“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that count.”– Winston S. Churchill
Few would dare to question the courage of Winston Churchill, but few would guess that one of the 18 books he authored was, “Painting As a Pastime.” So often, we pigeonhole people into tidy mental cubby holes. Each person is quickly analyzed, assessed, and assigned their place in our roster of personalities. Such great loss comes from this method!
When we consider true believers in Christ Jesus, we must include the effect of the Holy Spirit’s abiding presence in a person’s life, such as yours or mine.
Our Catholic Friends Have it Right
Several years ago, I was a member of a small non-denominational church focused on doing the things Jesus taught. One man that I will never forget was a person who rightly understood that human life begins at conception1.
If you met this man, he would seem ordinary – middle-aged, slightly overweight, and married. If I had tucked him away in my memory under the heading, “An Average Man” I would have made a terrible error. God had laid on him a costly ministry; he worked to save young women from being pressured into believing that abortion was a “good option.”
Our Catholic friends have it right regarding the sacredness of human life. My friend understood this. When I knew him, he worked tirelessly for the babies who couldn’t protect themselves. He galvanized a right-to-life chain. He helped organize a life chain. On a Saturday, thousands of supporters showed up. We held hands and formed a peaceful, humble chain that lined the main streets of our town. I’ve often wondered how many people were impacted as they drove, possibly for miles, past person after person, praying for the lives of unborn children to be spared.
The courage of this peaceful man, who never once acted or encouraged any form of violence, ended up being arrested because he “cared too much.” Where does courage like this come from? Throughout God’s Word, we see Him use common people to do surprisingly uncommon things, actions that sometimes put them at mortal risk.
We are familiar with the courage of Moses, Gideon, Esther, Daniel, Joshua and Caleb. What do they all have in common? Trust in God. Out of trust comes courage. The Psalmist said it this way:
1 Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!Psalm 112 RSVCE – Blessings of the Righteous – Bible Gateway
7 He is not afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
You and I need to grasp how profoundly our lives are affected when we “trust in the Lord.” A great evangelist made this statement:
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.Billy Graham
** No part of this article was produced by artificial intelligence (AI). **
- Bible Gateway passage: Luke 1:34-36 – New Living Translation*. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved November 4, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%201%3A34-36&version=NLT ↩︎