“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”– Hebrews 11:32-34 NKJV
All of us want to be someone great. We want to leave a legacy and inspire multitudes long after we’ve passed away. This is a noble ambition, but it doesn’t come without discipline. A legacy of courage will not follow the man who’s never learned to face his fears. Most of us fail to realize that fear can easily become advantageous to our growth as leaders if we learn the simple discipline of courage.
It was never expected of us to live without fears, but to live above our fears. To live above fear is to be courageous. Courage is not fearlessness…it’s the faith to take action in spite of fear. In fact, it takes more faith to take action in spite of fear, than it does to take action that carries no fear at all. Why? Because where there’s no fear or doubt, there’s no resistance…and without resistance, there’s no growth. Strength comes when we’re pushed beyond our limits. For this reason, the greatest growth in courage will take place in the face of the greatest fear. Every fear that’s faced is a fear defeated, and the sign of a heart that’s being refined by faith. If courage is never demanded of you, you will never become a man of courage. A discipline of courage always comes before a disposition of courage. In other words, courage must become something we practice before it will ever become inherent in our character.
The passage of scripture quoted above tells us that these great heroes of the Bible became valiant “in battle”…not before battle. They became courageous in the place where courage was demanded of them — on the battlefield. Most of us forget that the men whose life stories leave us awestruck in wonder and veneration, were fallible people just like us who had fears, doubts, and insecurities that needed to be overcome. And they finally overcame these internal obstacles as soon as they learned to act upon God’s Word, despite the resistance that fear created. And because these men learned to walk by faith in spite of fear, they grew strong out of weakness — they became valiant.
Is there anything in your life that you’re afraid of doing, but you know it’s God will? Are you afraid of sharing your faith with others? Speaking up for the truth? Are you afraid of persecution? Whatever it may be, the promise of God’s Word remains the same.
“Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” – Psalm 31:24.
Make a decision to be courageous — to believe and act upon God’s Word in spite of fear and doubt — and God will be faithful to supernaturally strengthen your heart for whatever battle you will face. God will give you courage if you are willing, despite what you feel, to be courageous.