“Do the thing that scares you.” Have you ever heard someone say that? It sounds adventurous and great … until you’re standing in the open doorway of a plane with a small pack strapped to your back.
By definition, courage requires us to face the scary, the painful, and the sad parts of life. We don’t normally go looking for those things. They find us, instead.
Sure, skydiving takes courage. For some, riding a rollercoaster is courageous. Giving a speech, entering a contest, talking to a new classmate or coworker. All those things require a level of courage. And they are all choices we get to make. They are us doing the thing that scares us, and they are a courageous luxury.
What about the times we don’t want to need courage because we don’t want to face what we’re facing?
The death of a loved one. Losing a job. Standing up to a bully. Telling the truth when it costs something. Differing from the world. Following Jesus no matter what.
The need for courage is profoundly different when it results from something happening to us rather than a choice we make ourselves. When life throws us a hardship we didn’t want or ask for, courage becomes a quick necessity. It’s like air. We must have it if we are to continue.
That kind of courage is difficult to muster. People do it. They fight through the pain and hardship. They jump into the icy water and save the stranger. When the tsunami hits, they dig deep and find the will to survive.
It can be done, and you don’t necessarily need to know God to be a courageous person. But knowing God makes a difference in who you become through the courage or the lack thereof.
All the unexpected events in life that require courage change us. We either grow through the heartache, fear, and struggle or we don’t. And that growth either brings us closer to God or it doesn’t. This is the same whether we showed up with courage or if we didn’t.
Either way, our hope remains in God.
Courage is something we do for ourselves, but when you belong to God, your courage becomes a reflection of his power. He uses the courage for more than simply helping you through the hard stuff. God can make your courage a light in a dark place. It can be a help not only to you, but to others, as well.
God uses our strengths and our weaknesses.
Having courage to walk through the hard stuff will never be easy. We might fail. The pain might just be too much. But it won’t be for God. He will strengthen us, love us, and make more out of our lives than we could ever do ourselves.
Read these verses and be encouraged. With God, your courage can be a testimony, and your weakness becomes an opportunity.
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Psalms 31:23 – 31:24
“O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Psalms 34:19 – 34:20
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”
“There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.”
Psalms 91:4 – 91:5
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;”
Psalms 27:3 – 27:4
“Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”
“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
Psalms 3:5 – 3:6
“I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.”
Psalms 112:7 – 112:8
“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.”
Psalms 62:5 – 62:8
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
Psalms 46:1 – 46:3
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
Psalms 56:3 56:4
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
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