All over the world, people turn to the Holy Bible for instruction, correction, understanding, and comfort. Considered to be scripture for Christians of all stripes, the Bible is a wealth of information on a wide range of subjects. Many people find that specific passages speak to them when they have a particular issue they face. One example is the many ways that the Bible addresses the issue of courage.
Both the Old and New Testaments contain passages that point to the need to move out in faith, even in times of adversity. The promise is that God goes with the individual, and will support them during the period of trouble. At times, the Bible notes the need to break with tradition, in order to do the right thing. Such is the case in the Book of Ruth, where a loyal daughter-in-law chooses to not follow tradition and stays with her mother-in-law after the death of her husband. Ruth’s courage reminds all people that the usual way is not always God’s way.
In like manner, the narrative of David and his rise to the throne also serve as what can be accomplished when an individual chooses to set personal fears aside and trust in the Lord. Because of David’s courage and faith in God, he was able to defeat Goliath, and overcome many obstacles in order to follow God’s call. Even in later times, when he transgressed in the matter of Bathsheba, David’s humbling himself before God is another example of courage of a different kind; the courage to admit when one is wrong and express sorrow for committing that wrong.
Perhaps one of the greatest examples of how the Bible speaks of courage is found in the Gospel of John. The seventeenth chapter tells of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, as he prepares for what is to come. Here, Jesus pours His heart out to the Father, including admitting His fear for that which must come to pass for the redemption of the world.
Nevertheless, Jesus holds firm and exhibits courage in the face of what many would see as overwhelming odds, and does not shrink away from what He has been called to do. The atoning sacrifice, in which God became flesh and redeemed humankind, remains at the core of the Christian faith and is one of the most powerful examples of courage in the face of adversity that can be imagined.
There are a number of admonitions found throughout the Biblical text. The Book of Proverbs, as well as the Book of Psalms offer excellent advice about moving ahead without giving in to fear. For example, in the first verse of the twenty-eight chapter of Proverbs offers the keen observation that “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” The eighteenth Psalm helps to describe what can be accomplished with the help of God:
“For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God – his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? – the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights.” (Psalm 18:29-33)
From the courage of Daniel in the lion’s den to the Damascus road experience that turned Saul the persecutor into Paul the apostle, the text of the Bible is full of events and people who found courage in the Lord and moved out in faith. If you are facing challenges in your life, turn to the comforting and instructive words of Christian scripture; chances are you will find several people within the text that you can identify with and learn from.