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  • Writer's pictureMary Herschberger

Finding Courage in the Midst of Crisis

What does it mean to gain true courage for such a time as this? I am sure a lot of us have dealt with fear and uncertainty with everything that has been going on in the world. Many of us have been affected by the virus outbreak and all the ramifications that have happened because of the virus. We have talked with so many people who are struggling with fear and anxiety. All of us are living in a topsy-turvy world and fear is being dished out to us every day by the news media, by the Internet, and even by our own friends and family members sometimes. How are we going to respond to fear and anxiety? Fear is being placed in front of us and we have a choice whether or not we are going to partake in that fear and dive right in like everybody else or does God have a different way for us to respond? It’s so easy to jump on the band wagon of fear when we see everyone around us panicking and being fearful… And we begin to fall into the mentality that becoming fearful is the right thing to do when we are in a season of crisis.

Personally I have learned that God has such a way… a triumphant and victorious way for us to walk through challenging times…I personally have had many difficult things to face with the whole pandemic and it has definitely been tempting to say yes to fear and worry…But God is constantly bringing me back to important truths in His Word that have helped me through other difficult seasons in my life and these truths have helped me choose courage over anxiety… “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11) A lot of times we may look at that scripture and say, “Wow! That is very powerful!” Friends, are we really being proactive in putting on the whole armor of God? Let’s face it…fear, worry, and anxiety do indeed come against us. Unless we are walking in truth and we are using the spiritual tools God has made available to us…we will find ourselves defeated. Fear can often take a hold of our lives and we become a victim of fear rather than walking in the victory we can have through Jesus.

In Proverb 31:25 it also talks about the woman of godly character. It says strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future. That’s an important question we should ask ourselves today… Are we smiling at the future or are we dreading the future? Even before the virus outbreak you may have had things about the future you were struggling to smile about or maybe there were things you were dreading and fearing…God is constantly challenging me with this Scripture and asking me if I’m smiling at the future? I’m always grateful that I have the ability to smile at the future because He has promised (and He cannot lie) that He holds the future in His hands.

I have often been challenged with the story of a missionary woman named, Mary Slessor. She was a missionary to an African tribe and was so passionate about bringing the Gospel to those who were unreached…She was in many difficult situations and yet she had the courage and the strength of God to not back down, even though she knew she was in danger. That moment of courage is what ushered the Gospel into that tribe. When the people in that tribe saw the courage and the strength she had, they knew there was a power greater than the power of their violence, superstition, and witchcraft that they had in their tribe. They realized that perhaps this is a power greater than what they had ever witnessed before. They had never seen anyone stand up with so much courage and fearlessness. They knew that she must have a higher, greater power that she’s tapping into that they didn’t know about and so because of one woman’s courage and strong faith in Christ their eyes were opened to the power of God and the Gospel.

When we walk in courage and when we are willing to pray, “Okay, Lord, I may not be feeling very courageous in this moment but I know You can be strong through me.” It’s in our weakness that His strength is made perfect. When we are willing to open ourselves up to the amazing courage of God that wants to cascade through us and we are willing to yield and surrender…it is then that the world around us can step back and say there’s something different about her life and I want to know what it is.

Is that kind of courage only for special people like Mary Slessor and a few select others? You may hear people say not everyone has that special courage. We often look at Mary Slessor’s courage and think it’s really amazing but we feel like we could never do that. We can also look all throughout Scripture and Christian history and we see people who walked with extraordinary courage and they faced extreme dangers with unflinching resolve and they stood boldly. It wasn’t in their own strength but it was the power of God working through them. They were ordinary people just like you and I. They struggled with fears of their own but they were willing to say, “Okay, Lord, work through me, I know your strength will be made perfect in my weakness.” God has called us to be strong and courageous…This isn’t just a special calling for some Christians, it’s the calling of everyone who’s a child of the King of all Kings.

In the power of God, Mary Slessor sprinted towards many battles. This is often the opposite attitude that I naturally have towards challenges I face in my own life. Recently God has been challenging me to embrace an attitude not of defeat and despair but an attitude of boldness and courage to sprint toward the battle in front of me and to be strong in His might. I know I can’t do this on my own but I can do it with His strength and power.

What battles has God called you to sprint towards today? Maybe it’s walking victoriously and having a heavenly perspective while the world around us is in chaos and panic? That’s been a challenge for me…everyone around us may be panicking and stressing out and getting worried… Are we willing to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and the fact that we are never for a moment out of His sight and He will meet all of our needs according to His riches and His glory? Friends, continue to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ and you will have the courage and strength through Him to stand boldly for truth in such a time as this.

Finding my strength in Him,

Mary



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