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Co-creating by heart with sandy cathcart through writers helps and art info, focusing on all things wild.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Taking Courage

I was reading this morning in Ezra and came to 7:28 where Ezra says, “I took courage” (NIV). NAS says, “I was strengthened.” Both versions imply that courage comes from outside our selves.

Isn’t that interesting? I think we are most often told that courage comes from inside us.

In a sense that is true . . . for the follower of Christ, because courage (strength) comes from God and He lives inside the believer.

It’s worth thinking about whether it is actually true for the unbeliever—would make a good research study. I suspect that the unbeliever will run into a wall before the follower of Christ will, because the unbeliever is relying on his own power, which is limited. The believer has unlimited power . . . “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens (gives courage to) me,” that is if the believer is calling upon God for that strength.

Webster Collegiate defines courage as,
“mental or moral strength
to venture
and persevere
or withstand
danger,
fear,
or difficulty.”

The meaning seems to get washed out a bit when you try to use synonyms. But a further meaning to explain the difference between tenacity and courage is also interesting,
“Mettle,
spirit,
resolution,
tenacity
mean mental or moral strength
to resist opposition,
danger,
or hardship.
Courage implies firmness of mind and will
in the face of danger
or extreme difficulty
(the courage to support unpopular causes).

” It goes on to explain the differences even further, but I like that “firmness of mind.”

The Hebrew word for courage (as found in Ezra and many other passages) is “Chazaq,” which means
to strengthen,
prevail,
harden,
be strong,
become strong,
be courageous,
be firm,
grow firm,
be resolute,
be sore

So, looking at all the above, I would say courage is something we reach out and take from God. He hands it to us, and it’s up to us to take it, and it gives us a firmness of mind as well as strength.

This reaching out and taking it implies that courage is something we don’t have until we face danger, fear, difficulty, opposition, or hardship, because we don’t often reach out for it until the need is there.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you and example of this reaching out and taking courage.

2 Comments:

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

brave, valor, fearless, hero, bold, strength, firm, power, spirit, encouragement.
Debbie Rempel

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Sandy Cathcart said...

Great words Debbie!

Now write a poem using all those words.

I know you can do it!

 

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