My idea of a spiritual giant use to be someone who had grown a small church into a mega church or had written great books on theology or applying God’s word to life. That’s changed recently.
Who do you think of when you hear the word courage? Do you think of yourself as courageous? Is courage something we American’s give much thought to? Perhaps that explains the enormous popularity of the movie American Sniper and the courage of the man the movie is about, Chris Kyle.
I for one am amazed and awed by the faith and courage of the 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt that were recently beheaded because of their faith. They were men working in Libya because they couldn’t find work in Egypt and while working to provide for their families, were selected, hunted down and beheaded by ISIS because of one thing and one thing only, they were Christians. They could have saved their lives by renouncing their faith, but refused to do so. These men are true spiritual giants and yet barely got mentioned in most of the news coverage of their deaths. As they were about to be beheaded some can be seen mouthing the words Lord Jesus Christ and other words of faith just prior to their deaths.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it is doing the right thing in spite of fear.
These 21 heroes modeled that for us in a very dramatic and powerful way and now join “the cloud of witnesses” mentioned in Hebrews 12:1 who inspire us to live lives worthy of our high calling as followers of the Christ.
I pray none of us will ever have to face what these men faced. But if we do, I pray that we can follow their faithful and courageous example.
Encourage your churches to remember and honor these 21 brave men and pray for their families and all the Coptic Christians in Egypt.