Cowardly to Courageous

Cowardly to Courageous

Derwin GrayBy Derwin Gray5 Minutes

We often think humility is timidity, shyness, or even weakness. But we are wrong. The humility that God imparts to us takes root in the soil of our souls, and as we water and fertilize it by faith, courage and conviction begin to grow in us. We become stronger because our confidence is in God not ourselves. Instead of having self-confidence, we have Godfidence.

Think about it: Jesus was not timid, shy, or weak, yet He was the humblest man ever to live. By grace, He wants to teach us how to live as humble citizens of His Kingdom.

God’s grace has a humbling power that will redirect your life. Humility is not weakness. Humility is placing yourself under the grace, glory, love, and mission of God. It gives you a supernatural ability to accomplish God’s mission. Happy are the humble, for God will do above and beyond all they think or imagine because the risen Lord Jesus will work mightily in them.

When the sum of who we are is found in all of who Christ is, we become courageous. When we locate our hopes in what Jesus hopes for, we grow in conviction. When we give Jesus the broken pieces of our lives, we grow in completeness. Jesus’ courage, convictions, and completeness (holiness) become ours.

In loving Jesus, we begin to love ourselves. This love for God and self catapults us to love others. This is the good life.

One Man, Two Lives

There were two men – one who had courage, conviction, and completeness, the other who didn’t. One man was asked, “Do you know Jesus of Nazareth?” Not only did this man deny that he followed Jesus, despite being with Him daily for three years, but he denied that he knew Him three times, even cursing and swearing.

The other man followed Jesus with such love and allegiance that the Sanhedrin, the chief Jewish council who exercised authority in civil and religious matters, observed his boldness, wisdom, and power and recognized that he was a follower of Jesus (Acts 4:13). Even under threats, this man would not deny Jesus. He said, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20 CSB).

One man denied knowing Jesus. Another man was unable to deny Jesus.

Ready for the plot twist? These two men were actually the same person.

Before the resurrection of Jesus, the apostle Peter denied being Jesus’ disciple. After the resurrection, he became the leader of Jesus’ followers. What happened to Peter to bring about this change? Jesus happened to him. He encountered the humbling grace of God, a grace that will remake you and take you deeper into God’s kingdom. God’s grace will turn a denier of the faith into a defender of the faith, a coward into a courageous leader.

Over the years of journeying with Jesus, I have grown to love Peter. Peter gives me hope. At moments, he is loyal, dependable, and wise. At other moments, he’s running from servant girls who question him about knowing Jesus. Sometimes he’s rebuking Jesus, and other times Jesus is rebuking him. Peter at times is brave enough to walk on water, and at others his bravery is severely lacking. There’s a little of Peter in all of us.

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Excerpted with permission from The Good Life by Derwin L. Gray. © 2020 B&H Publishing Group