On January 15th, America observes the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as a result of the amazing work he did in the fight for civil rights, and the sacrifices that it cost him. However, while Martin was alive, he wasn’t the most liked in America. In fact, he was one of the most hated people because of the justice he was fighting for.
He had opposition on every kind of level; from the militant who thought he was too soft, from the comfortable who thought he was too disruptive, and much more. As I think about the realities he faced, I think about the value of courage, especially how hard it is to actually be courageous.
You see, we all love a good hero, one who steps up to save the day and is filled with courage! But if we’re honest with ourselves, we underestimate the amount of strength that it takes to be courageous, as well as how adversity exposes whether we’re strong. Proverbs 24:10 speaks of courage in this way, check it out.
If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small.
Proverbs 24:10 NKJV
We all feel strong when there’s a lack of opposition against us, but what happens when the pressure is on? When you follow the crowd, it’s easier to shout with boldness than when you’re by yourself, and the crowd is against you.
This kind of strength is not referring to brute force, but it speaks to the strength of character and commitment where you don’t ever give up even when everything is against you. It also doesn’t mean you never face your own inadequacies, or wrestle with your weaknesses. Courage is displayed when you persevere, when you speak, even as your voice quakes.
When you look into the life of Dr. King, you will see the struggle, frustration, and even the uncertainty he wrestled with in his fight for civil rights. He also had personal weaknesses that were a threat to what he fought for. But that doesn’t mean he lacked courage. In the days of adversity, his strength loomed large.
Lately, I’ve had to reflect on my level of courage in life. How much courage do I really have? What decisions am I making or what things have I invested into that require courage to commit to? As I strive to make a difference in this life, I’ve had to think about what it costs to do so. I think we all do with the things God is calling us to do.
God used MLK to make a difference in America and we celebrate that on his birthday. As we do so, let us reflect on what it really means to be courageous. God has purposed us to live for Jesus and fulfill His calling in our lives, which will push us to places of adversity that’ll reveal the depth of strength we truly have.
Has there been a moment of adversity where your strength has been revealed? How do you see the courage in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.