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Courage

From Rev. Solomon Keal, BACS Pastor
August 20, 2020

Bryn Athyn Church School’s theme for the 2020-21 school year is “Courage.” The quote for our theme is “Be of good Courage, and the Lord shall strengthen your heart.” (Psalm 31:24).
This year in our chapel schedule, we’ll be looking at the books of Joshua and Judges, which include many stories about courage and bravery. They also include many role models for courage in characters such as Joshua, Rahab, Deborah, Gideon, and Samson. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Courage is a heart word; it’s something that exists in our will. It’s related to not just our feelings, but the things we do, and the actions we decide to take. Courage often takes the willingness to be vulnerable enough to share our honest thoughts and feelings with someone else.
There are many places in the Word where we are told: “Do not be afraid.” However, courage isn’t about never feeling afraid, rather it’s about feeling afraid and deciding to take action anyway. It’s about learning how to rise above the unhealthy kinds of fear that can paralyze us. “The meaning of ‘do not be afraid’ is not despairing, for once fear is removed hope is at hand.” (Secrets of Heaven 2694)
Courage is a kind of strength. It has been said that “Courage is like a muscle; we strengthen it with use.” But ultimately the strength of courage is something we receive from the Lord when we turn to Him. When we practice being brave, the Lord can fill our hearts with His courage. Courage is about having confidence in the Lord: “People who put their trust in Divine Providence have imparted to them a confidence that the Lord is directing their lot.” (Divine Providence 179)
As we begin school this fall, we are unfortunately still in the midst of dealing with a pandemic. Students, parents, and teachers alike may be feeling some fear around this. Some of that fear is healthy, but the hells love to pull us down into despair. And so hopefully we can all turn to the Lord and ask that He fill our hearts with courage as we head back to school this year.


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