And so, we wrap up the series that all started with one quote, on one green sleeve, on a Starbuck’s cup. Fifteen simple words that ended up being anything but simple – “The only courage you ever need is the courage to live the life you want.” The journey has taken us on an exploration of passion, who we are living our lives for, who we center ourselves on and today ends with how we find courage in a world of fear and insecurities. [CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP]

To start, here are some quotes on courage:

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
― Mark Twain

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston Churchill

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela

“Courage is grace under pressure.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Conquering fear is a key component to courage. Learning how to overcome and move past the fear which grips us and causes us to freeze in place is a work in progress. But the problem with developing courage is that there is no easy solution –  only more questions to be answered. Some people possess an outward appearance of great courage and looking from the outside we might desire to be be like them. Others exhibit a timidness in all they do and our first thought is to observe them to learn what not to do.

large-courage quote

The factor that is always present is fear, but the question that lingers is how do I get past the fear to solve the issue at hand? Several possible answers to facing our fear with courage can be found here:

1. Lysa TerKeurst in her book The Best Yes Making Wise Decisions on the Midst of Endless Demands provides one possible answer to finding courage. She says:

“Strength and courage come from keeping God’s Word close.”

She backs this up by telling us that the better we know scripture, the easier it will be to take it with us wherever we go and use it when needed. God is always with us and we can use His Word to fight off fear and discouragement.

2. God’s Words in Proverbs 16:9 gives us another answer.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV

God is with us each and every step. We can choose to find our own way and to follow the path without any help, but God is still directing the direction we will go. I also like the Message version of the same verse which reminds us that God gave us our life and He will lead us through it.

We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it. Proverbs 16:9 MSG

3. Finally, I can find courage in the quote below from this song by Bill Gaither.

“Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone! Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives!”  “Because He Lives” by Bill Gaither

Because God lives in us, around us and in others we meet, we should have no fear because He holds us and our future in His Hands. Fear is gone and replaced by the courage of knowing God and His Word.

Courage is saying “yes” when the popular answer is “no”. Courage is letting God take the lead as we follow in faith. Courage is embracing the Word of God as truth and soaking in the words that God gifted us with so many years ago. Courage is embracing the privilege of God walking beside us each and everyday.

Take a few moments and reflect on courage in your own life. Where does the strength for courage originate for you and how do you conquer fear when it threatens to overwhelm you?

Blessings,

Mary

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