Acts of courage seem few and far between. We celebrate bravery perhaps in part because it seems exceptional. People of courage, those who fight even when the battle is not in their favor, those who risk danger in order to do what is right, they are a rarity. As a culture, we are more comfortable with apathy – with being people who don’t make waves, who exude “tolerance” and who stick to their own business. The courageous are those that “interfere” and most often we don’t want to risk exposing our weakness in order to demonstrate courage.
The Christ-follower, however, has no need to let the fears of this world inhibit how we respond – whether in crisis, or in everyday moments. In fact, 2 Corinthians 5:6-9 reminds us that we should always be courageous. Our manner of life should be one that demonstrates strength in the face of adversity, confidence in the midst of uncertainty, and steadiness as we are tossed by life’s waves. In addition, the passage tells us why it is possible for the Christian to do this. It is not because of our own strength or own confidence, but it is because we aren’t looking to this life as the final pronouncement. We know that this world is temporary, but Heaven is eternal. So we can always be courageous here, knowing that whatever the world throws at us, it can not compromise, it can not steal, our eternal destination.
This doesn’t mean that acting courageously is easy. After all, there is still pain and there is still heartache in this life, and those experiences are real. But much like seeing the shore provides those out at sea the confidence of their safe passage, so looking towards Heaven provides us assurance of the better things that lie ahead. And in embracing that, we have the strength to act courageously. Always.