Courage Connection

“The following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer, for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome’” Acts 23:11

The Lord knew all about the state of Paul’s situation and He knew his heart. You can only imagine how much it meant for Paul when the Lord visited him in jail.

What is courage? Courage, also known as bravery or fortitude, is the ability to confront fear, pain, risk, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is bravery in the face of physical pain, hardship, or even the threat of death. And did Paul powerfully exhibit courage throughout His ministry right up to the point of His death before the Roman authorities.

Mark Twain said, “Courage is the mastery of fear. Not the absence of fear.” Another person said, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”

We need courage today. But it isn’t all about running into a burning building to save someone or throwing yourself on a grenade to protect your buddies. There is moral courage, as well as courage to stand up for what’s right. It takes courage to go against the whole current of our culture and do the right thing today. It takes courage to follow the commands of Scripture and to stand by what the Bible teaches.

We’re living in a time when it’s not popular to say that God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s not popular to say that life begins at conception and that every child has the right to live. It takes courage to stand up for those things.

It takes courage to honor your marriage vows today when people all around us divorce at the first sign of hardship or trials. It takes courage today to remain sexually pure as a single person, waiting until you meet that right person. It takes courage to follow Jesus Christ and to share your faith with other people.

I’m impressed with a teenager by the name of Liam Morrison (pictured above), a seventh-grader at Nichols Middle School in Middleborough, Massachusetts, who was taken out of gym class on March 21 and met with school staff who told him people were complaining about the statement on his shirt made them feel "unsafe."

Liam said, "Yes, words on a shirt made people feel unsafe. They told me that I wasn't in trouble, but it sure felt like I was. I was told that I would need to remove my shirt before I could return to class. When I nicely told them that I didn't want to do that, they called my father, and he was supportive of my decision, and came to pick me up."

So what was on Liam’s shirt that made other teenagers feel “unsafe”? Five simple words: “There are only two genders.” Nothing threatening, just a statement that Liam believes to be a scientific fact.

Liam also said to the school board meeting after the issue, "I have learned a lot from this experience. I learned that adults don't always do the right thing or make the right decisions. I know that I have a right to wear a shirt with those five words. Even at 12 years old, I have my political opinions, I have my faith in the Bible, and I have a right to express myself even at school. This right is called the First Amendment to the Constitution."

Dr. Charles Stanley made famous this powerful truth, “Trust God and leave all the consequences to Him.” God knows what we go through when we stand for a biblical worldview, and He will stand with us through it all!

God bless you,

Pastor Dave

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