Sunday, November 26, 2017

Risk/Reward Situation

Joshua 1:9  "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

1 Corinthians 16:13  "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong."

       Courage is a desire of all of us, but it can waver based on the situation at hand.  It is the act of follow through that turns a brave and bold talk into a courageous walk.  What binds the two together is trust alone.  With whom does your trust begin and end?  God said in Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." 
      "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear" — N. Mandela
      "Courage is about doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared. Have the courage to act instead of react." — Oliver Wendell Holmes
       If you've been following my blog lately, then you know I am facing kidney stone surgery next month.  Will I be fearful, brave, and courageous?  Yes, to all.  My doctor told me that this is a risk/reward situation, meaning the reward outweighs the risks involved.  My reward is having the stone removed before it causes severe pain, blockage, infection and sepsis.  The risks are breathing complications, nerve damage, anesthesia problems, and just general surgery dangers.  My courage and strength comes from only one source, God's promise of "for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  In my conscious life, I can falsely assume that I have some sort of control over what happens to me but this surgery will have me totally and physically surrendered.  I think God puts situations into our lives to remind us and reinforce that His authority over us is unwavering and totally in control.  God wants our total trust in Him, not ourselves or anyone else.  
         Do you realize that you yourself are in a risk/reward situation at this very moment?  The risk of following the world for a reward of temporary pleasure OR the risk of obeying God for a reward of eternal life?  Only you can choose, a faith that can move mountains or a worldly whim that changes with the wind.  God's Word never changes so the risk of following Him is a guaranteed win for those who see Him as The Way, The Truth and The Life.
        "A Christian should be fixed in the faith of the gospel, and never desert nor renounce it. It is by this faith alone that he will be able to keep his ground in an hour of temptation; it is by faith that we stand (2 Cor. 1:24); it is by this that we must overcome the world (1 John 5:4), both when it fawns and when it frowns, when it tempts and when it terrifies. We must stand therefore in the faith of the gospel, if we would maintain our integrity."[M. Henry]

4 Signs of Courage

1] Overcoming Fear Enough to Act
2] Faith Led Decision Making
3] Persevering in Adversity

4] Going Beyond What's Comfortable

Courage doesn't guarantee success, but faith always does.

Sure it takes a lot of courage to put things in God’s hands,
To give ourselves completely, our lives, our hopes, our plans;
To follow where He leads us and make His will our own;
But all it takes is foolishness to go the way alone! —Kline