I was studying for a sermon on encouragement awhile back and I stumbled across something simple that I had never fully grasped before. The word encourage literally means “to put courage into.” I’ll save you from the complex word study that followed and just say that when I looked deeper, I found that the word courageous partially means willing to face insurmountable obstacles with enthusiasm.
That messed me up when I first heard about it, and it hit me even harder when I taught on it shortly thereafter. It looked like we were going to get into a gentle and smiley lesson on encouragement, but as it turns out, real courage is tough as nails.
What encourages you? Or should I say, what puts courage in you?
What makes you want to dig your heals in, level your brow and crack a smile as the biggest challenge you have ever faced seems to close in around you?
Courage, Faith, and Christian Movies
Real courage isn’t natural. It comes from God, and it’s rooted in the simple faith that no matter how big the obstacle, there is Someone bigger on your side. However, even though it comes from God, we have something to do with how it gets applied. 1 Samuel 30:6 says “David encouraged himself in the Lord.” What do we do to encourage ourselves in God?
Christian movies have the potential to play a huge role when it comes to putting courage in us. Especially true story Christian movies, because we are filling our minds with stories about how God has helped real people overcome insurmountable obstacles.
We can watch an exciting action movie that gets our emotions all fired up and makes us feel invincible. But the next day, when the weight of the world presses in, there is no extra courage deep down on the inside that was put there by the fast paced thriller. However, I’ve learned that when I watch a powerful Christian film that is built on truth, I leave the sofa with more than entertainment. Courage gets put into me also.
God Inspires, The Film Is Just A Tool
We don’t always need to watch Christian movies about courage to get this effect either. Anything that is grounded in truth, be it a true story or true attributes of Gods character, can put courage in us. I watched a rather sorrowful true story Christian movie the other day that didn’t have a big triumphant ending; it was a real tear jerker. But even though the ending wasn’t jubilant, you could see God’s hand at work in the people’s lives. He was helping them where they were, being merciful to them in spite what they did not know, or may have done wrong. You may have wanted to cry, but it was encouraging.
This was just one instance where a work of Christian cinema that was not labeled “Inspirational” could still inspire. Just image how powerful a Christian movie can be when it is an all-out example of God’s hand bringing victory to people’s lives!
Real courage comes from God, and so do the tools to find it, grab it, and put it into action.
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