Take Courage in the Face of Tribulation

Jesus with His Disciples

Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33).

On this occasion, Jesus was talking with His apostles shortly before His death. He warned them that they would be scattered, which would happen when He was arrested (Matthew 26:56). However, despite the fact that these men would leave Him, Jesus knew that the Father would not leave Him so that He was “not alone.

Jesus encouraged them with the fact that He had “overcome the world.” It is important to note that this was said prior to the crucifixion and resurrection. Yet these events were so certain, Jesus could speak of them as though they had already happened. They were still in the future, yet they were facts. He told them this to give them the courage to endure the trials they would face (cf. John 16:2).

The Lord’s disciples continue to face tribulation even today. Paul encouraged the brethren on his first preaching tour “to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22). We suffer in this life on account of persecution, sin, hardship, sickness, and more. Yet we can “take courage” just as the apostles were told to do.

So how can we “take courage” in the face of tribulation? Jesus made three points in our text – reasons why His disciples can take courage.Continue Reading

Courage Today

Take Courage

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3).

The Hebrew writer mentioned the “great cloud of witnesses,” referring to the heroes of faith he had just discussed. Some of the examples we have considered in our study are in the list of the faithful in Hebrews 11. Because we have this “great cloud of witnesses surrounding us,” we must do three things:

  1. Lay aside every encumbrance and sin, and run with endurance (Hebrews 12:1).
  2. Look to Jesus and to His example (Hebrews 12:2).
  3. Do not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:3).

In other words, “take courage” (John 16:33) – trust in the Lord and follow Him as He desires, no matter what the consequences might be.
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Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: The Courage to Trust in God

Take Courage

The example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego shows us the courage needed to put one’s complete trust in God. Of course, other men in the examples we have already noticed have trusted in God, but the example of Daniel’s friends is different – they did not receive special, direct revelation (as least not as far as we are told in the Scriptures) like many other Old Testament characters. Therefore, their example is very helpful for us today.
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David: The Courage to Fight

Take Courage

The next example in our series is David who had the courage to fight. There are several examples in David’s life of him courageously fighting against his enemies (and God’s enemies). But for our lesson, we will focus on his fight against the Philistine giant, Goliath.
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Abram: The Courage to Leave Home

Take Courage

The first example we will consider in this series is Abram. He displayed courage when God called him to leave home and go to an unknown land which the Lord would show to him.
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Take Courage: Introduction

Take Courage

In concluding His final address to the apostles before His arrest, Jesus told them to be courageous in the face of the hardships that would be coming against them.

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (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 the persecution that awaited them.

As Christians, we also need to have courage today. The Lord has left instructions for us to follow. We are to “observe all that [Christ] commanded” (Matthew 28:20). Furthermore, we are warned that we will become targets by following the Lord’s instructions. Paul said, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Continue Reading

Take Courage

In concluding His final address to the apostles before His arrest, Jesus told them to be courageous in the face of the hardships that would be coming against them.

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (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 the persecution that awaited them.

As Christians, we also need to have courage today. The Lord has left instructions for us to follow. We are to “observe all that [Christ] commanded” (Matthew 28:20). Furthermore, we are warned that we will become a target by following the Lord’s instructions. Paul said, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

How can we “take courage” (John 16:33) so that we will be able to endure the sufferings that will come for the cause of Christ?
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