Today, we also start the vision tree school. Many teachers will serve the classes. It is an exciting moment for teachers to wait for new students. In addition, they have some concerns and challenges to overcome in this semester. Please give your attention and prayer for the school. In this semester, we have many challenges that we have to overcome.
We have many worries rather than expectations when we are in a new environment. We have fear when we are in front of new things; when we have to do something new. The fear will be greater when we become older and older. Thus, we need as much courage in every moment.
However, it is not simple to have courage although we want to have it. “I can do it! I can do it!” we try to have a heart, but it is not easy to have courage when we need it. We can learn this from the people who try bungee jumping. Although people is told that it is safe because their string is strong enough to carry them, they don’t jump down below the steep cliff. Because fear of death makes them frozen. It is hard to persuade them. There is a time when they make a decision to try jumping because they have courage. Where does their courage come from? Their courage comes from the faith. They believe that the string that bound them is safe enough to hold them. They believe that they will live. Most of all, they believe many witnesses who did bungee jumping.
Without belief, we don’t have courage.
With fear and trepidation, we will be hopeless.
This is an example of how fear works.
This happening occurred at the Soviet Union. A person tried to clean up the freezer in the train. However the door of the freezer was closed accidently. There was no way to open the door inside. He knocked the door severely, however, nobody heard him. Unfortunately, he died inside the freezer. However, do you know what? The freezer was broken long time ago; there was enough air inside the freezer, the temperature was 13 Celsius degree. In this environment, he died. Why? Because he lost the courage. He became hopeless. This episode shows that hopeless is a horrible disease.
Today passage shows that the disciples might be in desperate environment because they were in judgement by the Sanhedrin. As we seen, judges didn’t like Peter and John because they taught people by the name of Jesus. They had a power for the disciples to be put to death like their teacher, Jesus. However, Peter and John showed courage in front of world authority. This behavior made the judges astonished. The scripture provides reasons. First, they knew that Peter and John were unschooled, and second they have been with Jesus. What these mean was that they would be ignorant and also were coward. They fled away when their teacher was arrested and killed. However, they showed their courage in front of people who were in authority. They were changed.
Where was the source of their courage?
Of course, it came from the confidence in their minds. The confidence is a source of courage. Thus they boldly spoke although they were in front of people who are in the Sanhedrin.
We can see their boldness from the replies of Peter and John.
Ver. 19. “Judge for yourself whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.”
Can you reply like this when you are in front of any authority who hates you?
We know which is right or wrong. Nonetheless, we, Christians, may forget something. Even though we know which is right, we may not do it because it is not good for us in our sight. Today we have to restore the courage that Peter and John had. We have to do the right things in God’s sight, but not in our sight.
Ver 20. “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
What they said is that they would speak the truth. Although they would be put at an unfair disadvantage, they would speak the truth. They were saying that they were witness, but not a liar. As we know, it was not easy to be a witness when we may be at unfair disadvantage. At that moment, we need courage like Peter and John.
Their courage was not from their knowledge. In addition, their courage was not from what they had. They were poor. If their courage came from your knowledge and possession, it would be like a house built on the sand.
The courage of Peter and John was from Jesus Christ. It is right and sound knowledge. It is a safe rope. It would be fearful moment for them to stand out in the world authority who were not favor to them. Since the Lord kept their minds and thoughts, they were able to speak boldly in the Sanhedrin. In addition, their courage was the accomplishment of the Lord’s promise.
Let’s read Matthew 10:18-20.
“On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:18-20)”
We have many different kinds of fear. When we start a new business; when we will be brought before governors and judges as witness, we will have a fear. At that time, we don’t know how to say and what to do. However, don’t worry about it because the Lord is with us. The Lord will give us confidence. The environment we encounter is not ruled over, we will rule over the fear by the faith in Him.
It is important to have courage that the Lord gives us. Because the fear makes the blessings of God hopeless. Do you hear about the Israelites who existed from Egypt when they come to the promise land, Canaan? When they saw the people lived in Canaan, they were hopeless because they compared their environments and didn’t listen to the promise of the Lord.
This was what they saw and belief.
“But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan. "Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." (Number 13:28-33)”
In front of the Promised Land, people who lost courage uttered hopeless. They confided their feelings and thoughts than the words of the Lord.
We need courage in our life. However, we can’t have courage with our wills. We should have a confidence about something. Courage comes from the Words of God; from the Truth; from the rightness; from the Holy Spirit. Most of all we need the evidence like the crippled man. He had been healed by the name of Jesus. I hope that we have evidence that our prayers come true. The courage from Jesus is like a house built on the rock.
We need courage to live. We have to see the world with the courage that the Lord gives us. We know the courage of David who fought against Goliath. He experienced the victory. People were astonished and nothing to say about when they saw the works of God. Faith makes courage alive. The faith toward God is the foundation to overcome any environment that we will encounter.
God does everything for us. What we do is to lean on the Lord. When we lean on Him, he will give us courage. Our courage is to do the right; to keep the Truth; to fight against the fear from the new things; to overcome the fear from the new environment and problems.
The messenger of God always delivers the same one, saying that “Don’t be afraid!’ because God is with us. Jesus Christ promised that he would be with us at the end of the world. What the disciples have learned was the mind of Jesus. They didn’t look at the world, but do follow the mind of Jesus.
I speak to myself, ‘Overcome the fear by the courage that the Lord gives me” It is the same encouragement for our children and you. You can encourage yourself to have a heart. We needs courage to fight against the wicked. I pray that the mind of the Lord who won the world will be planted in our minds.