There have been times where I have needed to find courage deep within. The strength to go on alone when my husband left me with two 13-month olds; when my parents died; when I left my comfort zone to travel across the US, living in a minivan for two years; the courage to give up that life for one with less freedom but with more long-term rewards. Nothing great can happen without courage and God can’t use someone who doesn’t have the courage to get out of the boat. If you fear do as Joyce says “do it afraid”.
Find courage in remembering the past
But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:34-37 (NIV)
When life comes against you remember as David did: the lion and bear, those times when God brought you through and you will have courage as David did to go against your giants.
God shows up in our courage
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV)
Courage comes from believing in the power of God over our circumstances. God will deliver.
Find courage in the examples of others
The bible is full of examples of courage. Abraham had the courage to leave his home and travel to a land only God knew. Paul had the courage to turn his back on everything he knew to follow Jesus and work with those who he had persecuted. Peter had the courage to leave his past behind, his denial of Jesus, to go on to be a leader to the new Christians. Tamar had the courage to trick her father-in-law to get pregnant; risking her life to get what was promised her. Rahab had the courage to betray her people to help the Israel overtake her city. Joshua found the courage to lead his people after Moses died. And the ultimate act of courage, to go to a cross to die a horrible death for us, in doing so Jesus reunited us with our true family and our true father. The list goes on and on and on and on and…
How does our heart grow in courage?
Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power. We have the strength to face whatever situation we’re given. We need to step out and use it. Courage is like a muscle, it gets stronger with use. God gives us the courage to overcome if we step out and use it.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NIV).
Often fear keeps us from stepping out in courage: fear of failure, fear of what others think, fear of hard work, fear of the unknown. Courage requires that we step out in faith and trust Jesus will be there to lead us. God promises to give us what we need to do his will, even courage. (Joshua 1:9)
Give us courage to change what we can
Contentment in what we can’t
And the common sense to know the difference
A Prayer for Courage
Lord, helm me to have courage to do whatever I need to do to fulfill your will and bring you glory.
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Links to other Attitudes in this series
Introduction to Attitudes