What do you fear more? Spiders or Snakes? Heights or Tight Spaces? Being alone in the dark or talking in front of a large audience? What makes you more fearful of one situation over another? Fear is not a bad thing. God designed you with fear responses to protect you and make you alert in a variety of situations. However, fear can have a negative effect in your life when your fear sabotages you from living the life God intended you to live. Even when you are fearful, God can give you courage to live life courageously with Him and for Him.
At Courage For Life, we want to be known for living our lives courageously with and for God and encouraging others to do the same. But what does it mean for us to live courageously in the presence of fear, and to help you embrace your God-given courage for life despite your fears?
First, consider what courage IS and what courage is NOT.
- Courage IS the ability or mindset to face difficulty, danger, intimidation, uncertainty, and even pain without fear holding you back.
- Courage is NOT living dangerously or larger than life.
- Courage IS doing what you know needs to be done despite having some fear.
- Courage is NOT about being fearless.
- Courage IS available to everyone because true courage comes from God.
- Courage MEANS you take action or respond the way God wants you to despite the presence of fear.
- Courage IS contagious. Your demonstration of God-given courage in the face of fear can help others live courageously with God and for God.
Living courageously with and for God means you are willing to face challenges, problems, pain, and uncertainty despite the presence of fear because you know God can give you the courage you need to act or respond the way God wants you to live.
David was a real person who was inspired by God to author a psalm in the Bible that shares how to live courageously. Biblical scholars suggest that David wrote Psalm 27 when he was on the run from being hunted by King Saul’s men who were trying to kill him because of King Saul’s jealousy of David and the life God intended for David.
David had to learn how to trust God and demonstrate God-given courage, despite his fears. In Psalm 27, David records what he did when he was fearful in a challenge life situation and provides you what you can to do to live courageously in the presence of fear.
David chose to remember that God was with him in his difficult situation. He remembers God is his light, his salvation, and his stronghold (Psalm 27:1) so David does not have to fear or be afraid. Despite the presence of fear, David chose to pray to God and ask God to hear his prayers and respond with mercy (Psalm 27:7). David chose to listen (wait) for God to give him courage (Psalm 27:14) and direction that David needed for the fearful and very challenging situation (Psalm 27:11).
When fear is present in your life, God has instructed you to “take courage” (Psalm 27:14), but what does it mean to “take courage”? This phrase “take courage” means that courage comes from you knowing God, remembering God’s promises to you, and learning to trust God despite your fears from difficult situations you experience. The more you know God, who He is, what He thinks, how He acts, and what He desires for you, the more you understand and accept the things that God has promised are yours – if you only “take courage” in Him – God gives you courage!
David knew God personally and remembered the life that God had promised him. When you spend time with God personally and remember all that God has promised you because of your belief and trust in Him, you are strengthened to live courageously with God and for God! God invites you to talk to Him whenever you are fearful because of any life situation, whenever you face difficulty, danger, intimidation, uncertainty, and pain in this life.
Courage comes from knowing God, who God is and remembering what God has promised you. Talk to God and listen patiently (wait) for God to show you what to do when fear is present and then act courageously knowing God is with you and He has made you very certain promises.
Like David, Joshua is a leader of God’s people in the Bible, and he was responsible for guiding God’s people from the wilderness that they had been living in for the past 40 years into the land which God had promised them. God commands Joshua to be courageous (see Joshua 1:5-9). Joshua’s courage is not in himself or from himself, but rather God gives Joshua courage in God and God’s past promises to Joshua.
You can have high self-confidence, but your self-confidence will not be sufficient to overcome fear whenever you face difficulty, danger, intimidation, uncertainty, and pain in this life. However, you can choose to be fully confident in God and His promises.
God’s presence with you and God’s promises to you in the Bible are what you can place your confidence in – that’s what can help you live courageously. You are not promised that your life will be without fear from problems or pain, but you are assured that you can face fear with courage that comes from knowing God, His presence with you and the promises in the Bible that God is faithful to fulfill on your behalf.
God’s presence and promises helped Joshua live courageously. Courage was not dependent on Joshua’s abilities, but rather Joshua’ belief in God. Both God’s presence with Joshua and God’s promises to Joshua are what helped Joshua live courageously with God and for God even when fear and frustration was present in his life circumstances.
David and Joshua both faced their fears so they could live courageously with God and for God. The same God of David and Joshua is accessible and available to you through His presence, His promises, and your prayers.
Just like David and Joshua, you have
- God’s presence with you always.
- God’s promises to you in the Bible.
- Prayer to God at any moment, anywhere.
- Patience to listen (wait) for God to show you what to do.
- God-given courage to live your life courageously with God and for God despite the presence of fear from difficulty, danger, intimidation, uncertainty, and pain in this life.
Take a step today toward living courageously with God and for God! God is present with you and God has made you promises. Remember God’s promises to you and start a conversation with God today to begin living courageously with Him and for Him!
Watch the LIVE REPLAY to learn more about living courageously. Join us LIVE every Monday at 3 p.m. ET on @GodGivesCourage Instagram for our Spiritual Growth Series and check back here on Tuesdays for the companion blog post.