It is true that sometimes I have chosen courage and sometimes my courage has deserted me. No one wants to be faint-hearted in the face of an obstacle, or pain. Everyone wants to be brave.
I wrote the following in a hospital coffee shop as I waited for my husband to have minor surgery several months ago.
My heart says it’ll be okay, but there is always that other voice, fear.
The framed art on the wall says, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’ ” (Author unknown).
I think about the value of courage – the ability to do something that frightens me, and I realize it’s a choice I must make every day for the rest of my life.
So what is it that creates courage?
Our faith in God’s attributes and His sovereignty create in us the courage to act in the face of fear.
To be courageous we must act in five ways:
- Stand up for righteousness. One biblical example we have of a courageous woman is Abigail. When Abigail’s husband refused David and his men food, she displayed inordinate courage in sending gifts of food to David. Then she faced her harsh, badly behaved husband, Nabal, to tell him what she had done to save his bacon. He dropped down dead, and she was delivered from his evil hand and became the beautiful bride of David. What amazing courage when she could have allowed fear to stop her actions!
- Be strong in action even when you are shaking inside. As God said to Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous”. The Pareto principle, or the law of the vital few, infers that 80% of people will go along with the crowd; only 20% will lead the pack. What will you do when faced with the need to act righteously, to stand out from the crowd? Will you be one of the 20%? It does not require a special person . . . just you!
- Follow the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Tune out the background noise of fear and learn to listen. His voice comes from outside in; it is the voice of faith, the voice of courage. The book of Romans teaches that although we do not know what to pray for as we ought, the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
- Look to examples of courage in action, like Paul the Apostle who said, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).
- Realize the Holy Spirit gives to each of us the courage we need in overcoming the sin that will weigh us down on our journey through to the overcoming life in Christ. This world needs women of courage, women of God who will act boldly in our crooked world.
Question: What stimulates you to act courageously in trying times?