Courage comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes in small packages. A young Jewish girl Mary was engaged to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter, when an angel appeared to her. The New Testament gives few details regarding Mary’s life, but the in the book of Luke, the angel greets her with the phrase, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Wow! That phrase may be small, but it packs a mighty message.
The rest of the message is enough to make even the toughest woman quake. Mary would be the mother of the Son of God.
Mary’s reply? “I am the LORD’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.”
Mary tells us much about herself in her reply. In her soul, she had to know Joseph would divorce her, as was the custom even with betrothal in those days. She’d be a single mother. Worse, she could be stoned to death for her “sin.”
Mary was not only obedient in the face of potential persecution—she was courageous.
The book of Luke records Mary’s song:
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remember to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.” Luke 1:46a-55.
Well, we know the rest of the story. Joseph was also a faithful servant of God and chose to remain with Mary and become Jesus’ earthly father.
Mary’s decision filled her with joy, but it also led her down a path of heartache. The angel never promised Mary that her or Jesus’ life would be easy. Over thirty years later, she watched her son die on a cross. With obedience often comes pain. But God promises to be with us through that pain.
Being courageous facing the unknown, or what your life experiences tell you might happen, is tough. God’s supernatural power which lives in Christians is even tougher. God promises His strength.
When Joshua became the new leader of Israel after Moses’ death, he had the challenge of bringing the culmination of a 40-year journey to an end with a march into the promised land. However, the promised land was fortified by an army prepared to defend it.
Several times, God said to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Again, we know the rest of the story. Joshua and his men succeeded.
What obstacles are you facing that seem insurmountable? If you are living in God’s will, He will give you the tools and strength to get the job done.
All you need is courage.