A couple of months ago, my wife and I were in a department store and I spotted two coffee mugs that I liked. On one side, the first was marked “Faith”. And, on its opposite side was written, “Faith isn’t always a leap. Sometimes it’s just one little step after another, with lots of falling down and getting back up in between.” The other mug was marked, “Courage”. And on its opposite side was, “Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
I bought them. Over the intervening time, I’ve thought about courage and faith quite a bit. I believe both are critical to Christianity and our walk with God. Personally, I believe faith empowers courage. And, quite often courage can build our faith. You kinda’ get into that “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?,” conundrum.
As a Christian, I know God created the birds—and chickens are birds. Therefore, the chicken came first. And, I wouldn’t be a Christian if I hadn’t first had the faith to ask Jesus to (A), save me: and (B), had the faith to yield my will to God’s will (for me). And at the same time, both actions took some courage!
The words are bound to one-another in many ways. Unger’s Concise Bible Dictionary gives us five different forms of faith. The first is (1), Saving faith—what I said in “A” in the above paragraph (see, Jn 11:25). (2), Serving faith—the confidence in Jesus that motivates us to give God control of our lives; “B” in the above paragraph (Rom 12:1,2). Then comes (3),Sanctifying faith—big word meaning we trust Christ as our source of sustaining grace and divine power (Rom 6:11). (4), Responsive faith—working belief that produces the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, 23). And (5), Doctrinal faith—trust in the body of revealed truth. (Col 1:23 and 2:6,7).
Trusting (having faith in God), pleases and honors God; so that He can use us, and act on our behalf.
Webster’s Dictionary defines courage as: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
Let me give you three versions of courage from the Holy Bible. (1), To stand firm in our convictions—an excellent example is Shammah, who by standing firm, gave God a great victory. (2 Sam 23: 11- 12). (2),To take advantage of opportunities to witness—On his way to the Temple for a prayer service, Peter saw an opportunity to act and took it. It’s a long story that clearly shows us how God can work through courage. (Acts 3:1 through 4:31). (3), Sometimes a great deal of courage may be required for the sake of others. Even if it could be misunderstood as cowardice. (2 Sam 15:13-14).
I think we can all see how faith in God can underpin (support and substantiate) courage. And, courage based on faith in God, is never misguided. We may not get the result we expect; but, it will never-the-less be to our ultimate benefit. Remember, while we are “terminal” on earth; we have an eternal life waiting for us. One in which we will have new (perfect) bodies, rewards based on how we lived our Christian life while on earth, and work that will bring us peace, fulfillment and joy.
Yup. Faith and courage. Both critical to our walk with God!
In Christian love,