God’s overcoming courage
After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God... Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God. Isaiah 37:14-20 NLT
Where do you find strength in times of trial? Christians are called to have courage for their faith in God has the power to “overcome the world” (1 John 5:4). What it means is that this present evil age does not have to squeeze us into its mold that we lose sight of the values and principles God expect us to live by. The faith that we have should provide us a sense that God becomes more important than life itself. When we die to self that our plans and our control go with that death, we start come alive to God for His strength enters in. God is not just the most important thing in our lives but He should be our life. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity” (John 12:24-25). There is a big difference between coping and overcoming; with God we can overcome for He is our hope. When God is our hope, our own wishful thinking ceases for we now have the reason to be courageous. When our focus is on our own self-preservation, it will kill courage. When we stop living just for ourselves and when all we want is the glory of God to be put on display through our lives that is when God fills us with overcoming courage. This is what King Hezekiah learned when he realized that the only place he can experience courage in the midst of trial is to be in the presence of the Lord. “Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God” (Isaiah 37:20).