Whenever I think of courage I can’t help but to think about the lion in the film “The Wizard of Oz.” He desperately sought the wizard to obtain something that was already inside of him – Courage. Many Christians act just like the lion, they seek God for things that God has already placed inside, namely courage.
Courage is a human commodity.
In Joshua chapter one God told Joshua to be strong and courageous three times (Josh 1:6, 7, 9). He didn’t promise Joshua He would endow him with courage, He told him to be courageous. Why? Because God knows that courage is already inside of us waiting for the spirit of fear to expose it. You only need courage when you are faced with something that frightens you. When you take the stand that you are going to move past the fear, then courage kicks in. That makes courage is a mortal privilege reserved for those who are willing to face their fear.
Courage is not….
Webster’s dictionary defines courage as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face danger, difficulty, or pain without fear. I disagree. I think courage is the quality of mind and spirit that allows a person to face things in spite of fear. Courage says “I may be afraid, but I am going to do it anyway!”
Bold, Confident, & Courageous
God to Joshua to be strong and courageous. Because courage can coincide with fear, its possible to be courageous but timd. Whenever you are timid you usually won’t produce the level of intensity required to contend for what God has already given you. Its ok to be trusting and trembling, but you must act bold and confident.
When God told Joshua to be strong, he wasn’t referring to his physical strength, he was referring to his attitude. The word stong meant confident or bold. Attitude is important because some situations won’t change unless you display boldness and confidence even though you have every spiritual, moral, and legal right. When you are bold and courageous you posses a tenacity that will force the issue.
When you are bold and courageous you will maximize opportunities. If you are timid yet muster the courage to take an opportunity you may not exploit it to the fullest. Timidity has a way of being satisfied with any progress whereas boldness is only satisfied when it gets what it wants.
How to Develop Courage
If you ask 10 different people how to develop courage you will probably get 10 different answers. Here are a few things that I do that are biblically sound and proven effective:
- Focus on The Word of God Whatever you focus on you draw strength from. Focus on God’s promises to help you overcome fear and develop courage. Here are a few to get you started:
“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
- Take Action. Courage requires you to take action in spite of your fears. If there is an identifiable fear in your life you must take action to nullify it. For example if you are afraid of height you must go to the high places, if you are afraid of public speaking you must stand and be heard in the crowd. Each time you take action you develop courage.
- Develop You Love Walk.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Perfect love cast out fear! I know it seems strange, like love and fear have no connection, but they really do. As we develop love by displaying the attitude and actions of 1 Corinthians 13, we break free from the bondage of fear. You literally experience freedom.
Also [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up). Luke 18:1
Prayer gives us courage, strength, and boldness. The persistent widow’s boldness and courage is the perfect example of how God expects for us to contend for the promises He has given us. This attitude is developed and adopted in prayer.
Take the time to develop your courage so that at anytime God can use you too. If you do, you too will be like Joshua and enter the promised land of your dreams.
I’m Andrew Freed and you are an Overcomer In Christ.