What if we could go to the store or pharmacy and purchase a bottle of courage as easily as a bottle of cough syrup?
I believe it would be flying off the shelves.
Courage is defined as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” It is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.
It is bravery especially in battle. There is no denying that we are in a battle like no other for our nation. Courage enables us to face pain, discouragement, loss, and hardship. It causes us to continue to speak up when we know there will be a cost.
Prov 24:10 tells us, If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! (NIV). The Passion Translation says, “If you faint when under pressure, you have need of courage.”
America needs courage.
Winston Churchill stepped into history when he stepped into his role as prime minister during a time when it appeared Britain was already lost. Few would have been willing to take on the uphill battle to lead in that time of war against Hitler.
His predecessor simply sought peace, but lacked the backbone to stand. What about us?
The first year of Churchill’s administration, Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany. Churchill had made a promise that the British people would “never surrender.” And they didn’t. His courage and strength gave them courage.
WILL WE IMPART COURAGE OR FEAR?
The way we live, how we respond and the words that come out of our mouths will either instill fear or courage in our children, grandchildren and those around us.
When we live by courage, we impart courage.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., a physician and poet in the late 1800’s said,
“Courage is about doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. Have the courage to act instead of react.”
It wasn’t just a motto he lived by, but what he imparted into his family line. His son, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. served as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1902-1932 and has become one of the most widely cited justices.
It certainly appears he learned courage as a child and then acted on it.
I look back to the days when I was in elementary school when prayer was removed from schools and abortion legalized. I remember hearing adults lament over these tragedies, but at least in the circles in which I lived, I don’t remember many who took action to actually try to stop what was taking place.
Our nation paid the price. We have paid a price.
I don’t want my children looking back to say they never saw us stand up to defeat the tyranny now at work to take over our freedom. As we consider the path forward may we recognize that sometimes the determination to stand against evil is just as important as defeating it.
What about the heroes of faith who chose courage knowing it could end in death?
- What about young David as he ran toward Goliath with only five stones and his trusty slingshot?
- Or Queen Esther as she chose to go before the king to plead for the life of her people?
- Or Jonathan and his armor bearer who climbed a hill-top, at a distinct military disadvantage, and defeated twenty men imparting courage to his father’s discouraged troops? Jonathan took courage because he understood that “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” (1 Sam 14:6).
- What about more modern-day heroes such as Paul Revere who rode through the night to alert military leaders and unsuspecting colonists that the British were coming?
- Or Harriet Tubman who made 19 trips along the Underground Railroad to free over 300 enslaved people between 1850-1860 even with a $40,000 ($1.2 million in 2020) bounty on her head.
- Or the young man in China who stood in front of the armored tank rolling down the street?
The ability to stand in the face of fear is a selfless act that stirs supernatural courage. It releases hope into the atmosphere and in others.
As we consider our present-day fight for religious freedom, freedom of speech, the right to own property and the right to bear arms and protect our families, may we remember it is a fight in which our children are watching and on which our nation hinges.
Courage may not come in a bottle, but it does come in a Book.
It is where we must keep our eyes and hearts firmly on Him willing as we continue in prayer as we continue as one.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut 31:6).