn’t call us to to pursue comfort, stability, approval with man, or societal status. He’s called us to love unconditionally, give sacrificially, obey him unreservedly, and to live courageously.
In John 15:19 Jesus clearly says, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” To be of God and practice the things of God is in powerful, direct opposition to the things of the world and its ruler, our enemy. For this reason God offers encouragement to those who face trial—to those who live courageously. 1 Peter 4:12-14 says:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
God is calling you to a life far greater and more important than comfort and worldly pleasure. He’s calling you to live by faith, believing that true blessing and true pleasure is found in him alone. He’s calling you to step out of your former ways and live in accordance with his will that you might experience fullness of life in him.
For this reason Scripture says in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” In the midst of any trial you can have transcendent, tangible comfort in God. In this midst of any suffering or pain you can find rest in the loving arms of your heavenly Father. And in the face of great opposition you can choose to live courageously. Your God is with you. He will never leave you. Courage comes from acknowledging the reality and power of God’s nearness.
As we finish this week on sharing God’s heart, find courage today to boldly love others. Take time to receive God’s unconditional love and grace that you might share him with a world who desperately needs transcendent comfort and peace. Live courageously today and see heaven come to earth around you. Seek life and love in God alone. May your time of guided prayer be filled with encouragement from the Holy Spirit and the word of God.