Courage, Dear Heart!

I’ve been thinking about courage this week. It started with a fright.

I was riding a mare who spooked and bolted. I couldn’t stop her, couldn’t slow her, didn’t know what to do. But the real scare came when I looked up and saw how fast we were approaching a busy highway. We were close. Real close.

Thanks to another fast horse and an awesome trainer, we came to a stop before the highway. Things didn’t end wonderfully, but they could’ve gone much, much worse. We got lucky.

Or did we?

I believe God is always with us, and nothing can separate us from Him (Romans 8:38). If the King of the universe—Who designed the majestic mare beneath me and gave her life and strength, Who can silence storms and bring the dead to life—if that Mighty One was with me as He promises in His Word, how could not being seriously injured (or worse) have been mere “luck”? How often does He save us from harm or bless us with good things, and we either don’t notice or shrug it off as good fortune?

None of this is to say that nothing bad will happen to us or that we can do whatever we want without getting hurt. But when we do face terror, He is right there with us. Even when bad things happen, good will ultimately come from them (Romans 8:28).

What does this have to do with courage?

Strength to Live Freely

That experience was not the worst danger I’ve faced, but it did get me thinking: if God really is with me through it all, then why do I not walk in complete confidence during day-to-day life?

Fear holds us back. It stops us from pursuing the dreams and passions God places in our hearts. It even affects the “smaller things.” Often we won’t be friendly to the stranger, bless and encourage one another, or follow the Holy Spirit’s promptings because we lack the courage. As C.S. Lewis said, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point…” If our courage fails, our other virtues might too.

Courage is important, and God wants it for us (2 Timothy 1:7). But how do we get it?

Finding Courage

First, we should understand where true courage comes from. Consider the following Scriptures.

Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

1 Chronicles 28:20: “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you…”

Notice how each of these verses follows the call to courage with the assurance that God is with us. He is the source of courage! Like David facing Goliath, do not look to yourself but to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. In the comfort of His presence, what have we to fear?

Second, I believe that the Holy Spirit will bring us into courage if we simply ask and believe. Jesus says in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Also read Matthew 7:7-11 and James 5:13-18. Your prayers matter. He cares. He provides.

Remember Who is with you. Ask Him for confidence. Seek Scripture verses that encourage you. You can live with boldness!

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