The dictionary defines courage as “the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.” Do you have courage? Are you a courageous person? The only way that you know for sure that you have courage is when you face a difficulty, danger or crisis in life. How you respond to a crisis will determine how much courage you have.
Todd Beamer was a passenger on board Flight 92 on September 11, 2001 when it was hijacked by terrorists. Todd and his fellow passengers showed courage in crisis. The easy thing would have been to do nothing, to be paralyzed by fear. Yet, due to his faith in God, Todd was able to lead the charge to overcome the hijackers. They stopped the plane from reaching it’s intended target of Washington DC.
Today I’ve entitled my message “Finding Courage In Crisis.” In this message series I’ve been talking about dealing with difficulties. However, sometimes, difficulties escalate to the point that they become a crisis. A crisis is a situation where action must be taken to avoid complete disaster. In every group of this size, there will undoubtedly by several people who are facing a crisis in their live or in their family. Even if you are not facing a crisis today, there will come a day when you will face a crisis. Will you be ready? Will you find courage at that time to take action?
NIV Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. These were God’s instructions to Joshua when facing a crisis. Note that the opposite of being strong and courageous is being afraid and terrified. How can you be strong and courageous? By trusting that God goes with you. Whatever difficulty or crisis that you may be facing today, God says to you “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified by your situation. I am with you and I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Today we’re going to look at a story from the New Testament about the courage of the apostle Paul to learn about finding courage in a crisis. In Acts chapter 27, we find Paul is a prisoner on board a ship headed for Rome. God’s purpose is for Paul to preach the Gospel to the Emperor in Rome. The ship, with Paul aboard it, is about to head for a life-threatening crisis. This crisis was one that could have been avoided. Some crises can be avoided, others are outside of our control. In this particular case, the crisis could have been avoided, but Paul was not in charge. So the end result was that Paul got involved in a crisis because of other people’s wrong decisions. So how can you find courage for a crisis?
To hear more about this topic, listen to my October 28, 2007 message entitled Finding Courage In Crisis