Courage. Hum. Such a big word, with such deep attachments. Courage has two definitions: 1) the ability to do something that frightens one. 2) Strength in the face of pain or grief.
When someone is courageous, they are afraid. They’re really scared. That’s why God is constantly coming in throughout the Old Testament to remind people to not be afraid. I grew up thinking that people who are courageous fear nothing. They’re brave and strong and fearless. Since I thought this, when I would read verses like Joshua 1:9 or Deuteronomy 31:6 about being strong and courageous, I thought “I will never be courageous, because I am afraid.” But, I realized that courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid, it means that you take heart, trust God, and go on in the midst of your fear. “Without fear there cannot be courage. Even out enemies are afraid.” –Eragon. Courage doesn’t mean that you don’t get afraid; courage means that you don’t let fear stop you.
There are steps working up toward courage…. Hope is the first step to courage, then there is faith, then courage comes. Hope is wishing something would happen, faith believes something will happen, but courage is all about making something happen. It comes not from being fearless, but from trust in God.
Courage is a matter of your heart and is based on Christ. Courage is quite and strong. The more you work it, the more powerful and strong it becomes. It takes effort and action to be courageous, opposed to how easy fear is to give in to. Fear also holds you back, but courage pushes you forward.
Joshua 10:25 “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this [for you]”
2 Samuel 10:12 “Be courageous! Let us fight bravely”
1 Chronicles 28:20 “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”
Job 11:18 “Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.”
Psalm 27:14 “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Psalm 31:24 “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!”
1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”