"Fortune favors the bold" is a very popular saying which can be traced back to one of the greatest works of literature, The Aeneid which was penned by Virgil about 20 BC. The saying comes from a popular Latin proverb, "audentes Fortuna iuvat" and has been slightly altered through the years to encompass "Fortune favors the brave" and "Fortune favors the strong".
It has been well known that nothing ventured leads to nothing gained. The greatest accomplishments are often preceded by some of the most difficult times. When I was a younger man, a business mentor told me the best businesses to operate were the ones where it was hard to operate the business. This advice has served me well in 30 years of being an entrepreneur because I have found it to be true as people often stay clear of difficult endeavors and opt for the path of least resistance.
We need to look no further than Paul to see how we should model boldness and bravery as Christians. Paul was in prison (yet again) awaiting his trial and fate for crimes of sacrilege, which carried the punishment of death, when he wrote:
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." Philipians 1:20
After all of his troubles and tribulations, Paul was secure in his faith, and confident that he would represent Christ well. In fact, Paul looks forward to the opportunity to speak about Christ. Paul speaks as if he's already won the battle, and knows that no matter what happens to him, God will be glorified. He recognizes preaching the Gospel comes with the potential punishment of death. He knowingly speaks of Christ despite the consequences. He boldly goes where most others would not and does so because God has his back and guides his steps.
As a player, coach, or team, we know those who dare, win, but must do so at the risk of defeat. It is not the best athletes who take the field or court which are assured victory. Instead, it is often the team who is more daring or bold in their game plan.
A few years back, we had a middle school team playing in a championship game against and opponent which was far bigger, faster and stronger. This team had slaughtered everyone they had played all season. However, their success was their weakness. Their starters had yet to play three quarters of football (let alone four). We knew that if we could make them defend the entire field and get into the fourth quarter we had a chance.
The first play of the game they scored. It did not look good for us. However, our young men proceeded to tie the game on a drive that took the remainder of the first quarter. Then, the opposing team moved the length of the field quickly again and scored. Our team answered with a drive which took the entire second quarter and the game was tied at halftime.
Both teams scored early in the third quarter and then it just came down to who was in better shape and could not make a mistake. Our guys prevailed when the opposing team snapped the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
The game plan had been bold. The same two offensive plays almost the entire game. The knowledge that they would never gain more than 3 or 4 yards. The patience to take the pounding and to simply grind out the clock. Defensively, it was attacking their best two players on every play and praying the others could not beat us. Would this plan have worked in a rematch? Never in a million years. However, championship games are only played once!
That which you need to find will be found where you least likely want to go. We must find the courage, strength and bravery to go there. As Christians, we are surrounded by those who look to false idols for answers and who spurn those who speak and practice biblical truth. It is incompetent upon us to practice the courage of Paul and to boldly share the Gospel. Each day, chart your game plan to practice the Gospel in word and deed and rest your head each night knowing you have fought the good fight of faith.