Peter Cartwright, a nineteenth-century, circuit-riding, Methodist preacher, was an uncompromising man. One Sunday morning when he was to preach, he was told that President Andrew Jackson was in the congregation. Cartwright was warned not to say anything out of line.
When Cartwright stood to preach, it was reported that he said, “I understand that Andrew Jackson is here. I have been asked to be guarded in my remarks. Andrew Jackson will go to hell if he doesn’t repent.”
The congregation was shocked and wondered how the president would respond. After the service, President Jackson shook hands with Peter Cartwright and said, “Sir, if I had a regiment of men like you, I could whip the world.”
Before we can manifest a courageous spirit, we must decide what is right, then and only then will we find the courage to express our convictions. We live in a scary world. The dangers facing humanity poses a real threat to our emotional stability. Only courage, rooted in righteousness, will see us through.
Abraham Lincoln once wrote, “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.” But not all protesting reflects courage. Some protesting is founded on ignorance, not truth. We should make sure our cause is just, and then defend it. We can only feel pity for those who have no cause.
Sometimes it takes more courage to live than it does to die. The ancient Job is a familiar character to most of us. Troubles plagued this good man daily, but he had the courage to live in spite of all its setbacks. Though his path was covered with rocks, his faith and courage propelled him ahead to victory.
When Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem to rebuild its walls, he found strong opposition from the Samaritans. However, he took courage, and in 52 days his leadership resulted in the walls being restored. He was ridiculed, his life threatened, but faith and courage led him through. The odds were great, but his faith and courage surpassed all opposition.
The walls of hard work, moral living, love, and hope have been torn down by the liberals and pagans among us, and they will be rebuilt only when we have the courage to mount opposition to our decaying society.
Courage is a fruit of faith, and without it our future could be dismal. With courage we can win the war against fear, Courage builds a better tomorrow; fear destroys today.
Lastly, we must not forget that it takes courage to live right in a world that is bent on living wrong.