Laying the Foundation of Courage

1 Kings 17:1–7; James 5:17–18

Elijah had prayed that it would not rain and, ultimately, it did not rain for three and a half years. So the dried-up brook was just an indication that the very thing he had prayed for was beginning to take place. He was living in the result of his own prayer.

Have you ever had that happen? “Lord, make me a godly man.” “Lord, mold me into a woman after your own heart.” Meanwhile, in your heart you’re thinking, but don’t let it hurt too much. “Lord, make me stable, long-suffering, and gracious,” but don’t remove too many of my creature comforts. “Lord, teach me faith, make me strong,” but don’t let me suffer. Have you ever bargained with God like that? We want instant maturity, not the kind that requires sacrifice or emotional pain or hardship. “Lord, give me patience . . . and I want it right now!”

God’s spiritual boot camp doesn’t work that way. It is designed for our development toward maturity, not for our comfort. But self-denial is not a popular virtue in today’s culture.


Our God is relentless. He never ceases His training regimens. He shaves off our hair, He takes away our comfortable and secure lifestyle, He moves us into cramped and unfamiliar quarters, and He changes our circle of friends—it’s like we’re in a spiritual boot camp!

In the process, He strips us of all our pride! And then He begins to lay the foundation blocks of heroic courage, and a new kind of confidence, if you will—the kind that no longer defends us but defends Him. What a magnificent change that is. And how essential in our journey toward maturity! Again, it’s all part of being cut down to size.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

Posted in Christian Living and tagged , .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.