You are no stranger to trials. The lab report came back malignant. The school called, demanding that you pick up your child who has just been expelled. Your husband informed you that he no longer wants to be married to you. Your boss called you into his office to let you know that you are being fired. Financial disaster seems certain while dependable friends seem to vanish. Yes, storms will come, and bad things will happen – even to fully devoted followers of God.
No one would call George Smith a coward. Smith was a daring jet test pilot in the 1950's when the sound barrier was first being broken. He could face anything - until he had to bail out of a jet going 805 miles per hour. Smith survived, but was hospitalized for weeks. Smith shared his fear of ever flying again with one of the nurses who had become a friend. The nurse smiled and said, “I have an antidote to fear. It is courage. To have courage is to know the worst, and to discover that, in God's economy, the very worst can't really hurt you." Exactly!
Few of you were wise in the world's eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
—1 Corinthians 1:26–27
I liked what Greg Laurie talks about heroes.
In many ways, we have lost the meaning of the word hero. We throw it around so casually. If you can put a ball through a hoop, you're a sports hero. If you can play eight chords on a guitar, you're a rock and roll hero. If you can pretend to be something you're not, you're a Hollywood hero. We have a strange concept as to who our heroes really are.
I remember watching a well-known journalist interview an actor about his recent movie, which featured a politically troubled region of the world. When the journalist asked the celebrity what he thought should be done about the political situation there, the actor responded, "Who cares what I think?" and went on to point out that he was just an actor. All too often, we mistakenly think actors really are the people they portray. We think they are heroes when, in fact, they're just people like you and me.
A hero is someone who does something sacrificial, something courageous. There are heroes today, of course. We saw many of them in action on 9/11 and in the days that followed. But often, today's heroes are operating behind the scenes, and we never know about them.
As we look at heroes of the faith, those in Scripture and in contemporary history whom God put His hand on, one thing stands out: it seems that God has always gone out of His way to find individuals who did not necessarily look like heroes. And that is precisely the point. God isn't looking for a strong man or woman per se. Rather, He's looking for someone who will walk in His strength. (1)
(1) Today's devotional is an excerpt from Every Day with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 2013