Day 6 on Courage – Speaking with Boldness
I have often recalled these words: “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”
Fear is a natural human reaction to any difficult or dangerous undertaking. God doesn’t condemn it. But he doesn’t want us to be dominated by fear.
The prophet Elijah is an example of this. He stepped onto Israel’s stage from nowhere and simply announced God’s message to the king: “There will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word” (1 Kings 17:1).
How could Elijah predict the weather? The weather is so unpredictable. Yet Elijah could speak with boldness, because he knew God’s Word.
God warned Israel that if they worshiped other gods, the Lord “will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce” (Deuteronomy 11:17). Further, “the sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder” (Deuteronomy 28:23-24).
Disobedience against God would bring God’s judgment – a severe drought upon the land. Nothing would grow. The flocks would starve. People would suffer. Yet the intent of God’s judgment was to lead his people to repentance.
Plus, Baal was considered the god of lightning and storm and responsible for the fertility of the land. By withholding the rain, God would further demonstrate his authority and power over the very area Baal was thought to control.
It doesn’t appear that Elijah was afraid to confront the king and declare “no dew, no rain”.
James, however, tells us that “Elijah was a human being, even as we are” (James 5:17). Of course, he was afraid. We’re all fearful and afraid! Whoever said that “we have nothing to fear but fear” was wrong.
Yet Jesus’ consistent word to his disciples and to us: “Take courage. Don’t be afraid. Don’t keep on being fearful. Trust me.”
James adds that Elijah was a man of prayer. “He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years” (James 5:17).
We don’t need to be intimidated by our fears or overcome by them. Like Elijah, as we follow God’s Word and as we pray, God turns our fears into strength.
Dorothy Bernard said this so well: “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”
Action Step: Take courage in prayer, do what is right, and speak with boldness.
~ Pastor Dave