Top 40 Faith Actions for Every Believer - 3
“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18
Be strong, Be Courageous, Be Bold, Stand fast…Really?
Years ago as a young believer, when I heard these words as I would read the scriptures my initial response was always to feel that little tinge in my gut of judgment that I could never measure up to that expectation, especially not like the great faith men and women of old. [See Hebrews 11] Intellectually, I would know those words were not intended to make me feel inadequate and pressured or under burdensome compulsion, like I could never measure tup to them, but they always did, until I began to understand that that I didn't have to, and that there are promises in the scriptures that appear on the surface as commandments but indeed they are assurances.
The context of each of these passages and the overall intent of God’s grace is to build us up and cause us to be conformed to the image of Christ. God did not have to cajole or persuade Jesus by demand or threat to be courageous in the face of sin and opposition to His calling and purpose for coming to dwell as a man with humankind. He did not force Him to put on a good face in the midst of the temptations. NO. He and the Farther were in total agreement. He even said it on more then one occasion that He and the Father are One.
“I and my Father are one.” John 10:30
They possessed the same heart, the same passions, desires and purpose, the same mind, thoughts, faith and actions, and they spoke the same Words.
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19
“Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” John 8:28
But you say, “that’s, all well and good, but I’m not Jesus.” No, we are not, but we have been given the mind of Christ [1 Corinthians 2:16]. We are His ambassadors [2 Corinthians 5:20] and the Holy Spirit is working in us both to desire and to do the will of the Father, to do what pleases God.
“…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
These words that call us to courage, steadfastness and boldness are indeed promises that will be characteristic of our lives by and through the walk of faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. By His grace we will be and are even now becoming like Him in courage, boldness and steadfastness because He is with us and dwells in us by faith in His Word.
be strong and of good courage…
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9
“Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that iswith him: for there be more with us than with him…” 2 Chronicles 32:7
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1
“But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.” 1 Thessalonians 2:2
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.” Philippians 1:27-28
“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.” Philippians 4:1
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15