cheerful courage

I’m slowly realizing how much courage it takes to follow Jesus for myself.

I’ve read a lot about the courage and boldness of others, about the Apostles driving out demons and giving strength to the lame and proclaiming the gospel under threat of death and torture. I’ve often wondered what that’s supposed to look like for me, here and now. I suppose it’s not all that different.

Peter and John answered them, “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)

The Greek word used for boldness is perresia (Παρρησία). It means free & fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance.

Boldness is seeing and sensing the fear and trudging forward nonetheless.

Boldness is embracing the freedom that we have in Jesus.

Boldness is being sure of His good intentions for us.

Boldness is finding joy in the assurance of the good that lies ahead.

Boldness is speaking freely, living freely, that which we’ve seen and heard.

Living boldly can be devastating. It can be community-shaking and other-people-disappointing. Living boldly can be lonely and isolating.

I firmly believe that God calls and speaks to each of us uniquely. His voice often comes as a whisper, as a slow stirring of a single heart. This inner work goes unseen by others and felt by only a few.

Each of us are asked to leave our fathers and our mothers and our homes and our comforts. Each of us are told to pick up our crosses and carry them daily. And, as each of us are made and woven entirely differently, those things will look, feel differently for each of us. I’m learning that this means that other people won’t, don’t, can’t understand what our journey really looks like. We can’t ask other people to discern our next right step because they are not walking our journey; they must walk their own.

Others may not understand; other will not understand. This journey is our own. We must walk it with boldness, with wisdom, with hearts tuned to His voice. We must take up our cheerful courage and walk in fearless confidence into that which Jesus calls us into.