If we are going to succeed, we have got to be of good courage; and the moment we get our eyes on God and remember who he is, and that he has all power in heaven and earth, that it is God that commands us to work in his vineyard, then it is that we will have courage given us.
Now if you just take your Bibles and look carefully through them, you will see the men that have left their mark behind them, the men that have been successful in winning souls to Christ, have all been men of that stamp. You will notice that when Moses commenced, after he had been among the Egyptians forty years, he thought the time had come for him to commence his work of delivering the captives, and he went out; and the first thing we hear is that he was looking this way and that way to see if somebody saw him. He was not fit for God’s work. God had to take him on the back side of the desert for forty years; and then God was ready to send him, and Moses then looked but one way. And he sent him down into Egypt. He had boldness now, and he goes right before the king of Egypt; and he had courage, and God could use him. But it took him forty years to learn that lesson, that he must have courage and boldness to be a fit vessel for the Master’s use.
Again, we find Elijah on Mount Carmel, full of boldness. How the Lord used him! How the Lord stood by him! How the Lord blessed him! But when he got his eyes off the Lord, and Jezebel sent a message to him that she would have his life, he got afraid. He was not afraid of Ahab and the whole royalty, and he was not afraid of the whole nation. He stood on Mount Carmel alone, and see what courage he had! But what came over him I don’t know, unless it was that he got his eyes off the Lord, and when one woman gave him that message he got frightened, and God had to go to him and ask him what he was doing; and he was not fit for God’s communion.
That, I think, is the trouble with a good many of God’s people. We get frightened, and are afraid to speak to men about their souls. We lack moral courage, and if we hear the voice of God speaking to us and saying, “Run and speak to that young man,” we will go to him meaning to do it; and will really talk to him about everything else, and dare not about his soul. When we begin to invite men to Christ is when the work begins; and it won’t begin until we have the courage given us, and are ready to go and speak with them about their souls. We read that, when the apostles were brought before the council, they perceived their boldness; and it made an impression on the council. The Lord could use them then, because they were fearless and bold. Look at Peter on Pentecost, when he charged the murder of the Son of God upon the Jews. A little while before he had got out of communion, and one little maid had scared him nearly out of his life, so that he swore he didn’t know Christ. Ah! he had his eyes off the Master, and the moment we get our eyes off Christ we get disheartened.
~ This is from “Courage and Enthusiasm” in The Gospel Awakening