Being Courageous

Southaven, Ms

By: Mike Upchurch

Have you ever considered where courage comes from?  One definition of courage is stated as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”  

I’ve always considered myself somewhat brave (or maybe just lacking brains).  I’ve never backed down from a fight, and in the past I would strap myself into a new-to-me race car without checking very many things first, and then fearlessly fly down a race track. (As I said, that may be stupidity and not bravery).  For some though, courage can be fleeting or nonexistent.

I always enjoy watching the Avenger movies, or any Marvel Studios movies for that matter. Their superheroes are the epitome of courage and bravery!  I fantasize having the power of Thor once we’re in Heaven, and using those powers to fight the devil and his demons when we battle him with the Lord.  (Rev 19:11-14)

Although we may not have the courage of Thor for example, we will all need courage at some point in our lives. No matter what we’re facing we will need to be brave then. Whether it be illness or surgery, job loss, the loss of a loved one, or any number of fearful situations, sooner or later we’ll need to draw from courage within to face those trials. 

What if you’re not a courageous person?  What if the thought of difficulty, danger, or pain paralyzes you?  How do you produce courage when there isn’t any within?  

Actually though, for Christians courage isn’t something we MUST possess within.  Even if we have no personal courage of our own,  the type of courage Christians need isn’t the same courage as the world needs. For us, having courage isn’t about being filled with bravery and having no fear. In truth, having biblical courage is not the lack of fear, but rather it is the presence of faith. Faith in God. 

That’s the faith we need. 

Faith in the fact that God is with you in all that you face, and that HE will deliver you. The courage that says my God will help me!

In our Christian walk we may never face death at the hand of others as some have, and we may never need that level of courage. But as an example, think of the courage that Daniel must have needed when staring death in the face as he was about to be cast into the Lion’s Den.  We know that he had shown courage in continuing to pray after the King’s decree was issued, but there is no record of his saying anything at all prior to his being tossed to his certain death, but the statement made of him after being pulled from the Den is telling….

“Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭6:23

“He had trusted in his God”. Amazing.  His trust delivered him. His faith carried him through! How do we develop that level of faith?

Consider Joshua and the overwhelming tasks he faced as he assumed command of the Nation of Israel following the death of Moses. This was his charge from the Lord….

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9

Something noteworthy to me is that the Lord wouldn’t have commanded him to be courageous if he were already filled with courage.  It does say in Deuteronomy chapter 34 that Joshua had the spirit of wisdom given him when Moses laid hands on him, but it mentions nothing of bravery.  The book of Numbers does tell us however that he had great faith in the Lord and His ability to deliver him and the Nation of Israel. His bravery rested in the Lord….

“Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us-a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”

‭‭Numbers‬ ‭14:6-9

He dared to believe the LORD was with them!  That’s where his courage came from!  Not from his own strength or ability, but from trusting in GOD!

You can have that same courage. You can possess that same bravery!  It comes from faith. From the belief that the Lord truly does love you and will be there for you and will deliver you!!

Examine just a few of His many promises to you regarding His being your Deliverer…..

“The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:14

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:17

“Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you.’”

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭3:22

“for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭20:4

“’Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. “You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10-13

And my personal favorite….

“The righteous cry, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:17-19

Be filled with faith in 2020 in all that you may face, and remember the Lord is fighting with you and for you!  You can do plenty in 2020 because the Lord is with you!!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike