Before talking about courage, I thought it would be appropriate to shed some light on its nemesis: Fear. It is an emotional foreboding or dread of impending distress or misfortune. Our common english word simply denotes it as dread or terror. Fear has a tendency to either immobilize people or seriously affect their activity. Not a good feeling at all.
But courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. Some synonyms are fearlessness, dauntlessness, intrepidity, pluck, spirit. Courage, bravery and valor, refer to qualities of spirit and conduct. Bravery implies true courage with daring and an intrepid boldness. Valor implies heroic courage.
This is one of the great values that are common and make civilizations and world religions great. It brings to mind some names of men and women that are or were courageous in their time. Famous names like Dr. Martin Luther King, William Wilberforce, Amelia Earhart, just to mention a few. These are commendable stories that stir our hearts and give us hope in the human existence. But also there are others that are not known to the world that equally inspire us every day. Those are the real stories that exude courage and inspire me the most, because they talk to me not from a podium but from my side. Our men and women of the armed forces; you might know a few. The mother or father that wakes up very morning to care for the family, when no one else cares. You might have some stories of your own, where you where challenged to move forward in spite of your fears because there was something more noble and more important than the fear you felt. That is courage my friend.
But the biggest act of courage ever recorded and forever branded in the human spirit was performed by the most uniquely of people. Well, that was his neighbors thought about him. They had seen him grow among them, they knew his family and what he did for a living. He had fixed or created many of their furnishings, and yet they were so wrong about him. And then in the wee hours of night, knowing that his time was near, he prayed alone, he suffered alone and ultimately gave his life alone. But he did what no other man could do, he redeemed what no other sacrifice could redeem, and confronted sin with the most unwavering stance of all, and he won. He was and He is, courage personified. His name is Jesus. Through him, we are able to confront life and overcome every obstacle we are faced with. When we are weak, he is strong and the world will be better for it.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the resolve to move forward in spite of it. Be courageous and change the world.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright DP, 2012
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Excerpt from Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). Tyndale Bible dictionary. Tyndale reference library (479–480). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.