Be Brave, Take Risks, Trust God !!!
We’re called to live our lives in a way that manifests real courage. C.S. Lewis wrote, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”
That means at the point of highest reality a chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky. The fact is courage is a powerful quality that animates all the other virtues in your life because to have the courage of your convictions and to follow through requires then a measure of risk in this world, particularly if your convictions are based upon revelation. Particularly also if they’re based upon a transcendent reference because then it’s going to invite us to pursue and treasure the invisible and the not yet more than the visible and the now. That is a tremendous risk for man to take because to obey God means that we treasure the unseen. The things that are seen are temporary. The things that are unseen will endure forever.
When a Christian says from the heart, "To live is Christ and to die is gain," he is free to love no matter what. Christian hope produces life-givers, not life-takers. The crucified Christ calls his people to live and die for their enemies, as he did. The only risks permitted by Christ are the perils of love. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you" (Luke 6:27-28).
With staggering promises of everlasting joy, Jesus unleashed a movement of radical, loving risk-takers. "You will be delivered up even by parents . . . and some of you they will put to death" (Luke 21:16). Only some. Which means it might be you and it might not. That's what risk means. It is not risky to shoot yourself in the head. The outcome is certain. It is risky to serve Christ in a war zone. You might get shot. You might not.
Christ calls us to take risks for kingdom purposes. To every timid saint, wavering on the edge of some dangerous gospel venture, he says, "Fear not, you can only be killed" (Luke 12:4). Yes, by all means maximise your joy! How? For the sake of love, risk being reviled and persecuted and lied about, "for your reward is great in heaven" (Matthew 5:11-12).
There is a great biblical legacy of loving risk-takers. Joab, facing the Syrians on one side and the Ammonites on the other, said to his brother Abishai, "Let us be courageous for our people . . . and may the LORD do what seems good to him" (2 Samuel 10:12). Esther broke the royal law to save her people and said, "If I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16). Shadrach and
his comrades refused to bow down to the king's idol and said, "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us . . . But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods" (Daniel 3:16-18). And when the Holy Spirit told Paul that in every city imprisonment and afflictions await him, he said, "I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course" (Acts 20:24).
To become a Christian was to risk your life. Tens of thousands did it. Why? Because to do it was to gain Christ, and not to was to lose your soul. "Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25).
Thumbing through the Bible, David stands out as a risk-taker. The Israelites were at war with the Philistines. Day after day, the Israelites heard the taunting of the nine-foot tall giant named Goliath. He mocked the ranks of Israel, and thereby defied Israel’s God. Saul and the Israelites were terrified, not knowing how they would overcome. Given this situation, a young boy approaches a giant with only a few river pebbles? We can learn and apply several of David’s principles as we face our own giants.
When David is faced with the challenge of overtaking the giant, he recounts God’s mighty acts. He reminds himself and others that God delivered him from the paw of the lion and the bear. When we remember how God has been faithful to us in the past, our faith is strengthened. How has God previously demonstrated His faithfulness to you? Rid yourself of a short-term memory.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Esther had no idea that God would use her to save her people. Esther was willing to be brave and courageous, and God used her to rescue His people from danger. God is not looking for big, amazing superheroes. He is looking for people who are willing to listen to Him and obey Him. Do you know what that means? It means that God can use you and me, too!
God has a purpose for your life. God created each of us to do good works for Him. God has placed you in your neighbourhood, in your school, and in your family for a special reason—just as He placed Esther in the position of queen. All around us are people that go through difficult times. Some of them don’t know Jesus yet, so they don’t have the hope and strength one needs to get through hard times. That’s why God placed you in their lives. God wants you to share his love with people you know.
Taking risk and moving forward brings favour and blessing, but it is always about the Kingdom. Our whole purpose is to glorify God and let others see His goodness in our lives. They need the gospel. If we do not care about moving forward and taking risks we are being selfish. Plain and simple.
With God risk really means risk, and it can cost us all we have. But when we take risks with God, we gain all He has. We can never know God in His power and love without taking risk with Him.
Risk demands trust. In fact, risk is another word for trust, a trust that calls for us to give up our control and security to rest in His control and security—before we fully know what that means. It would not be trust if we knew what risk means for us. That's the key to knowing God: we have to trust Him before we know what trusting God means. And it can mean anything from the greatest joy imaginable to the deepest struggle possible. Probably both.
When we have no way of influencing the outcome of something in our lives, we can become more comfortable with praying about it and knowing that God has a perfect plan for everything.
Trusting God When Times Are Tough - Ed Hindson
Can You Still Trust God? - Charles F. Stanley
God Will Use This for Good : Surviving the Mess of Life - Max Lucado
Trusting God : Why is it easier to obey God than to trust Him? Jerry Bridges