But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:27
I recently heard someone differentiate between bravery and courage, saying that bravery is the ability to take on difficult situations without fear, while courage is taking on difficult situations even when you’re afraid. When I think of courage, I am reminded of Gideon.
I relate to Gideon; he lives life afraid. When the angel of the Lord comes to him, Gideon immediately expresses his doubts about God’s faithfulness to the Israelites. When God makes it clear that He Himself is calling Gideon, Gideon wants a sign — just to be sure.
After he receives the sign, Gideon obeys God and cuts down the altar to Baal. But rather than doing it out openly by day, Gideon is afraid of the townspeople and even his family, so he destroys it by night. Later, when the irate townspeople come for him, Gideon lets his father defend him. Gideon was not brave.
It’s easy to criticize Gideon for his doubts, but I’ve doubted as well. I have seen God work in my life, enabling me to do things that I would have thought impossible. But then I still doubt that I can do the next thing. I look at myself and my resources, and I feel inadequate all over again, convinced I can’t accomplish what’s before me.
God understands my frailty; He deals with my weaknesses just like He did Gideon’s — without scorn or chastisement. The Lord remembers that I am dust.
Tonight, if the Lord is calling you to a task for which you feel inadequate, remember that the Lord isn’t looking for your strength, or bravery, or natural gifts; He wants your reliance on Him. His power is made perfect in our weakness. We know that God saw Gideon as mighty. In the celebrated Hebrews Hall of Faith, we are reminded that Gideon conquered kingdoms and the Lord made him strong out of weakness