INTRODUCTION: We’ve been in a series talking about a man named Nehemiah who is known for returning to a Jerusalem whose walls were destroyed and it’s gates burned. And in 52 days Nehemiah completes the task of rebuilding the wall after communicating the vision to the people and then the people cooperating and working in unity with the vision God has given Nehemiah.
Just a fascinating story!
If we’re going to be rebuilders of the broken we need to buy into the CAUSE. We need COMPASSION. We need COOPERATION. We CONFIDENCE.
Today we’re going to be talking about something that goes hand and hand with CONFIDENCE. In fact you can’t have one with out the other.
How much COURAGE do I have? If I don’t have courage then I become discouraged!
WHAT IS COURAGE?
Courage- mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.
Greek- guts, nerve, stoutness, bravery, valor, heart, spunk! It refers to God bolstering the believer, empowering them with a bold inner attitude!
Hebrew- (CHAZAK) boldness, valor, heroism
Deuteronomy 31:6- “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
It is interesting to think about the images of courage. Most of the popular images of courage have to do with men fighting on a battlefield.
It’s the soldiers coming ashore at Omaha Beach. It’s the defenders of Baston, holding out against the opposition.
It’s the Marines landing on Iwo Jima.
I don’t deny or doubt in the least that those things are part of what courage is all about; however, if that is all that courage means, most of us are left out because most of us won’t ever literally be on a battlefield.
I have been pondering about the many faces of courage. Courage is a family dealing with terminal cancer.
It is a single mother, struggling to raise her family.
COURAGE is a widow who faces the last years of her life without her beloved husband by her side.
It is a child of divorce, struggling with his or her self image, with doubt and anger and feelings of rejection.
It is a single person who chooses purity over promiscuity.
It is an engaged couple who will wait even though the world says go ahead.
Courage is an individual, a community, a state, a nation, a world fighting an invisible enemy called COVID-19, the coronavirus.
On occasion we are faced with difficult, fearful, or even dangerous situations that we have to FACE WITH COURAGE!
It took COURAGE for Nehemiah to approach the King of Persia, of whom he served as a cupbearer, and ask him permission to return to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:2-3- “so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid, BUT I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
It was a huge step of courage. Nehemiah is willing to put everything on the line. Incredible courage! He risks his job, he risks his influence with the king, Nehemiah risks his life.
“I was very much afraid, BUT!!!!! COURAGE!
After Nehemiah had completed building the wall but the doors weren’t on the gates yet. They had almost completed the task.
In Nehemiah 6 his opposition once again arises and wanted to meet with him like 5 times but Nehemiah realized they just wanted to harm him.
Then they lied about him and Nehemiah says, “there is no truth in any part of your story.”
Nehemiah 6:9- “They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.”
Nehemiah could not afford discouragement. He had to finish the work.
We must be on guard to not let discouragement replace God’s Spirit resting on us or living in us.
HOW CAN I CULTIVATE COURAGE IN MY LIFE?
Joshua 1:6- “Be strong and courageous..”
Joshua 1:7 “Be strong and very courageous…”
Joshua 1:9 “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
HOW CAN I CULTIVATE COURAGE IN MY LIFE?
Joshua 1:8 “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
- Fight to Give God all your attention.
Meditate- to focus on something deliberately.
Matthew 6:33 – “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
Think about it, Joshua is about to move the whole nation of Israel across the River Jordan into the Promised Land. Joshua had some experiences here.
BUT GOD SAID MEDITATE ON THIS. Fight to give God all your attention.
2. Consume the Bible
“Study this Book of Instruction CONTINUALLY!”
Psalms 138:3 – “At the very moment I called out to you, you answered me!
You strengthened me deep within my soul and breathed fresh courage into me.”
2Timothy 3:16- “Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God..”
When we consume this Bible God breathes courage into us!
While the disciples are on a storm tossed sea in the middle of the night and Jesus comes walking on the water.
Matthew 14:27 – “But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
When you consume this Bible it’s like Jesus is saying, “Courage, it’s me!”
3. Stay Connected to the Right People
Joshua 1:18- “So be strong and courageous!”
The people around Joshua were telling him the same thing God was telling him.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)- “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”
Hebrews 10:25- “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
We’re going to have to be creative with this for now.
CULTIVATE COURAGE- 1. Fight to Give God your attention. 2. Consume the Bible. 3. Stay connected with the right people.
What is the Holy Spirit Saying to you in this message?
John 16:33- “And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!” Jesus is a rebuilder of the broken. Do you need Him today?