Summary: Courage is not the absence of fear but the capacity to put one foot in front of the other and move forward.
Courage – I Corinthians 16:13
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like me, (be men of courage), be strong”
I think most every one, if not all, have, at one time or another, been overtaken by a situation or condition that left them very apprehensive as to the outcome. Perhaps there is such an experience like that in your past…. Or maybe that is where you find yourself at this very moment.
Perhaps “apprehensive” is not the best adjective to describe the matter. Possibly words like; extremely concerned or worried, afraid or even down-right scared would better describe how you feel.
Panic can wash over you like a flash-flood.
You wake up in the wee hours of the morning and this dreadful feeling of panic almost makes you nauseous.
An adverse situation or condition has touched your life. What are you going to do? What can you do?
It’s a very serious matter. It has to be faced but how? Your mind begins to create mental pictures that bring even more concern. Maybe it is something that has been ongoing for a while and you start to wonder… when will this all end; how will it come out, or, will it ever end? It could be such an adverse situation that it will require a miracle to correct.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE –
If you have ever experienced any of these emotions, you are not alone. Thousands of people…people just like you and me.. have travels this road. To make it through these turbulent times… these troubled waters… you need a special ingredient within called COURAGE.
What is courage? The dictionary defines courage as: a quality of mind or spirit enabling one to meet danger or opposition with fearlessness.
This may seem rather egotistic of me but I don’t agree entirely with that definition. To be fearless means to be devoid of fear, to not be afraid. Let me tell you this… many have displayed courage while experiencing a degree of fear.
Norman Vincent Peale described courage as, “strength to do what is right regardless of the consequences”. That’s a good definition. Here is mine; Courage is not the absence of fear but the capacity to put one foot in front of the other and move forward”.
I think that without exception everyone experiences some type of fear, dread or apprehension in their life at some point. Certainly some more than others but just as certainly, everyone. The world feels it… the Christian feels it. In addition, the Christian can even feel a sense of condemnation or guilt if they feel fear, worry or apprehension. So many have been taught that a true Christian does not fear because we have been born again and the new birth does not include being afraid, worry or fear. We know that the Word of God tells us very plainly that, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” You will find that in II Timothy 1:7 and I believe it. God has not given us a spirit of fear but we feel it from time to time just the same.
So, where does this fear come from?
Some people have all kinds of fears but we are only born with two….the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Everything else we pick up along the way. But the good news is…whenever we are beset with fear, worry, strong anxiety we can overcome it by the power of God and the authority He has given and in the process have a sound mind to continue on.
We read in the Bible in several different places where God instructed His people to “not be afraid.” Why did He say that? Because they were afraid… they were human with the same emotions that we have. But when God spoke they exercised courage and continued on.
Look at the life of Elijah. One of God’s great Generals. A man of power and authority. A very powerful man of God. My, he was even able to call fire down from heaven. Anybody here done that recently?
He was a powerful man in God but he also knew what it was to become afraid. On a day that should have been a day of great celebration in light of the prophets of Baal he slew he received a message from a woman that sent him running for his life.
What about Jesus Himself? He was God incarnate in the flesh. He had all power and authority but He also had a human side and that part of Him knew what is was to be afraid… to have worry, to be filled with apprehension and dread. On the night He was betrayed, just prior to that betrayal, he experienced some of the emotions of fear and dread as His mind dwelled on what the morrow would bring. A part of His prayer that night was, “if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” but with courage He continued on praying as He said, “nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” Because He faced fear and conquered it, so can we… because, as a believer, He now dwells within and becomes that “greater is He that is within than he that is in the world.”