Do you need courage? Chances are you do. Maybe you put on a good front to others but you’re really struggling. You might be wrestling with anxieties at work, a relationship gone wrong, or some internal battle that people don’t know you’re facing. Courage is the key word in Acts 23:11, the chapter we studied this past Sunday. The Lord tells the Apostle Paul to take courage and we need to do the same. Let me share three insights into the word and three tips for living with biblical courage.
1. Biblical courage is joyful confidence in God's presence and provision regardless of the circumstances. Older Bible translations use the word “cheer” while newer versions prefer “courage.” The biblical concept is so deep it’s hard to capture in just one word. Joyful confidence in God captures both words.
2. Biblical courage always appears in the New Testament with the force of a command, "take courage." Cowardice is not an option for the believer. This is no passive endeavor, we are summonsed by God to reach out and grab it.
3. Biblical courage does not come from within us but beyond us. Christians are called to take courage on the grounds of Christ's victory over death and worldly powers. (John 16:33; Acts 23:11; 2 Cor. 5:6, 8).
1. Meditate on these verses and write your reflections in a journal. The more you internalize the concept the more you will live it out.
God gives us victory (Psalm 112:8)
Jesus’ strength gives us courage (John 16:33)
Courage helps us boldly represent Christ (Acts 4:31)
Christians should be courageous (1 Corinthians 16:13)
Pray for courage (Ephesians 6:19–20)
Christians can pray to God with confidence (Hebrews 4:16)
2. Remember what God has already done. Remembrance is a constant theme in Scripture. When we remind ourselves of his past provision we gain courage to trust him in our current condition. Take time to share with a friend what God has done for you and listen to what he has done for them. He may seem silent now but rest assured he is always working in your life for his glory and your good.
3. Share the gospel with an unbeliever. That may sound odd to you but sometimes we need to move outside our comfort zone into a place where we really need courage. Don't live your life in a space where you don't really need God. Few things cause us to joyfully depend on God like sharing the gospel with lost people.