Men’s Round Table(3): Standing Tall in Troubled Times

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“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they lie in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”-Theodore Roosevelt.

In a world where men are capricious, you need courage to stand tall and not give in to temptation. You’ve got to stand for something lest you fall for anything.

Courage “is the quality of being brave. It is the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action” (Microsoft Encarta Dictionary). It is the principal requirement for exploits in life.

The place of courage in the life of a man is very fundamental. The beautiful dreams and ideas many men once had have been scuttled due to the fact that they lack courage. It takes courage to resist societal pressure, for example, premarital and extramarital sex (regardless of what the situation is in your marriage), bribery and corruption, etc. In Genesis 39, Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, but he turned and fled. It took courage to run. If he hadn’t fled, he would have committed fornication with her and eventually buried his own destiny. It also takes courage to change bad habits and hold convictions in life.

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In Mark 4:35-41, there’s an account of a man who exercised the quality of courage. The Bible says:

“And the same day, when the even was come, He (Jesus) saith unto them, ‘Let us pass over unto the other side.’ And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, ‘Master, carest not Thou that we perish?’ And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, ‘Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’”

From the passage read, we can see that everyone on that ship was afraid and was in a state of despair except Jesus. I guess they must have been running helter-skelter thinking that the end had come for them. It took a man who believed that He was in charge to dispel the fears of the other people. All He did was speak to the situation. Immediately He did that, “there was a great calm.”

Friend, God expects His sons to display courage at all times and worry over nothing. When was the last time you spoke the Word of God against the unpleasant situation you find yourself in? Do you just brood and complain or you take a courageous step and deal with the challenge radically? Remember things are at a standstill until a force is applied.

A major cause of lack of courage is fear. A sage once said that ‘fear is an acrostic—False Experience Appearing Real. I agree with him. Most of the things you fear do not really exist. God has promised to be there for you if you’ll just trust Him. Hear this: “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

In order to enhance your courage, you need to do the following:

1. Let God direct you.

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Are you in a quandary and you really don’t know what to do? Here’s my advice: Put God first. When you put God first, you become courageous and unshakeable. On the contrary, when God is not in your thoughts and you don’t take time to seek His counsel, you’ll definitely take wrong steps and you’ll be full of fear. The surest way of becoming a successful man at home or elsewhere is to be devoted to God and live according to the dictates of His infallible Word.

2. Testify consistently.

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Never underestimate the power that testimonies carry. Revelation 12:11a says “And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” “Testimonies are powerful weapons for turning the switches of courage on,” says David O. Abioye. When you are approaching a battle, going into a business or about to take a major step in life, one vital thing you need for success is a reflection of past victories. Meditate on your past successes, appreciate God for them, and tell Him that you are convinced He will give you more victories. David understood that and he was able to defeat Goliath. (Please read 1 Samuel 17)

3. Have self-worth.

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“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”- Eleanor Roosevelt. Know yourself and your abilities and place a high value on them. Learn to say no. Take pride in your appearance. Learn to see yourself the way you are in Christ, not the way you are naturally. Apostle Paul understood this perfectly when he said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

4. Having now a good image of yourself, you’ve got to express it through your speech.

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Assert your courage in the Lord. Remember Joshua and Caleb? They were able to conquer because of their proclamation. Don’t look at the problem, focus on the prospect.

As you do these, I have no doubt that nothing will be able to intimidate you in Jesus’ name. You’re closer to victory than you can imagine. Stand tall and be the man God wants you to be—a successful man.

Keep soaring!

Seyi Bale

January 2018

 

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