The courage equation

Merry Christmas!

On December 25th we praise and thank God for coming to us in Jesus. In Luke 2:10 the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

For ALL the people—including you.

Notice how the angel started his message: “Do not be afraid.” My guess is that it would have been terrifying to see a powerful and radiant messenger from God. So “Do not be afraid” would have been a welcome greeting.

But I also think these words reach through the ages and speak to us in a broader sense as well. Fear is a courage-sucking leech on our souls. And we’d rather have courage than fear.

Do you want more courage and less fear in your life? Me too. So let me share the courage equation with you:

You + God = Courage.

When you welcome almighty God as an active and essential part of your daily existence, courage isn’t far behind.

But there’s a vital and easily-missed nuance to this equation. The closer God is the more courage there is. James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” When you develop a closer relationship with God, you will experience his presence and power more fully, and because of that, you will have more courage to face whatever you’re facing.

When I started kindergarten at Macaulay Public School in Bracebridge, I had two older brothers on the playground. I discovered that I could have confidence, assurance, and even courage with whatever I was doing because my big bros were always close.

So it is with God—but on a cosmic scale!

What are you going to face in 2020? Need some courage? Me too. Come near to God and he will come near to you. You + God = Courage.

And the closer God is the more courage there is.

Merry Christmas!

By Matthew Ruttan

–Today’s “Up!” is based on my Christmas Eve sermon called “The courage equation.” You can listen or watch starting Boxing Day at

When Christmas is the (least) wonderful time of the year. That’s an article I wrote which appeared this week in The Toronto Star. What if Christmas is challenging for many people because we have made it about what we think life should ideally be like? You can read it here. Enjoy!

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

up20190422X (10)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s