Courage Through Prayer, Part II
Some people think courage is the absence of fear. Actually, courage is the ability to overcome fear; the commitment to be brave in the face of fear. God wants to give us courage! When we read the Bible, we see many stories of people whom God called to face incredible challenges with courageous faith.
Jesus taught his disciples prayerful courage in the Sermon on the Mount. Read this passage from Matthew 6 (or if you did the devotion yesterday, read it again!).
Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Notice the last verse: Don’t worry about tomorrow. Why not? Because every day has enough trouble of its own. Why would we add more trouble to this day than we already have? This day has its own challenges, its own obstacles, and its own concerns.
What’s more, God has given us exactly enough resources to face these things today – He has given us enough energy, enough wisdom, enough help, and enough faith. The trouble comes when we try to fix tomorrow’s problems today.
So instead, what if we took life one day at a time? Isn’t this how God intended it to be? God has ordered the world in such a way that there is morning and afternoon and evening each day. There is a nighttime to mark the difference between one day and the next.
God even built this rhythm into creation itself. Notice that at the end of each day of creation, God doesn’t worry about what is unfinished, but instead calls what he has made “good.” God is content with his handiwork. God does not worry about the future.
So, let today be enough. Let today be sufficient for today. Take joy in what God has provided—the opportunities and the blessings.
In prayer, seek God’s kingdom first and know with confidence that everything else we need will be given to us in due time. Notice that it is very hard to be worried in the midst of prayer, and it is very hard to stop worry without prayer. Take it one day at a time, and marvel at how God provides.
Almighty God, you have ordered this wonderful world and everything in it.Give us such faith that by day and by night, at all times and in all places, we may without fear commit ourselves and those dear to us to your never-failing love, taking life one day at a time, and trusting in you in all things. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.