18 June, 2008

Courage In Christian Ministry

The English word ‘courage’ and the derivative ‘courageous’ are used 25 times in the Bible. There are four different Hebrew words and one Greek word that translated as such in the English Bible. Each give insight into what God requires of those who have positions of leadership in the Church. The words are:

  • Chazaq: This word means to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, be firm, or be resolute. This is the most common in our courageous lexicon. It is mostly used to describe Joshua and his boldness in conquering God’s enemies.
  • Lebab: This is inner-mind or will. It shows us that courage is something that that is internal and something that is to be ‘willed’. Courage does not come naturally, but is a discipline that the minister must practice in the midst of conflict.
  • Ruwach: Interestingly, this word is most often translated as spirit, will, or wind. It is a widely used Hebrew word in the Old Testament. This derivative teaches us that courage is not just a ‘willful’ attitude, but one that is spiritual. True courage will never be without the held and aide of the Ruwach of God.
  • Amats: This word is closely related with chazaq. It means be strong, alert, courageous, brave, bold, solid, or hard. It teaches those who lead that there is a discipline which is not only reactive, but proactive. The minister is to be alert for practicing this discipline, not only performing courageously after conflict has arisen.
  • Tharasos is the only Greek word that we have translated as courage. It means courageous or confidence. It is important to note, that this confidence is not within ourselves, but confident that God is using conflict to further his glory and conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the English word comes from the Latin word 'cor' meaning heart.