Courage often sounds like a scarier thing than it is. Often we believe courage means being a hero or doing something impossible. But I am convinced that courage is much simpler than that.
Our scripture this week comes from Acts 27:13-38 when Paul and the other apostles encounter a storm out at sea. During the storm they experience difficulties and doubt if they’ll make it ashore safely. Meanwhile an angel appeared to Paul and said, “Don’t be afraid. God will grant you and everyone on board safety.” After hearing this, Paul encouraged the others to be courageous and have faith that God was with them.
In this story, Paul acknowledges there will be difficulties, but he remains hopeful that God will remain true to God’s promises. For Paul, being courageous didn’t mean calming the storm, but rather it meant weathering the storm. It meant taking the journey one breath at a time, keeping faith that God was indeed leading them forward.
As I reflect on courage in today’s world, I think this is a good reminder for us all. We don’t need to save the world or figure out the answers to everything that feels wrong. Rather, we simply need to keep faith that God is with us and keep taking this life one breath and one step at a time. In this way, courage is having the ability to keep the faith despite the obstacles and challenges.
We don’t need to be heroes; we just need to be believers. We just need enough faith to trust that God is leading us forward through the storm. Courage is trusting that the storm won’t last forever. Being courageous is simply knowing that no matter how tough it gets, we will get through it with God and with one another.
Whatever you are facing this week, I pray you might receive the gift of courage. May we feel the courage of one another, and might we be encouraged in our faith. Might we find the strength to lean into one another and allow God to lead us forward through whatever storm comes our way.
Let us come together and courageously worship our God this Sunday at 11am! You may join us in person at St. John’s on the Lake UMC or worship with us online via the website or Facebook. I hope to see you then!
Peace and blessings,