My heart is steadfast, O God!
I will sing and make melody with all my being!
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer me!
Oh grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the salvation of man!
With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.
Psalm 108:1, 5, 6, 12, 13 ESV
When Jesus endured the cross, for the joy that was set before him (Hebrews 12) he was not, of course, acting selfishly. Jesus’ joy was to do his Father’s will; to accomplish His work of bringing many sons to glory; sons whom Jesus would be glad to call brothers (Hebrews 2). Such courage, to endure pain in bringing glory to God, is not beyond even the least of Jesus’ disciples, as Timothy Keller reminds us….
Timothy Keller writes…
COURAGE FOR HIS SAKE. “Steadfastness” (see verse 1) is courage – standing one’s ground and doing right regardless of fears and consequences. Where does courage come from? Primarily it comes from wanting something more than your own safety. David wants all to see God’s glory (verse 5). True courage is not “I can do it”- that is self-confidence. It is rather, “This is more important than me.” In the animal kingdom the mother undauntedly faces any size foe, not because she thinks she can win but for the sake of her young. David will face any foe for the sake of his Lord, whom he loves above all. He’s not looking at himself. That is the secret of courage.
Prayer: Lord, give me such a sense of your living reality in my life that I live a more fearless life. Fear is just thinking of myself and my abilities instead of having my mind focused on you. Give me enough love for you to be brave. Amen.
From Timothy Keller in My Rock My Refuge