Courage in the Crisis
Courage in the Crisis
by David Webster
23rd April 2020
At the moment we often hear people say that no one has really experienced what we are going through. Few of the war time generation remain and so the collective experience of the Western world knows little or nothing of the impact of a pandemic. There is a sense of this kind thing doesn’t happen to us, only increasing our fears and feeling of vulnerability. Then suddenly we are locked down, self –isolated, and those of us not in the frontline services, reduced to simply staying at home helplessly watching our televisions, hoping and praying for a down turn in the various graphs tracking the progress of the virus.
Where can we find strength to come through this? Where do we find courage in the crisis?
During one of our recent online worship times I had a very clear impression of God giving me a pair of strong walking boots, black with open laces, ready to be pulled on and tied up. He said to me, these are your “courage boots, put them on.” So I put them on and I felt strengthened and ready to walk through the tough times ahead. It reminded me of several courageous biblical characters that God spoke to:
“Be strong and courageous. Be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9).
“The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12).
“And who knows that you have come to royal position, at such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
“Yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
There are keys here for how we get courage in times of crisis.
They all hear from God, he speaks directly to their hearts. His word is powerful and can create in us what wasn’t there before. In fact the greatest courage can come in our weakest and most vulnerable moments. But the key is to listen to God, read his word, and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit who will strengthen your faith.
Remind yourself of who you are. Gideon is told he is a mighty warrior, despite his circumstances and self -assessment screaming the opposite. In Christ you are a son or daughter of a King. Like Esther you are royalty. You rule and reign over the circumstances of this world because he has empowered you to release his Kingdom where ever you go. You are not a victim, you are a victor.
Remember also, God is not taken by surprise by things like pandemics, famines or wars. He is working out his purposes and wants us to know he is in control and that all things will work together for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28). Like Esther, we are children of destiny, royal heirs of Christ, who have been prepared for such a time as this.
Then, courage is an act of the will, it’s a decision we make. We face our fears and say we are not partnering with them. We turn from fear and chose faith in a good, good Father who loves us. Just as Jesus obeyed in the garden and submitted to his Father’s will, so we trust and obey and do whatever God calls us to do in the knowledge that:
“Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
But, you may say, “I am not a Joshua, Gideon or Esther, and my challenges are much smaller.” That may be the case but each of these people took many smaller steps of courage that prepared them for the bigger ones. Every small act of obedience, every little bit of just doing the right thing adds to developing your courageous character. Someone has said courage is often just taking the next step.
In this present crisis we have already seen countless acts of courage, particularly in the frontline services. Challenges, big and small, lay ahead for all of us. So be strong and courageous, listen to Gods voice and read his word, because you are a mighty warrior, you are a royal priest, and you can decide to be courageous.
Put on your “boots of courage”.