The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Courage
How to Face Down Your Fears
The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
The dictionary defines courage this way: The ability to face and deal with a dangerous or difficult situation. There are two parts. First you must face difficulty; then you must deal with it.
Most of the popular images of courage have to do with men fighting on a battlefield. The soldiers coming ashore at Omaha Beach. The defenders of Bastogne holding out against the Nazis. The Marines landing on Iwo Jima. Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. President Kennedy standing strong during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
I have thought much about the many faces of courage-most of them ones you never see on a battlefield. Courage is a family dealing with terminal cancer. It is a single mother struggling to raise her family. It is a widow who faces the last years of her life without her beloved husband by her side. It is a child of divorce, struggling with his self-image, with doubt and anger, and with feelings of rejection. It is a single person who chooses purity over promiscuity. It is an engaged couple who will wait even though the world says go ahead. It is former President Reagan telling the nation that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It is a newly-minted MBA who moves into an inner-city community. It is an employee who sees corruption and has the courage to blow the whistle. It is a dad facing a difficult surgery.
What do these things have in common? I see four qualities that are evident in people with courage:
- Bravery in the face of danger: “I won’t be afraid.”
- Steadfastness in the face of opposition: “I won’t give up.”
- Action in the face of resistance: “I won’t be intimidated.”
- Optimism in the face of despair: “I won’t lose heart.”
Where does this courage come from? Proverbs 28:1 tells us that “the righteous are as bold as a lion.” The righteous are bold, not the wicked. The wicked are scared to death. If you are a Christian, the first step to courage is to remember who you are in Jesus Christ. You are victorious, accepted, justified, redeemed, saved, and completely forgiven. Your sins are washed away. You are seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenlies. You were born for courage, not for fear. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline. If you have a controlling spirit of fear, timidity, or anxiety, it didn’t come from God, for He does not give His people a spirit of fear.
There is an old Italian proverb that goes this way: Better to spend one day as a lion than one hundred years as a sheep. Better to spend one day with courageous faith in God than a whole lifetime cowering in fear.
You will never win until you rise up and confront the thing that is dragging you down. God put courage in you the moment you came to Christ. Use the courage God has given you, and you will be able to face your fears and come out victorious.
Holy Spirit, I ask that You fill me with love, power, and self-discipline, so that I can face the future without fear. Amen.
Name the three greatest fears in your life. How would your life be different if you began to face your fears?
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