What Does The Bible Say About Courage

Courage is one of those qualities that is often described as a virtue, yet so rarely put into practice. Inherently linked to fearlessness, it can often seem like something that is unattainable for many of us – however, the Bible paints a different story about courage. According to Biblical references, courage is achievable for anyone who believes in the power of the Lord and their own strength.

The Bible places a high value on courage and building courage within individual believers. Proverbs 24:10 says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” In other words, people who persevere through hard times and don’t give up even when the odds are stacked against them will find the courage they need to fight through.

As St. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16-17, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” The passage speaks to the courage of an individual who pushes through adversity despite any physical or emotional pain they may be facing.

The Bible also discusses the courage required to forgive. Forgiveness is a powerful thing and it takes courage to let go of any negativity. Mark 11:25 says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” With this passage, it is clear to see that, in the eyes of God, courage means the willingness to forgive and be forgiven.

Jesus himself models courage for us, as he demonstrated a great amount of courage during his ministry and, in particular, during his crucifixion. In Luke 23:46, at the moment of his death, Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” The courage and faith that Jesus showed in this moment is truly remarkable.

Lastly, the Bible encourages us to show courage when speaking out against injustice. Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” It is important to remember that God calls us to stand up for what we know is right and to fight for justice, even in the face of fear or criticism.

Living for a Higher Purpose

The Bible emphasizes the importance of living for something greater than ourselves and having courage to do so. In 1 Peter 5:8-10, we read, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to take part in his eternal glory, will himself make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling.” This passage encourages us to remember that we have a higher purpose, and to have the courage to stay strong in what we believe, despite any difficulties that come our way.

Faith in Action

Ultimately, courage is about having faith and putting it into action. This can take many different forms. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” This passage shows how faith and courage are related to each other, as it takes courage to take action even when we can’t see or be certain of the outcomes.

Additionally, the Bible encourages us to be courageous in our spiritual lives. Joshua 24:15 says, “But if you refuse to worship the Lord, you must choose today whom you will worship. You can choose the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But as for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.” In this passage, Joshua is encouraging the Israelites to have courage in their faith, not be swayed by any outside pressures, and to trust in the Lord.

Effect of Courage in the Bible

The Bible has many examples of courage throughout its narratives. From Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, to David slaying Goliath, courage is a key theme in the Bible stories. These accounts are testament to the importance of courage in the faith, and how believing in the Lord can give you the strength and courage to act on it.

The Bible also urges us to have courage even when it is difficult to do so. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-control.” The Bible constantly reminds us that we should not be afraid to act on our beliefs, even in moments of fear. With faith in God, we are able to find the courage we need to stand up for what we believe in.

Conflict of Courage and Fear

On the one hand, the Bible emphasizes the importance of courage and how we should not be fearful in the face of adversity. On the other hand, the Bible also speaks of being fearful in certain situations. Psalm 34:9 says, “Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.” In this passage, the Bible seems to indicate that while we should always be courageous and push through hard times, it is also important to be fearful of the Lord in a respectful way.

Proverbs 28:1 adds to the discussion, saying “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” The passage is a reminder that faith and courage go hand in hand. If we have faith in the Lord and trust in his plans, we can find the courage to conquer any fear that may be holding us back from doing what is right.

Courage of the Disciples

The disciples of Jesus show us what it looks like to stay strong in one’s convictions and have courage in the face of fear. In Acts 4:23-31, we read, “When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against His Anointed” – for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed…’ And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

The passage shows the courage of the disciples in praying for the Lord despite the adversity they were facing. It reminds us that courage is not only about perseverance and action, but also about faith and believing in God even under immense pressure.

Demonstrating Courage in Our Lives

Finally, the Bible provides a clear message about the importance of courage and how it should be demonstrated in our lives. Romans 5:3-4 says, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope.” This passage speaks to the power of our own strength and the courage to forge ahead even when things seem insurmountable.

So, ultimately, the Bible affirms that courage is attainable for all believers. By having faith in God and finding solace in his words, we can find strength, hope and courage within ourselves. With the courage of Jesus, the courage of the disciples, and the courage of all men and women who choose to take a stand, we can do all things in the power of the Lord, and no obstacle will be too great.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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