“He gathered up His courage and steeled Himself for the journey…” Luke 9:51, The Message
Friends, we are partakers of an upward call, and so we strain constantly against the downward pull of lesser things. “I am doing a great work,” Nehemiah said, “why should the work stop while I come down to you?” (Neh.6:3). Thus did he silence those who tempted him to ease off from his quest.
The truly heroic moments in life demand something far more than a casual commitment. Christ Himself set his face to Jerusalem, and resolved to go the full length of God’s will. He gathered up His courage and steeled Himself for the journey. He was, and forever will be the Unflappable Champion. And we have been called to follow in His steps.
There is talk these days of vision. But vision is much more than a good idea that stirs the soul to temporary endeavors. Vision is the ability to see it, the faith to believe it, the courage to do it, and the hope to endure until it happens. Take any of these components away and vision fails. Each is vital, and indispensable.
Destiny has a way of summoning our hearts to rise to the calling God has placed on our lives. It also supplies us with the grace to pace ourselves to go the full distance, regardless of the difficulties that await us. Courage is the mental and moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.
The journey we have undertaken as followers of Christ demands all the courage we possess. It requires of us a steely, unwavering resolve to meet whatever seeks to delay us, defeat us, detour us, or deny us – to meet such things with a faith that says, “Nevertheless!” Courage is one of the distinguishing marks of true faith.
God’s Spirit has given us an ingrained capacity to face the strain and stress of faithfulness with fortitude, patience, and joy. Thus did Jesus walk up Calvary’s mountain one dreadful morn, and there face unflinching the dark trinity of Satan, Sin, and Death. And there, on a hill far away, our Lord did win a resounding victory. And, be sure of this one fact – He did it for you!
That victory is now yours. Lay claim to it by faith, and you, like Jesus, can gather up your courage and steel yourself for the journey of a lifetime.