Take Courage and get to work!

Some days all the different passages in a day’s reading* point to the same theme: Today’s was “Courage!”

Paul to the ship’s crew: So take courage!  For I believe God.  It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island. Acts 27:25

David: Yet I am confident that I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD.  Be brave and courageous.  Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Ps.27:14NLT

Ezra: I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the LORD my God was on me.” Ezra 7:28NLT

The Lord to His people: Take courage and work, for I am with you, says the LORD Almighty.  My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt.  So do not be afraid. Haggai 2:4NLT

In Haggai the people having returned from exile to the shambles that was Jerusalem, were dilly-dallying on re-building the temple.  They had built their own houses but just weren’t quite ready to commence the daunting job of erecting God’s house.  Enter: Haggai with a message from the Lord.  “How are things going for you? Why are you living in luxury while my house lies in ruins? Now get building!” And the text says the Lord stirred up the spirits of the leaders and of the people and they got building!  I love it that God not only directs us to the tasks He has for us but He is able to encourage us in spirit so that we can rise to obey His will and He assures us of His support in facing the subsequent obstacles! (Haggai 1)

I can’t help wondering if Paul was meditating on this very story when he wrote to stir up the Christians in Philippi to obedience with these words:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil.2:12,13ESV

Paul knew what it was to find comfort and encouragement from the Lord himself which he regularly dispensed to those he discipled:

Paul to the believers in Corinth: Be on guard.  Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong.  And everything you do must be done with love. I Cor.16:13,14

The Lord to Paul in prison waiting trial: That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. [Lit: be of good comfort or be of good cheer]  Just as you have told the people about me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome.” Acts 23:11NLT

No matter where you may turn in Scripture there will be fearful circumstances being faced with courage because God is with His people.  They are written for our instruction and encouragement.  In what situation do you need to take courage today and perhaps to get down to work?  Go to it; God is our very present help.

So be strong and take courage, all you who put your hope in the LORD! Ps.31:24NLT

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Asaph) Ps.73:26ESV


*I commend to you a plan for reading Scripture that demonstrates so clearly its unity of theme and purpose. Try reading consecutively through a variety of genres every day and you can’t fail to see the big picture of God’s character and redemptive plan for us, His people. More info under “Bible Reading Plans” in the sidebar menu.  ‎

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