Five Sources of Spiritual Courage That You Should Access Right Now

April 15, 2020


Strength in the Desert, Part 9

1 Kings 18 tells the story of Obadiah who was serving a wicked king that hunted down the prophets of God. This king was anticipating the righteous king who is the prophet of God predicted back in Deuteronomy 18. Obadiah is told to tell the wicked king Ahab of Elijah’s whereabouts, but he is terrified for his own life. In this passage we can see 5 sources for spiritual courage that Obadiah drew from, and you can as well.

1. Courage from Fellow Believers

Obadiah was comforted and encouraged by Elijah to ultimately go face his fear. Living in obedience to the Lord can sometimes be scary and difficult, so it is absolutely crucial to surround yourself with other believers who can encourage you in the Lord. The book of Hebrews places a great emphasis on believers supporting and encouraging one another, because the Christian life is not easily done alone.

2. Courage from the Reality of Our Faith

Elijah reminded Obadiah that he stood before God, he is real, and he has not forgotten! Oftentimes we need to be reminded that our faith rests securely in God. It can be easy to see the problems and circumstances around us as more real than our faith in the Lord but take comfort in knowing that nothing is outside the plan and control of God.

3. Courage from a Certain Future

At some level, Obadiah had to believe that Ahab doing his worst was not the end of the story; otherwise, he would not have gone to give the message to Ahab. Elijah had also given him the comfort that he would indeed meet with Ahab and take the heat in the immediate future. As Christians, we know that our future is certain, and that Christ will conquer his enemies. Death is not the end for us, it can only unite us with our Savior.

Death is not the end for us, it can only unite us with our Savior.

4. Courage from Obedience to Christ

Whether Obadiah knew it or not, the comfort he was receiving from Elijah was ultimately coming from the Son of God. Verse 15 shows that Elijah is taking his orders from the Lord of Hosts, or Lord Sabaoth as Martin Luther transliterated from Hebrew in his hymn, “A Might Fortress is Our God.” As Luther’s hymn declares, the right man is on our side, and he must win the battle.

5. Courage from Determined Patience

Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” As Obadiah waited for a righteous king, for relief from spiritual oppression, a man as fearful and timid as he had clearly taken courage if he was to go represent Elijah to Ahab. In his waiting he determined to wait on God, not on his own ability to avoid trouble.

If waiting on the Lord requires you to be brave when you don’t feel brave, then draw courage from these 5 sources. May the Lord speak to your heart as he strengthens you and makes you brave when you do not feel brave.

Steve Swartz, D.Min

Dr. Swartz is the senior teaching pastor of Grace Bible Church in Bakersfield, California and author of Shattered Shepherds and Strength in the River. You can hear him on the Steadfast in the Faith broadcast.

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