Take Courage

Text: John 16:33

Courage is the confidence and conviction to do what one knows to be right, regardless of the consequences. The apostles needed courage to carry out the Lord’s instructions without being deterred by persecution. We must have this same type of courage today. So how do we “take courage” so that we can endure the sufferings that will come for the cause of Christ?

We Must Know What is Right

  • Many people display courage in standing for beliefs which they hold in error
  • Their courage is commendable, but all the courage in the world is not going to change what is false to what is true – we must be sure we know what is right
  • Truth is found in the word of God (John 17:17; Psalm 119:160)
  • First step in taking courage – learn & become convinced of the truth of God’s word; be established in it (2 Pet. 1:12)
  • This will not happen for us miraculously or by accident – only by diligent study (2 Timothy 2:15)

We Must Know There is a Reward

  • Once we are convinced of the truth, we must have a reason to hold fast to it (Philippians 2:16)
  • The only thing that makes suffering for truth bearable is the hope of a resurrection to eternal life – without this hope, “we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19)
  • To take courage, we must be convinced of the hope of life after death – Jesus is the first fruits (1 Corinthians 15:20)
  • We have a hope for a resurrection to a home in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4)
  • The promise of heaven shows us that truth is worth standing for – allows us to take courage

We Must Act

  • It is not enough to know the truth & be convinced of the promised reward – having courage means we must act according to what we know to be true
  • We will live godly, even if it means we will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12)
  • We will keep our behavior excellent, even if we will be slandered as evildoers (1 Peter 1:12)
  • We will not run with the ungodly, even if it means they malign us (1 Peter 4:4)
  • We will do what Jesus commanded, even if the world hates us (John 15:14, 18)
  • We will preach the word in season and out, even if others will not endure it (2 Timothy 4:2-3)
  • We will be faithful until death, even if it means having to endure tribulation (Revelation 2:10)

Conclusion

  • As disciples, we must take courage – continually please the Lord regardless of the consequences
  • We must learn what is right, recognize/appreciate the reward, and then do what we know to be right
  • Remember the assurance Jesus gave to His apostles – “Take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)
  • No matter what trials/tribulations we face, we “overwhelmingly conquer through Him” (Romans 8:37)
  • So take courage – Jesus overcame the world… we can overcome & gain eternal life through Him

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