Courage is the ability to face difficulty, danger, or pain without crippling fear. And because life presents us with difficulty, danger and pain we all have opportunities to demonstrate courage. Like when we face the prospect of failing a test, losing a job, hearing back from the doctor about a suspicious growth, discovering one of our kids is using drugs, or a host of other potential problems or losses. Such difficulties can evoke the kind of fear that cripples our faith and freezes our ability to act wisely and decisively.
If you, or someone you know, is currently encountering a fear provoking hardship, an infusion of courage may be needed.
The night before his death Jesus met with his disciples in a secluded room in downtown Jerusalem. Aware that they would soon be on their own, he made a promise aimed at busting their fear and bolstering their courage. Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
Throughout the Bible God bolstered the confidence of fearful people with the promise of his presence. When Moses indicated reluctance to lead the Hebrew people to freedom, God said, “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12).
A generation later, when Joshua took the mantel of leadership, he stood alone. Moses, his mentor, was gone. So were most of his friends. Joshua was an old man faced with the challenge of driving the better-armed Canaanites from their fortified cities. When God saw his frightened servant he didn’t remind Joshua of the years of preparation he had just gone through in the wilderness. Instead, God assured Joshua of his presence (Joshua 1:1-9).
The next time you face a threatening situation and feel your courage waning, remember the Lord’s promise: “I will come to you.”