The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! …. Acts 23:11
I’m praying for a change in my default mode… so often I find I default to worry and fear when it should be to ever increasing faith and trust in Jesus. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Col. 1:17 So why do I always try and TAKE on that responsibility?! All He is asking me to TAKE is courage in the One who has it all under control!! He will stand by you, NEAR by you, EVEN IN THE DARK OF NIGHT like He did for Paul, offering courage in His outstretched hand. All we have to do is release the worry and fear we have a death grip on and TAKE what He freely offers us all! COURAGE not fear, PEACE not worry, HOPE not despair, JOY not defeated sadness….
He has promised this world will not be easy but to not loose heart and become derailed by discouragement over that! Jesus has overcome! (John 16:33) We fight FROM victory not FOR it! Acts 23:6 says, I stand trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead. There is a war going on for souls and the enemy doesn’t like a moving target so he will do whatever it takes to freeze you in fear, shame, discouragement, pride…. But let’s not be dissuaded we have a hope that will not disappoint that reaches beyond our moment into eternity!
I’m so very grateful God included so many imperfect humans in the bible to encourage me in my shortcomings and failures! He is the God of resurrecting dead things, breathing fresh new life and hope where there was none before. For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37
I see Ananias in Acts 9 explain to God all that God might have missed about the current situation God asked him to step into (vs. 13-14) but despite Ananias’ fear and hesitation God still wanted to use him and Ananias still went! (vs. 15-17, Acts 22:14-16) He was willing to let go of himself and TAKE hold of all God wanted to show him He could be to Him!
I see Paul in Acts 22:17-21 doing the same things, explaining to God all that God might have missed about the current situation, yet of course no detail had escaped His attention, God already knew it all just as He did with Ananias. Just as He does with you and I.
I see Moses in Exodus 4:10-13 and Acts 7:22 respond in the same way as Ananias and Paul, with doubts as to whether God really knew what He was doing. Did God really understand the situation and circumstances, did He really understand how ill equipped the person He was asking to walk this path was?! Sounds silly because God is the I AM for all that you would ever need; He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent but yet why do I find myself doing EXACTLY the very same thing all too often – defaulting to fear and worry?!!?!
However in each one of these instances, Ananias, Paul, Moses… they had doubts, fears, insecurities YET they chose to trust, to step out, to TAKE hold of Him, place their confidence in His mighty, faithful, trustworthy hand! And WOW did they get to live full out! The flame of faith they left is still igniting hearts for Him! I bet after they met Him face to face in heaven and He exclaimed well done, He said, thanks for taking courage! It takes courage to trust, have faith, allow peace to flow, choose joy and believe hope. But in Jesus we have all the courage we will ever need! Today will you TAKE it?
Independent Read: 2 Corinthians 10:5, John 3:16