Courage: Its My New Favorite Tool

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Let’s talk about courage.

To start off here are 7 of my favorite Bible verses on courage.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

James 5:8 NLT

You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord, is near.

1 John 2:28 NLT

[ Living as Children of God ] And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.

Psalm 27:14 NLT

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Isaiah 57:15 NLT

The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.

Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord, your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Job 11:18 NLT

Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

I didn’t know for a long time what the real definition of courage was. I used to think that being courageous required me to be like Wonder Woman. I used to think that people had to be born courageous, almost like it was a gene. But, according to Google, courage “is having strength in the face of pain or grief.”  When I realized that this was the true definition of courage, my perspective on courage changed completely. I now see the word courage so differently.  I connect the word courage with humble greatness. Strength in a painful situation. I no longer associate the word courageous with just Wonder Woman but also the women out there going through grief, or the kids who are battling a heartache of some sort, and lastly regular, everyday people like you and me. The true meaning of courage requires an inner strength for a difficult time. This inner strength is a calling for us Christians.  It’s a calling for us to keep our minds strong, our emotions in line, and our attitude positive when things get hard.

Let’s talk about doubt.

To be courageous is a great reminder every now and then when we are faced with fiery trials. The trials that cause us pain, sadness and even tears present a great opportunity to practice our courage. There’s also a type a trial that presents us with a perfect opportunity to be courageous.  This trail is a trial of doubt. Let me explain what I call a trial of doubt is. A trial of doubt is when something happens at school, work, or in the family that creates a trail of doubts. When hardships keep piling up, then you start inquiring if you are doing the right things or at the right place in your life. A trial of doubt is when you start questioning your abilities, plans, current situation and even question your opinion on certain topic all because of the pressure of circumstances that are caving in. Has anyone gone through this?? Tell me I’m not the only one. Even in these times of doubt, we as children of God, have a high calling to be strong through it all. It is especially important to be strong when doubt tries to seep through because it keeps us level and functional. If we let doubt control our lives, then it will do just that. It will grip out emotions, our thoughts, and intentions. The answer to getting through trials with sanity and clarity is courage. We must be courageous in hard times. We must be strong (emotionally, mentally, and physically) during times of pain and discomfort because it will help carry us through effectively.

Hannah, A woman of True Courage.

In the book 1 Samuel 1-2 we get a glimpse of who Hannah is and what she does that makes her stand out. In short, Hannah’s story is quite simple. Hannah was one of two wives, her relationship with the other wife was full of conflict, and she had a massive amount of grief due to the fact she could not bear a child. However! Yes, there is a, however… Hannah was a woman of God. She was a prayer warrior! She trusted God, and she took her problems, requests, and heartaches to her loving God. So amazing! I honestly could not imagine being married to a man that had another wife. But that’s another story. Anyway, Hannah had the courage no matter what the cost.

Eli, the priest at the time, was watching Hannah pray. Hannah was so distraught, the priest thought Hannah was drunk. Read below,

1 Samuel 1

12 As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!”

15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”

17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Hannah had great anguish and sorrow. I mean think about it. Her man’s got another woman(wife). That’s probably super hard to deal with. The other wife is mean. That had to be draining. The other wife was able to have kids. I couldn’t imagine all the doubts and insecurities that would stem from that whole situation. Lastly, her barren womb probably caused her great grief. Her strong desire to have kids probably made her ache every time she thought about having kids of her own. After all this pain and grief, she took her heart and pain to the Lord. That is a perfect and healthy example of being strong in the midst of pain. Hannah was courageous by boldly approaching the throne in a time of need, taking heart, and trusting God.

Let’s talk about how Hannah’s godly, courageous, and bold response to a painful situation led to a fruitful outcome.

The outcome of her courage was…

1 Samuel 1

26 “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. 27 I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.

What an answered prayer! Hannah’s courage led to an amazing outcome. Hannah’s cry was heard.

Conclusion

Wherever I read about courage in the Bible, I always find that the words or phrases: “trust,” “hope,” “stand firm,” “be strong,” and “patience” are closely next to it. The truth is it we’re going to face trials, hardships, and grief. And in these hardships, we grow stronger as individuals, and we learn so much during the journey. There is a profound calling for Christians to be strong when we face hardships. Usually, during hardships, there can be a lot of doubt that takes place. I believe that it is very important to be courageous even when we are struggling with doubt and hopelessness.

Pray this with me:

Dear Lord,

I pray that in the midst of these trails I will trust You. I pray You will give me Your strength to help me get through the pain and hardship. Help me maintain my emotions and stay focused on You. Teach me what it is like to be courageous. Holy Spirit, please guide me, lead me, and convict me. Let me love others even when its hard. Please give me the wisdom for each and every single day. In Jesus Name,

Amen

What are 4 ways you can practice being more courageous today?

Grace and Peace,

Nicole

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