Courage is not the absence of fear.  It is forging on in spite of your fear.  So how do we have courage?  Courage to face the road ahead, courage to do what we are afraid to do?  I think the answer can be summed up in one word, Vision.  Why?  For the same reason they say, "don't look down," if you're scared of heights.  You have to keep your eyes on the goal.  Look beyond the fear.

There is a popular TV show in the United States called Fear Factor, in which opponents will compete in various test of courage.  They have to accomplish certain feats under terrifying, grotesque, or horrible conditions.  Why would anyone in their right minds willingly submit themselves to such torment?  It's all in the goal.  –A $25,000 goal, to be exact.

But they are not the only ones.  Mountain climbers risk life and limb, under grueling conditions; enduring cold, hunger, exhaustion, and deprivation.  They climb for the goal; the thrill of reaching the top.

The apostle Paul tells how he was persecuted, stoned, imprisoned, beaten, and troubled on every side.  How did he find the courage to endure?  In Philippians 3:13 he tells us his secret.  "Forgetting those things which are behind (don't look back), and reaching forward to the things which are before.  I press toward the mark of the prize, of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord."  That's the secret.  Press toward the mark. Keep your eyes on the prize.

This world is filled with sorrow and pain, and is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  We must look beyond this life and focus solely on the prize.  For many of us Heaven seems so far away.  It is difficult to place a reality to it.  But the Heavenly vision is at the very core of faith, courage, and endurance.

Moses “endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”  Like any athlete, you have to picture that trophy, that prize.  As Paul said, "I have run a good race.  I have finished my course. Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…"

This is what will give you the courage to make difficult choices to follow God, to face your fears, and to look beyond the troubles of today.  When fear takes hold of us we must have something solid to hold onto.  When our courage is weak, we must keep our eyes focused on the goal, the prize, the Heavenly vision.

Posted by Marie Morrow 



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