It takes courage to face the future! Only the valiant can make the most of life. Sydney Smith said, “A great deal of talent is lost to the world for the want of a little courage.” Fear of failure is the father of failure. The main battlefield is in the heart and the chief foe is fear.
What a person thinks and does when things are at their worst makes or breaks him or her. Crushed hopes, broken trust and bitter disappointment precipitate a crisis for every soul; and it is that person’s behavior then that determines their failure or success. The coward in time of crisis thinks with his/her legs; but the brave keep on fighting though he/she is scared half to death.
Jesus is preparing to enter Jerusalem for that final week. It is important to remember that Jesus is human, but He is also God. His stomach turns with the agony that is ahead. He feels as you and I feel. But He is God and He knows the future, well. By now, large crowds are gathering around Jesus. Some want miracles. Others want to meet this One who has changed Israel. Most want to hear the “words of life.”
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters and yes, even his own life he cannot be my disciple. This at first appears to be an unacceptable cost for any of us! Who wants to pay this price, it is too high? Then we realize the twelve did. “…he saw two other brothers, James and John (MAT 4:21). They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets, but immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.
But the word “hate” is misunderstood. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; the cost is not hating those whom we love, but do we love God more? There is a cost to being a Christian.
George Matheson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1842. Before he reached the age of two, it was discovered that his eyesight was defective. He, his parents, and the specialists fought a heroic fight, but before George had finished his course at Glasgow University he was completely blind. With courage and faith he graduated with honors in philosophy, studied for the ministry, and in a few years’ time became the minister of one of the largest churches in Edinburgh, where he carried on a memorable ministry. He did a great deal of parish visitation, wrote numerous articles and twelve books, and continued his own studies throughout his life. Yet, in that tragic situation George Matheson found God’s resources available for him. God poured into his heart the courage, resourcefulness, and grim perseverance that gave him victory over his handicap. After twenty years of blindness he wrote:
O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul on Thee!
I give Thee back the life I owe
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.