Courage is Married to Faith

1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”

Ever felt you could use some more courage in life?  It could of been a time when fear tried to paralyze you. Could of been a speech you had to make if front of a large group of people. Maybe there was a time when you had to make a crucial decision in life but didn’t know which choice to make.  Or maybe you had a personal crisis hit you by surprise and didn’t know what to do next. If you can relate to anyone of these situations, then I’m sure you can agree that we can all use a little more courage in life.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, take a look at someone very much like us who struggled with courage.

Remember him? He struggled with courage and he was the king of the jungle. We can be like that too. We’re kings and queens in God’s eyes, but sometimes we lack courage.  Now what is courage? Courage (according to Webster’s) is the ability to conqueror fear, despair or discouragement. Courage is profound because courage is married to faith. They go hand in hand.  God won’t take us farther than where we want to go in life. If we don’t have courage, we won’t possess the promises that God has for us in our lives.  God promised Joshua over 30,000 miles of territory to possess. God knew Joshua would need courage to conquer that land and God knows you and I will need courage to possess the promises that he has for our lives as well.

Before we can talk about what courage is, let’s talk real quick about what courage is not…

  • Courage does not mean you’re never afraid. (“it doesn’t take courage to do something that you’re not afraid to do.”
  • Courage does not mean taking stupid risks.
  • Courage doesn’t always bring success. (Winston Churchill said, “Courage is moving from one failure to another with enthusiasm.”)

Not only was Joshua a portrait of courage, but another old testament character sticks out among the few…and that person is Deborah.  You can read her story in Judges 4.  Her story is very unique.  In a time where judges were becoming pervasive among God’s nation, Deborah was among the ones that God raised up at this time.  A call went out for battle, but the man that God wanted to use was scared. Even after Deborah shared the news of what would happen in this battle, Barak didn’t want to go alone. So Deborah rose up because Barak didn’t.  Here are five things that Deborah did, that we can also start doing in our lives to build courage.

  1. Believe God (Deborah said, “God will…”) – We might doubt ourselves but we should never doubt God.
  2. Recognize Border Bullies (These are fears on the border of your comfort: insecurities, complexes, etc.). Deborah could of said that the man didn’t want to take his place, but she didn’t allow anything to stop her. Barak let fear stop him.
  3. Advance boldly despite your fears. (Honor goes to those who step past the border bullies in their lives.)
  4. Don’t be afraid to do it alone. (Barak didn’t want to go into battle alone.  One thing he didn’t realize is that God was with him. God wanted to give him the victory.  We are never alone when we have God.)
  5. Engage your battle today! (Deborah followed through immediately. She might of been scared but she didn’t wait, she went.)

If you step out today and have courage…God is already at work in places you can’t even see.

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