Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.
There was something quite unusual about that man. When it came time to take a stand and defend himself, he often stood humbly and quietly. He felt no need to justify his enemies’ attacks with his own words or actions. He was good at diffusing arguments by simply walking away and seemingly not defending himself at all. When it came to other people, however, he was the first to step in and protect. Many times he was on his own up against more than one adversary, but he would not stand down. Others would look at him and wonder whether he really valued his life considering that he could have lost it in defense of others. What they did not realize was that his courage was the sign that his life was secure and could not be taken away from him.
Good saintly courage gives us the power to do things to display our faith in our life’s security. As good Christians, we cannot afford to be afraid of losing our mortal lives. We know that to die actually is gain and not loss. We might take what seem to be risks in the eyes of the world, but they are no risk to us. God will give us opportunities to be unbelievably bold and brave, and we would be wise to take advantage of those opportunities to display to others our security in our salvation. When our saintly courage illustrates that putting our lives on the line for the purposes of God’s kingdom and will is an honor, it also illustrates that we know there is something much more waiting for us beyond the here and now. No one can take from us that which God has given.
To be saved is to be safe. If we understand salvation, then we know that these mortal lives are but a whisper and a vapor in time. One might live more than a century, but that time is incredibly brief and fleeting. Understanding this means that we live with a focus on what comes next. We live for what God has promised us. It is not that we are willing to throw away these temporary lives, but it is that we are not afraid to lose them because we are secure in what we have gained already. Ours is a testimony of security when we use our saintly courage to put our lives on the line for God’s will without fear. Father, give us the courage of your Son, who was so secure in his life beyond this world that He willingly sacrificed his life within this world.