At the G42 Leadership Academy, we talk about our missional “forefathers” who have overcome in the face of real adversity. Gladys Alward, Brother Yun, Nate Saint, George Mueller… for some reason, many of us have lost the courage to do difficult things these days. Every time fear raises up, or obstacles come, we decide it’s not God’s will and we change direction.
A new generation of Christians must have COURAGE
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather having fear and overcoming it.
It’s Not As Bad As You Think It Is
Fear is “the irrational belief that something is harmful to you.”
Fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat”
Fear is “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined”
Get the idea? Fear is in our minds. Yes, there are natural instincts that keep us from plummeting to our death…. but most of the time, we fear things that won’t actually harm us.
- Public speaking.
- Clowns. –Okay, I’ll give you clowns. But I digress…
We need to recognize fear for what it is: a lie. It is an idea, a thought, that is keeping us from growing, from advancing, and from succeeding.
One of my favorite books growing up was Frank Herbert’s Dune. In it, there is a “litany” against fear:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me…
If you are facing fear in your life, you must realize what it is doing to you: it is stopping you from doing bigger and greater things (whether that is for your family, your business, or for your church!)
It’s Worse Than You Think It Is
But hey, the world is a dangerous place, right? There are natural disasters everywhere you look. There are wars, shootouts, rapes, and muggings. People die.
Yes, people die.
And so will you.
Without being morbid or cliche, you are going to die. It’s a fact. Will you die living life to the fullest, or hiding from reality in your safe livingroom? Will die doing something you love, or trudging through life beaten down and depressed?
We have brilliant examples of how to succeed in the face of overwhelming odds: Gladys Alward, who was deemed too old and not smart enough, went anyway to China, nearly freezing to death on the way. Brother Yun was beated, imprisoned, and tortured… and still went on to share the Gospel in prison and in Chinese house churches. Study these histories and take courage from them.
So What Then?
As a new generation of Christian, we must decide if we believe what we say we believe:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7
Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Josh 1:9 (and all of Joshua chapter 1)
If we do believe this, then:
Check out the next in this series on ‘A New Generation of Christian': Secure or Insecure?