“We do have it easy.” I said to my husband while gazing at the harvested wheat fields we drove by on the way to the grocery store. “We haven’t experienced extreme events like war where we live. I wonder if we know what courage even is?”
I had just finished telling him about a recent story I heard — a journalist story of traveling with his father to Norway to (hopefully) discover more about his late grandfather. His father remembered sweet times with his grandfather, however he had buried the other fearful and complicated times. As they travelled and learned more of his story, he discovered his grandfather was a man of courage.
As they traveled Norway, he learned about his grandfather’s time as a spy for the Norwegian Resistance during WW2, and his arrest that led to him becoming a prisoner of war, enduring deplorable and hostile prison conditions. His grandfather likely suffered from what we now know as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), however at the time, there was no name for his mental distress.
This really courageous man had ventured into war, undertaking the risks and dangers. I imagine it must have taken great courage and a strong desire to do the right thing for this brave man to enter into the dangers of war.
The next day, I looked for a definition of courage.
The Merriam-Webster definition of Courage is: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty
Courage is not just extravagant acts such as running into a burning building to save a life. Courage is also those every day acts of faith, love, and hope.
Courage is the mental strength to discipline ourselves to make the healthy choice for our bodies even when there are easier, tempting choices around us.
Courage is the moral strength to not participate in activities that compromise your integrity and the word of God even if you risk rejection.
Courage is persevering in a task you find challenging even if no one else notices.
Courage is withstanding the fears of rejection when we write about Jesus on the internet or speak outside of church about our hope in Christ.
Courage is taking time for self-care demonstrating how worthy you are of God’s unconditional love and care.
Inspiring Good Courage from Bible Stories
There’s the courageous choice when facing extreme events, such as the young man who spied for the Norwegian Resistance, that most of us won’t ever experience. Then there’s the courageous choices to do the right thing even if unpopular and unrecognized. Everyday we make courageous choices, even in our quiet spaces, when we choose to follow our love of God to satisfy our needs and desires.
Examples of Courageous Choices in the bible:
Below are beautiful daughters of God who each have a story of a courageous person boldly acting in the face of opposition.
Ruth’s choice to go with Naomi even when she was entering a culture she did not know and risking living in poverty. (The Book of Ruth)
Mary’s choice to say “yes” to God even when she risked rejection from her betrothed (Joseph) and her peers. (Luke 1:26-38)
Examples of Courageous Everyday Choices
Our choice to praise God even when when life’s difficulties are plentiful and times of trouble abound.
Our choice to follow our strong desire from the Holy Spirit even when we do not know the way things will go and risk letting go of what we know.
Our choice to say “yes” to God when we quietly rest in His presence, where no one is looking, instead of rushing into our busyness of the day.
Our choice to say “no” to the world’s popular opinions demonstrating moral courage when, as a child of God, our morals are challenged from our peers, our workmates, friends, and family.
Everyday courage is making those courageous choices, even small, that keep us faithfully walking on the path of doing the right thing as a true follower of Christ.
Bible Verses for Courage
The good news is we do not need to be courageous on our own strength, or on our own understanding of courage. The secret of Christian courage is to lean in on God’s strength for true courage, and let the work of the Lord God shine through us. The best way to wrap the “belt of truth” (Ephesians 6:14) around us is soaking in God’s word.
Below is a collection of bible verses, a wonderful way for us to fill-up with spiritual courage.
1. In God I Trust
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose words I praise — in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:3-4 NIV
2. Hear Me
Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.Psalm 27:7 NIV
3. Protects Me
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2 NIV
4. Strengthens Me
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV
So don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31 NIV
6. Heirs of God
Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs in Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17 NIV
7. Our Hope
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 14:8 NIV
8. His Mighty Power
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10 NIV
9. Overcome Fear
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
10. Stand Firm
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 13 NIV
11. Our Provider
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 NIV
12. Lasting Peace
Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
Our stories of courage may not be stories of wartime battles or running into burning homes. However, making those daily courageous choices to walk faithfully representing a Christian life of love, faith, and hope are acts of courage.
You are courageous.
Make the choices to be courageous, even in the small things, because the world needs you to be your best!
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