Generally when faced with a horrifyingly, scary trial, my first words are not, "Wow! I feel so courageous! Let's do this!"
Courage is a reaction to fear, albeit, sometimes a slow reaction, but a reaction, nevertheless. As Christians, sometimes facing the battle and picking up our sword is scary. We can't see the outcome of what we're fighting. But God does. He already said the battle was won, He already said everything works for His good. When fear arises, let your courage rise as well, trust in the One who is holding you and every possible outcome of your battle.
We've all heard the phrase "Courage is not the absence of fear," and wonder if that's actually true. I mean, come on, I can't be the only who reads about fictional heroes who repeat to themselves that very phrase and then do something absolutely amazing.
Fear is gripping, and sticky. One small seed of fear can grow into a tangling vine that hinders you from doing anything for the Lord. It is hard to shake fear off, and sometimes, you can't right away. It takes courage to take a stand. It takes courage to lift your sword and chop those vines away. Those who have been there know, truly, having courage is definitely not the absense of fear, but taking action despite fear.
When fear surrounds you, it can take courage to go to your knees. Sometimes it's on your knees that the battle is won.
Sometimes courage isn't a sword swinging, sometimes it's giving fear to God as you go to your knees. Letting God take over can be hard. Humans like having control, giving it up isn't in out nature. When it's in His hands, though, it takes some of the pressure of one's self, knowing God has everything in control. It will let you breathe and loosen some of that fear. But you have to get to the place to hand it to Him. God won't take anything you aren't willing to give.
We are Christians. We aren't called to a picnic. We are called to a battle field.
It is scary holding onto faith when all seems lost. Maybe you've gotten bad news from the hospital, or someone you know was in a bad accident. Professing that everything is going to be okay takes courage. Telling people that you have faith doesn't mean it's not scary sometimes. Life is scary, it's uncertain. It takes courage to say "God is working everything for my good," when you're standing in a funeral parlor.
Be courageous in your battles. Lift your Bible and declare, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!"
Put your armor on. Lift your sword. Fear can still be rampant, but you're a child of the King. Hold to the hem of His garment, use your devil stomping boots and kick fear down.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee withetsoever thou goest.