There are many ways by which the world defines courage, and then there is God’s definition. We know that we are not to be of those who shrink back [Heb. 10:39]. We also know that we are to exhibit power under control and be slow to anger [Jam. 1:19]. Some might find it difficult to strike the balance between the innocence of a dove and the shrewdness of a serpent, but godly courage can help us strike that balance. Let us explore what the word tells us about the courage we are to carry as saints.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!
They had been dancing together for several months, and it was obvious that they were technically compatible. Their timing was precise, and they really moved as a unit. As their coach prepared them for their first real competition as a pair she did not go easy on them. She knew who they would be up against, which meant that they would have to add some more skills to their repertoire. It was time to introduce the lift. He was sure of his ability, and his partner was aware of his strength and balance, but getting that move down would prove difficult. His partner was not a timid person, and she considered herself brave, but one thing was lacking. She did not know him well enough to be confident that he would not let her fall.
Our saintly courage rests on the foundational principle of our faith. We rely not on ourselves but on God. When we say that we are courageous it is not because we have confidence in what we bring to the battle. When we call ourselves brave it is not because we trust in our own strength and wisdom. Good saintly courage is about being willing to step out under the protection and power of the Father. Taking that step is the expression of our confidence in his ability to hold us up and not let us fall. Our courage cannot be complete without that declaration of trust in God. We do not show up for the fight flexing our own muscles but pointing to him and his power. Our courage is nothing but the product of the wellspring of his faithfulness to come through for us.
God regularly asks us to take a spiritual trust fall with him. Those with faith will be the ones who take the step of courage. They will close their eyes, raise their arms and lean back joyfully. They are confident that their heavenly Father will intervene on their behalf without fail. That is what good courage looks like. It points to him instead of us. Good saintly courage magnifies not the power of the person but the power of God. When people wonder how it is that we can take such steps with confidence, it will be evident that we do so only by the grace and power of our Lord. Father, please increase in us our confidence in You so that we can be courageous in every trial and every circumstance, and always for your glory.