“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.”
– Billy Graham
As the apostle Paul writes in Corinthians-we become what we see. Writing about the glory of God, Paul writes that we become changed in the twinkling of an eye. And it all begins with choosing to fix our gaze on Jesus and His glory. Paul writes that God’s grace transforms the very essence of those that choose to focus on Him. The corruptible becomes incorruptible. Make no mistake about it, what we choose to witness plays a massive impact on our behavior and our character. Whatever we choose to dwell on becomes a key part of our very essence. This is why Billy Graham’s observation on courage is so, well, encouraging-we only need to focus on the right people and leaders in our daily lives.
Daily life takes courage. It is too easy for Christians to say that they are willing to die for their faith-to suffer the ultimate penalty and punishment for Jesus. However, the real challenge to genuine Christian living is not dying for one’s faith. Far from it-the real challenge is to live out one’s faith. Day by day. Week after week. That’s the real challenge. Why? We live in the world with all its temptations-its false comforts, its deceptive conveniences. It is too easy to live in and view the world firmly within the prison of our flesh-with all its selfishness, self-absorption, and fruitless self-seeking. In this world of temptation, it is too easy to live life without principle and to be guided only by the compass of pleasure or self-seeking. Instead of living for Jesus, we face the almost irresistible urge to live by the flesh-with its easy anger, its unquenchable taste for pleasure, and its relentless temptations in taking the easy way a and cutting corners. It takes courage to stand up to all this and do what’s right. It takes courage because it is so easy to do otherwise. The same goes with the many challenges facing us. Maybe your challenge is a mortgage payment coming due. Maybe your challenge is the possibility of another month on unemployment. The challenge here is all the same-the challenge to resist despair and abandoning hope. The challenge is to constantly remember that God has given us the victory and that we only need to abide in Him to be filled with the Hope only He can give. Still, it is too easy to forget this. It is too easy to be tempted. This is why we need to behold the right things and the right people.
We can all take comfort from apostle Paul’s advice that Christians uphold and encourage each other. This doesn’t have to be verbal or outright encouragement-as Billy Graham’s quote above shows, just the mere sight of a fellow brother or sister taking courage and doing what’s right day after day should ‘infect’ us with his or her courage. The good news is we all have it in us. God, after all, doesn’t give us a test we can’t overcome. We already have the victory within us. We only need to unlock it by opening our eyes and beholding the daily victories our courageous brothers and sisters are enjoying daily by refusing to bend and compromise. Whether you are struggling with addictions, negativity, or seemingly irresistible temptations, rest assured that you only need to behold the victory of your Christian sisters and brothers to share in their courage and in their victory.
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