God at Work

Give Courage

Give courage! This phrase has been rolling around in my thoughts over the last couple of days. Courage, really? When I hear the phrase, I think of the Knights of the Round Table who lived in Camelot, or even something closer to home like our armed forces when they go to fight for our country. I have never attributed courage to something that applies to myself.

So, I do what I always do when I want to gain a little understanding. I allow God to take me on a journey to discover the direction He wants me to go. First stop, the dictionary, to make sure I get the full scope of the word. Courage is described as the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. I need to give the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation? Who do I give this courage to? How am I supposed to do that?

With those questions formulating, I then begin to hear the word encourage. I’m taking you through the steps as He took me through them because there are times when we hear from God in our prayer time, but we don’t allow Him the time to develop the full context of what we are given. Encourage is to inspire with courage, spirit or hope.

Now it’s time to go to the Word, what does it say about encouragement or courage. There are a lot of scriptures pertaining to these subjects. However, this scripture was placed on my heart.

Ephesians 4:29-32, Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

From this text “corrupt word” and “edification” stood out to me. Corrupt words, from one commentary, represents forbidden words. They are ones that tear down and fail to build up which is what the definition of edification is.

We sometimes fall into the habit of using flattery as encouragement or speaking platitudes such as “it will be ok” or “life will get better.” We know that in this life we all have struggles or difficult times and they don’t go away by simply telling someone “it will get better.”

This is where “Give Courage” comes in. If we are to give courage to someone as it has been described in Ephesians 4:29-32, the only incorrupt word is God’s word or His truth. We must give people the word so that they can build on the foundation of Jesus Christ; His death, burial and resurrection into the newness of life.

The word of God is that which inspires hope, courage or confidence. Anything else is based on our own abilities or strengths. When the enemy comes and reminds us of all we have done wrong we give in to doubt and fear because He has confronted us in our areas of weakness. Instead, we need our hope, confidence and expectations to be based solely on the word of God and His abilities and resources. I love the scripture in Hebrews 6:17-20 which in part states “it is impossible for God to lie” as well as “this hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.”

When we are taking a stand against the strategies that the enemy brings to our path, the reality is that we can’t base our understanding of the situation on our own strengths, abilities, or wisdom. This is the reason we spend time reading the Bible for ourselves. We must know for ourselves what is available to us and what Christ already did for us. It is then that we can “give courage” to someone else.

The word of God builds hope, imparts faith and as we fully take hold of it and it becomes part of our toolbox (when it has taken root in our hearts and abides ) then we are able to give that same hope and inspire faith to the people around us that are in need of the very thing we’ve been given.

To give courage is to give someone the truth of the word of God.

@LindaWilsonWriting February 2019

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