Who Needs Courage? You Do!

Lisa Haynes, Devotional by Rick James


Courage is the “perfect sensibility of the measure of danger and a mental willingness to endure it.”

General William T. Sherman’s quote reflects the fact that courage can coexist with fear but doesn’t have to cave into it. It’s what keeps the other virtues from crumbling under the pressure of life’s challenges.

When you sacrifice self-interest for the sake of something greater, you exercise your courage muscles.

Courage Isn’t a Magic Trick

Bravery requires practice. It’s not enough to see it in other people and admire it.

You have to make daring, bold choices of your own. If you shrink in fear every time there's a chance to share your faith, stand up for what’s right or face your sin, courage won’t get a chance to develop.

As a follower of Christ, your life gives you the opportunity to build courage. It may be at school, work or even the corner market — at some point, you’ll be faced with a choice. The motivation to grow closer to God and mature in your faith will pull you away from cowardice and compromise. It will push you toward courage.

Jesus Gets Between You and Your Fears

Courage and faith are intertwined.

When you see heroism in the Bible, it’s fueled by faith. Believing God and believing His promises emboldens His people. When Jesus told His disciples to “be of good cheer,” He challenged fear and summoned them to courage. He assured them that they were safe with Him, and His presence was constant.

The most convincing argument Jesus offers in support of courage is Himself.

You’ll see this over and over when you look at Peter’s life:

  • Jesus was there to pull him up when he sank into the sea (Matthew 14:22-33).
  • When Peter brashly vowed his willingness to die with Jesus, He was there to warn him that a test of his faith was coming (Matthew 26:31-35).
  • When he needed assurance and encouragement after denying Jesus, Christ was there to restore and motivate him (John 21).
  • After Pentecost, Peter walked in the Spirit — healing, preaching and boldly confessing the power of Christ when threatened by those who opposed Him (Acts 3-4).    

The Cru devotional, “Why Courage Matters,” takes a close look at the topic of courage and why it’s desperately needed in a Christian’s life. It also offers a way to evaluate your current supply of bravery and take practical steps to build up what you have.

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