These are trying days, days of tribulation and distress, of violence and uncertainty. The people of the world are in great turmoil, the very ground quakes, and the economies of nations continue to fail. What do we do and where do we turn?
We need the courage to tremble.
I discovered a website by a New Zealander blogger, couragetotremble.wordpress.com. The name intrigued me: Courage to Tremble.
The scripture she quotes is from Isaiah 66…
This is what the LORD says:
“Heaven is My throne,
and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house you will build for Me?
Where will My resting place be?
Has not My hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the LORD.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at My word. (Isaiah 66.1-2)
We may have cowardice to ignore God and the foolishness to disobey Him, but who has the courage to come honestly before Him and to say, trembling, “Here I am, Lord”?
In Luke 18, Jesus gave this parable…
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18.10-14)
Two men came to church that day: two men bound by the chains of sin. One came to impress God and to compare himself with another. The second came simply to present himself. In one church, two men, spiritual cowardice in one, spiritual courage in the other. The self-glorified religious person left church unmoved, unchanged. The despised and humble person left forgiven and reborn.
Do you have the courage to come before God today, just as you are, not as you hope to be, not with a mask of piety, trying to impress? Do you have the courage to come before Him and tremble as you present your spiritually anemic, sinful self?
If you have the courage to tremble in fear before Him, He promises, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at My word.”