Mental or moral strength to persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.Merrian-Webster Dictionary
If I were asked to define courage using 1 word, I would choose one of the words listed above. I love the idea of courage, and having the privilege to witness it at work in the lives of others. Today, I had the honor of witnessing the manifestation of many seeds of courage on display at a ribbon cutting ceremony and Grand Opening of a business. I left the event excited about the future, and proud of the business owner, who had undoubtedly pressed past, and jumped over many obstacles to realize her dream.
There was something special about seeing the tangible fruit of courage. I was inspired, and I started to think about what courage really is, versus the misconceptions of it.
We often think of courage as LOUD and BOISTEROUS, but courage is actually quiet and calm.
We often think of courage as Proud and boastful, but courage is meek humility.
We often think of courage as spontaneous and haphazard, but courage is principled discipline on display.
We often think courage is FEARLESSNESS, but courage is acknowledging fear, and making the decision to do it. Even if it means, doing it AFRAID!
Courage matures in the darkness of uncertainty. Courage is strengthened through faithful prayer, and It is realized through patient consistency.
Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. -Dr. Maya Angelou
We need courage. And courage requires, a heart that hopes!
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.”Psalm 27:14, CSB
The word “let” stands out to me in this verse. “Let”, [as in – ALLOW] – your heart to be courageous!” A courageous heart is a hope-filled heart. A courageous heart remains in a constant posture of expectation. A courageous heart doesn’t focus on the clock or the calendar. Instead, it deliberately chooses to believe for the PROMISE, no matter how long it takes.
The opposite of a courageous heart is a sick heart. A sick heart is a heart that chooses, to permanently, or circumstantially deny or delay hope for something that is desired.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream revealed is a garden of life”Proverbs 13:12
The word “Defer” means to postpone, put-off or adjourn. When we make the decision that believing God is too painful, ceasing to hope seems practical, but the consequence of hopelessness is a sick heart. A sick heart is an unbelieving heart that doesn’t expect good.
We cannot accept a hope-LESS heart, we must – ALLOW space in our hearts for COURAGE.
How do we “Allow Courage?”
- We must welcome it into the darkness of our uncertainty. We do this by affirming our confidence in God, and reminding ourselves of His goodness and His faithfulness. God will not withhold anything good from us (Psalm 84:11). In the darkness of uncertainty, we must remember that if the promise seems delayed, it’s really God being patient, and providing us space to prepare.
- We must keep a continual heart of gratitude. We do this by offering prayers of thanksgiving to God. Praising Him for the things He has already done in our lives, while continually thanking Him, in advance, for the things we are expecting.
- We must practice patient consistency. Patient consistency has to do with discipline, it is the ability to keep moving forward, even when it’s difficult, and even when we don’t want to. What actions can you consistently take to be ready for what you’ve prayed for? “Faith without works is dead”; it is in the diligent action steps of obedience that we see the manifestation of the promises we are believing God for. Remember, sometimes we’re waiting on God, but oftentimes God is waiting on us. He’s waiting on our faith to translate into corresponding actions of preparation.
It is impossible to execute any of these 3 without courage, so this is why we must make the choice, again and again to allow (welcome) courage into our hearts. Doing so, keeps our hearts in a continual posture of confident expectation and trust in God.
Tonight, I want to encourage you to assess your heart posture. Have you stopped believing God because waiting became too painful? If so, you can be revived by asking God to heal your heart, and then beginning to execute the actions above to welcome courage back into it.
We don’t need courage to do easy things. The journey of faith is risk-filled, and it requires that we are persistent, even when we cannot see. The good news is, God is not uncertain, and His faithfulness is UNDEFEATED! He has never lost, never failed, and He cannot lie. He loves you with an unending love, and He wants you to win!
Friend, whatever you are believing God for is not too difficult for Him to accomplish. God is not holding out on you, He is not trying to play you, and He is not stringing you along.
He has never thought a negative thought about you, and His plans for your life are good and certain. You need only learn to trust Him in the dark.
Will you join me in allowing courage into your heart tonight? I sure hope so!
I’m praying for you. My prayer for you is that you would courageously,
KEEP YOUR HOPE LIVING!!