Courage is such a big word. It’s definitely something we know we want, but what is it?
Courage: The ability to do something that is frightening.
Strength in the face of pain or grief.
Our assumption is that courage is an act of bravery, and it is. But we assume the person has no problems with fear. This is totally false!
Think of a soldier. He does his job. But I’m certain there is fear involved in his work…all the time! Of course, he feels fear. He would be stupid not to. But he knows he is doing what he is doing to protect his country. It isn’t something he wants to do. No one loves to kill people. But sometimes it is needed if they feel threatened. (I have no desire to get into issues related to war. I’m just discussing it from the soldier’s perspective.) His job is to make his nation or possibly the world, a safe place to live. He has a small role to play and that is what he is assigned to do. Despite his fear, he does it.
Think of the woman who is having a baby. In this day and age, often, she and her spouse make a choice when they want to have a child. They get pregnant. During the pregnancy, she puts up with plenty of discomfort…more for some than for others. Thought of fear about the pregnancy and labor certainly cross her mind. If she is wise, she stays away from those who tell their horror stories. Why? Because she has plenty of fears to plague her as it is.
When she goes into labor, there is a new layer of fear. In the end, courage wins out over the pain. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t cry out in pain. But she is courageous in that she goes through whatever pain she needs to, to have this baby. Sometimes, it means she has to have a C-section. If she realizes that this is the best thing for her child, she agrees to it. In the end, her courage ends up with a healthy baby…usually. Sadly, there are times some women go through all that and something happens to the baby. Then she is called on to use courage she never dreamed she could summon as she and her husband grieve this loss that is on going.
Seeing courage can sometimes be easier than defining it
Sometimes, it can be more difficult to describe courage than it is to know it when you come across it. How many times have you had a friend who was struggling to fight cancer? As you look into her eyes, you see courage hiding deep inside her even though her body is often gaunt and pale. Or the young child who is in a similar condition, who courageously goes through procedures, hoping to feel better again soon. Sometimes she does. But at others her parents realize the end is coming and sadly say their good-byes. Then, they have to fight on with a new layer of courage.
I also think of many single moms who have so much on them to think about: making a living, caring for their children, providing for their future…and often with few resources. That doesn’t take into consideration if there has been any abuse involved or they are unable to work with the father of their children in decision making for the children. Sometimes, they can be really down at times, but many develop strength and courage because of their love for their children to overcome the fear.It isn't a sin be be fearful, per se. The problem comes when we allow fear to rule our lives. Click To Tweet
Ask GOD to help you live out courage over your fear
I’m sure you have your list of people you have watched over the years. You have heard their stories. You have seen their courage to keep on in spite of fear. They are a mix of terror and courage. But in the end, courage wins out. They know that GOD triumph. He will help them do the right thing in a given situation. He will help them develop the courage to live out what they need to do and truly want to do over their fears.
Why does courage win out? Because GOD is with us! If we are not “in Christ” and part of His family, we cannot claim this promise. But if we are, we have the Lord GOD Almighty with us to help us and provide for all kinds of needs. We simply must ask Him.
How do you want to be remembered?
As you think about courage and fear, do you want others to remember you as someone who may have been fearful, yes, but was a woman of courage in the face of many fears. Yes, often realistic fears, but who trusted GOD to guide and help her move forward in the face of those fears.
It isn’t a sin be be fearful, per se. The problem comes when we allow fear to rule our lives. That is when we have a problem. That is when we aren’t trusting GOD to provide for our needs, no matter what kind of needs they are! If you are a child of GOD, He is with you and will be with you wherever you go. Trust Him to care for you and guide you, yes, even in the face of fear!
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
II Timothy 1:7 ESV
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 ESV