Courage. It’s something that I’d like to think I have. I’d like to think I’m one of the people who would do what was right under any circumstance.
Tragically, in the situation in Mali recently, we again saw Christians asked to renounce their faith and then pay for it with their lives. I can’t tell you how much I admire the courage of the people who identified themselves as followers of Jesus even after seeing the consequences.
As it turns out, I just finished reading a biography on a man named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a pastor and theologian in Nazi Germany. To say he stood up to the Nazis would be an understatement. He boldly resisted their pressure to preach and teach what they wanted, and instead taught the Gospel.
In fact, he ended up participating in a conspiracy to assassinate Adolph Hitler. He was imprisoned and later hanged. His execution came just about three weeks before the Allies liberated his prison.
I ask myself if I have the kind of courage the Oregon shooting victims had, or the courage of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I don’t know. I do know that I don’t have that kind of courage without the grace and mercy of God.
The thing is, it wasn’t really those innocent victims in Mali, or Bonhoeffer in Germany, who were courageously fighting. God says that the battle is His to fight, even if it feels like it’s mine or yours.
There is a scene in the Narnia movie Prince Caspian where the little girl Lucy is standing on a bridge facing a monstrous villain. At first you’re surprised to see that he is looking at her with fear. Then you see that behind her stands Aslan, the lion who represents Jesus in the story.
Whatever battle you are facing, whatever is testing your courage, remember who is standing behind you. He loves you and he fights for you!