To have courage, one must be encouraged! Isaiah 41:10 reminds us that God is our strength, our provider, and our protector. It says, “don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
It’s hard getting a phone call either late at night or early in the morning, as a pastor. It usually means someone’s in trouble, someone is injured, or someone has died. It means that we must be ready to encourage, to give others courage to get through the situation that they’re in, no matter what it is.
To encourage, you must have and know where to get real courage. What do I mean by real courage? It means to have a strong foundation in the word of God. It means that you know that your Lord and Savior will be there for you in times of crisis. It means that you need to be strong enough to hold onto the word of God when someone you know is hurting. It also means that you have back up, that you have God’s word to help you get through the situation you must get through as a pastor, or any type of first responder.
I read a prayer earlier this week and it said, “true courage comes from understanding that you (God) are stronger than my biggest problem or my worst enemy.” And it went on to say, “when I know you were beside me helping me fight the threat, I can be courageous.”
I encourage those who need special help to seek those whose strengths are helping others. Whether they are prayer warriors, clergy, Christian counselors, or psychiatric help. Whichever the level of help you require; it is there if you ask for it.
Being courageous isn’t hard if you remember who gives you courage. But if that does not help, knowing that there are others who can step in to help, is encouraging to all of us who travel this road together.
Fall is the time of harvest, of rest, of recuperation after a busy spring and summer. It is also a time for reflection but take heart. Have courage and be encouraged to help others if that is what you have a gift in. If you cannot, be a friend and help others find the help they need. Be kind and encourage. Happy October.