Most people credit President John F. Kennedy with writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning book called Profiles in Courage, first published in 1957. The book contains eight short biographies of people who served in the United States Senate with distinction, bravery, and integrity. Such profiles are hard to come by today. They were in ancient times, too.
Moses, for example, was weak and timid when God spoke to him through a burning bush. In exile and while herding his father-in-law’s sheep for forty years on the backside of the desert, the once confident go-getter turned into mush. Moses stuttered and stammered like a kid with low self-esteem. He questioned God’s ability to use him and made excuses for not responding in faith. At that time in his life, Moses was anything but a profile in courage. Later, the Hebrew emancipator stood before Pharaoh and demanded, “Let my people go!”
Gideon and Moses have a lot in common. Gideon was plagued by fear and insecurity even though the angel of the Lord called him a “mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12). Gideon, a man of valor? The angel of the Lord found him hiding and trembling in fear of the Midianites. It proves that God sees courage and potential in us long before we see it in ourselves.
The dictionary defines “valor” as “boldness or determination in facing great dangers; especially in battle; heroic courage, bravery.” Do you need a strong dose of holy determination and boldness today? Gideon became a hero of the faith against all odds, and you can too.
Perilous times like the ones in which we live require men and women of valor who possess the courage to lead when the way is not clear, the courage to last when the going gets tough, the courage to live when the medical tests reveal a bad diagnosis, and the courage to love until death do us part.