Thursday, December 6, 2012


The marketing and development team were challenged with a "12 Days of Christmas" devotional. Everyone on our team was given a gift from God and asked to write a devotional about it. My "gift" was courage. I thought I'd share the devotional I wrote with you here:

Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?


You can say that again!

From "The Wizard of Oz"

It's true that starting a devotional with a quote from Wizard of Oz is not exactly the most spiritual way to begin...and somewhat typical of me...but in thinking of courage, we almost always think of heroes and soldiers or those that are so completely without courage that they live their life in fear and anxiety and may never find the life God has for them because they are trapped. Somewhere in between those two extremes, we wake up every morning ready to face our day.

Do we have courage?

Courage is defined as: 
"the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery."

In Numbers we are told the story of the Twelve all know it. Twelve men are sent to spy out the "Promised Land" and come back with a report. Ten of the men spoke out of fear. Two of them-Caleb and Joshua-spoke from courage.

What made these two men different than the other ten? Why is what they saw so different than the others?

Because their faith enabled them to see past what the logical or rational outcome would be and trust instead in what God had said would happen. Their belief in the promises of God gave them courage.

Caleb shows he is a man of courage again in Joshua 14:12. The Hebrews have finally entered the Promised Land and Caleb has done his part in fighting the battles and getting the people settled. He goes to Joshua and
says "Now give me this mountain that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said."

Caleb knows this will not be an easy task, he knows it will be a fight. He also knows that God is with him. That He has said Caleb will drive out the enemy and he and his descendents will occupy that land. He has courage and he is willing to move forward.

I don't know what your day holds or what mountains you might be facing. But today be encouraged by the fact that courage is a gift that comes from faith. Faith gives us the ability to see beyond the challenges, the situations, and the "plausible" outcomes. We can have courage...not because we are strong (even if we are), smart (even if we are), or willing to fight (even if we are). We have courage because God is with us.

Deut 3:16
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20
David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?  

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