Courage’s Inner Dialogue

Jul 11, 2021    Scott Sottosanti    Psalms, Sermon, Summer in the Psalms, 2021


“A man of conscience can never be a consensus leader. He doesn’t take a stand to search for consensus, he’s ultimately a molder of consensus. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

~Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), civil rights leader

“Courage is a prerequisite for all leadership. And it can be taught. It’s made up of four skills: being vulnerable is the most important, followed by sticking to values, trusting others and persistence. There can be no courage without vulnerability and no vulnerability without the risk of failure.”

~Brené Brown (1965-present), American author and professor

“It takes courage to be hopeful, but when we are hopeful we find the strength to do the things that allow us to change the world.”

~Bryan Stevenson (1959-present), lawyer and activist

“There is no power without prayer, and there is no power in prayer without a resolve to endure all things for the sake of Jesus.”

~Jack Miller (1928-1996), American pastor, professor, and missions leader

“Familiarity with the biblical narrative of the crucifixion has dulled our sense of just how completely novel a deity Christ was ... [Christianity] is the principal reason why, by and large, most of us who live in post-Christian societies still take for granted that it is nobler to suffer than to inflict suffering. It is why we generally assume that every human life is of equal value.”

~Tom Holland, British and atheist historian

“I find a lot of dishonesty in Christian art. And I think it’s a shame because [the psalmists] are people who are vulnerable to God in a good way…porous, open. I would love if... people writing these gospel songs would write a song about their bad marriage...Why I’m suspicious of Christians is because of this lack of realism.”

~Bono (1960-present), lead singer of U2

“Everyone is broken by life, but some people are stronger in those broken places.”

~Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American novelist and journalist

“Suffering only hurts you if you can’t attach it to a narrative of redemption.”

~David Brooks (1961-present), New York Times columnist


Psalm 77 (ESV)

1 I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out
without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
4 You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among
the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.