Joshua 1:9 says, “ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.“
Ok, so God has made it pretty clear to us, as believers, that we’re supposed to be courageous. David was courageous. Joshua was courageous. Moses, Abraham, Elijah, Elisha….all couragous. Even Billy Graham was courageous. If they could do it, I can too! Right? Easier said than done.
We know that God calls us to be courageous. However, much like an alcoholic on the road to sobriety uses 12 steps to get there, we also need lots of little steps to arrive at a place of courage. We don’t become courageous overnight. Instead, we rely on God; one decision or step at a time. Here is an example of people who took the next step.
Christians in Rome
In the year 328 A.D., the emporer of Rome ordered that everyone bow down to him. When the time came to bow, there were 40 men who refused to bow. These men were Christians who believed that only God was worth bowing down. The emporer threatened that the consequence would be death. After the men chose to endure the consequence, they were forced to stay out in the freezing weather until they froze to death. Roman soldiers nearby even made a fire in order to tempt the men to change their minds. After several hours, one of the 40 men gave in to the temptation of the warm fire and gave up. A certain Roman soldier was so inspired by the courage and faith of the 39 Christians, that he joined them in place of the man who gave up. By the end of the night, a voice shouted from the cold, “here die 40 men for Christ.” In the morning, there were 40 frozen bodies of men who courageously sacrificed their lives for God.
What about us?
I may not yet have the courage of these guys, but they have inspired me to take the next step toward being more courageous for my God. It may take me 12 more steps to get there. It might take some of us 12 HUNDRED steps. No matter what, every time we take a step out of our comfort zone for God, we’re inspiring others to do the same. The funny part? I may have a “12 step plan” toward being courageous, but I don’t know the 12 steps ahead of time. Only God knows. I can only take one step at a time.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will lead your paths straight.”