Because we are surrounded by the physical, it is much easier to acknowledge being subject to its laws and limitations than it is to contemplate the spiritual clash of powers going on behind the scenes. But it is in this realm that battles are actually won or lost. Courage against a giant does not come from fortifying an arsenal with mere physical assets. The battle is always the Lord’s and we have been prescribed the tactical knowledge and resources to give us the ability to see the unseen with certainty, to have great authority against forces of evil, and to continue in hope even when the physical evidence shows something contrary. The highest level of courage can only be obtained if our confidence is in something or someone greater than our enemies and much greater than ourselves.
Build Courage Through Faith
Look at the things which are not seen
“…The things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). It is hard to be courageous and move forward in confidence when we cannot see. We are left vulnerable and are forced to rely on the perceptions of others who might be as blind as we are. We cannot battle in the spiritual realm if we are blind to it. Hebrews 11:1 says, “…faith is the evidence of things not seen” and Romans 10:17 states that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. God’s word demonstrates to us the reality of things in the spiritual realm without being handicapped by what we observe in the physical. Sometimes God uses examples in the physical to point out the more crucial things occurring in the spiritual realm. Scripture helps lift the veil and reveal truth, for it is the truth. It is our only source to see into the unseen world, which is far more important than the physical one. While at this time we can only see in part (1 Corinthians 13:12), take these priceless jewels of revelation to gain insight and to bolster the courage to face the real world.
Know and believe God’s promises
Noah was promised he would be saved from the flood and he and his family were spared because he believed God. Moses fought against all odds and succeeded in getting an entire nation out of the bondage of the ruling power of that day because he believed God. God told Joshua to march around the wall surrounding the great city of Jericho, and he believed God and the walls fell down and the city was defeated. Countless other examples serve to prove that when God says something, He means it. We can have confidence and take courage where God’s promises are concerned. If God says He is coming again, take heart in today’s trials, He will deliver us. If He says he will give us a way to overcome every temptation, seek that way out, do what His word says and you will be victorious. Take courage and find great power in God’s promises.
Build up an arsenal of spiritual weapons
Scriptures teaches us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are spiritual. Combined with the powerful curse of our own flesh, the enemy has a great advantage in working to destroy us and all of mankind. If you want true victory don’t fight in the flesh. What you see, is only a shadow of what is real. Put on the whole amour of God which is the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, a readiness of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit (which is the word of God), and always be alert in prayer. Nothing says “confidence” and aids in courage like the proper tools and weapons.
Know that God owns the battle
Another title for this section could be “guard against presumption”. King David who knew both great victory and great failure prayed “keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me”. It is an exercise in futility to go rogue and remove yourself from under the authority of the Commander. To stir up strife and create your own battles based on limited power and knowledge is plain foolishness. I wonder how many battles are fought this way. We spin our wheels thinking of ways to fix things and to solve problems without even consulting scripture, which tells us to wait when we are asked to wait, pray when we are told to pray, prepare when we are asked to prepare, and move forward in the way we are told to move. The Lord’s army is for the purpose of carrying out the will of God. God owns the master plan against the enemy and He will succeed, but it will be on His terms and following His detailed and unaltered strategy. Align yourself with the winner so you can step out with great determination and courage.
Fear God, not man
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). Courage comes from having a proper respect for the One who holds all the power and directs the final outcome. In Revelation 22 we are both warned and encouraged by the reality of His impending return. The Lord is coming and it is out of subjection to Him in fear and respect –with great faith, that we please Him. Without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6) and we cannot build the kind of faith that pleases God apart from His word: “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6).