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Courageous: Survive and Thrive in a Hostile World

In a recent interview with CBN.com, Robert Jeffress discussed his book Courageous: 10 Strategies for Thriving in a Hostile World. In it, he talks about the challenges Christians face from culture, from themselves, and from Satan. Through dilligence, however, he illustrates how believers can protect themselves and walk forward with purpose and discernment so that they can not only survive, but thrive, in an increasingly hostile society.

What are challenges Christians are facing in today's world?

Christians really are facing attacks from all directions. We have attacks coming from without: a culture that is increasingly hostile toward the things of God, and also just the natural challenges of everyday life. We have attacks from within: Christians carry around with them the residue of a fallen nature that is opposed to what God wants for their life. And if that wasn't enough, we have attacks from below. We have an adversary, Satan, who you see as a blueprint to destroy everything important to us. I think C.S. Lewis said it best when he described this world as enemy-occupied territory. Fortunately, God has given us the resources we need not just to survive, but to thrive in the midst of these attacks.

What does it look like to be brave when we're faced with the pressure of the society? 

I think courage is the power to do the right thing regardless of the consequences. So many Christians are trying to be at peace with the culture and they end up compromising to try to make friends. If we're to be Christians who live courageously, we live our life for an audience of one. We remember that there's only one person who can destroy both the body and the soul, as Jesus said. And that's God. You know, I think Paul had that kind of courage. He said in 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 we have is our ambition, whether it absent or at home to be pleasing to Him for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one of us may be rewarded for what we've done. I think that's what it really means to live courageously.

You talk about having a Victor mindset. How does a Christian get to that place?

This isn't positive thinking mumbo jumbo. I mean, the Bible says as a man thinks in his heart. We all go through difficult times, and if we're not careful, we can get the woe is me attitude. I think about Joseph and all the terrible things that happened to him: sold into slavery by his brothers, accused of rape by his boss’s wife, forgotten in prison by his two friends. I mean, he could've been in therapy for the rest of his life if he had wanted to! But when he had the opportunity to meet his brothers who had wronged him, when he was in a place of authority to exact revenge from them, he said, “And as for you, you meant it for evil, but God used it for good.”

In essence, he was saying, “What you did to me was horrible. It was wrong. You deserve to be punished. But I serve a God who's bigger than you are.” And I think having a Victor's mindset, the basis of that is believing that God is in control of everything that happens to us. God causes all things the good, the bad, and the ugly to work together for good for those who love Him.

What is the importance of erring on the side of humility rather than celebration? 

One of the things that I talk about in [Courageous] is, you know, be aware of celebrating the summit. That is when we get through a problem, and maybe have even been victorious over a challenge, don't relax because another challenge is right around the corner. Mountain climbers will tell you that the most dangerous part of the journey is not the ascent to the summit, [but] it is the decent from the summit. It's at that point [when] you're exhausted that you tend to be less careful and are more prone to a fall. And that's why Paul said, “Therefore, let him and thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” So we need to remember that there's always going to be a challenge as long as we live in this life and we can never be too proud of any accomplishment we have. If you have a victory, celebrate it, but stay on guard as well.

What do you hope readers take away from this book ? 

I hope two things: I hope believers will become aware, like the sons of Issachar. aware of the times we live in and know what we are to do. We are in a spiritual battle and anybody who denies that becomes spiritual roadkill. So I hope this will be awakening people to the very real challenge they have. But secondly, I hope they will gain hope and realize that God has provided us everything we need to not just survive, but thrive in any challenges that come our way.

To purchase Courageous: 10 Strategies for Thriving in a Hostile World:

Guest Name / Person Interviewed or Featured in Article or Video: 
Dr. Robert Jeffress
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