Ladies, inner beauty is not easy to attain. It’s not like outer beauty, which we can acquire in minutes with makeup and a stylish haircut. No, inner beauty takes way more time. It can even take years. It also requires a culmination of virtues, one of which is courage.
What is courage? It comes in many forms, and often it means being brave to stand against someone or something. But it also means being able to endure anything as you stand by your convictions. As Christians, we are called to be courageous for many reasons, but mostly for defending our faith. Around the world, Christians are persecuted because we refuse to deny our God. But for most Christians, the persecution comes on a smaller, but still critical, scale.
Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Consider practicing more courage in the following areas of your life:
- At school. When it comes to peer pressure, it can be easy to set our convictions aside in order to fit in. But it’s during these situations that courage is needed. You must be bold in your defense of your faith at school, in defense of the weak and in defense of your God. Jesus stated quite clearly that it was likely that we would be questioned, ridiculed and persecuted, but we must stand firm. This doesn’t mean you must be aggressive or violent in your stance, but it does mean you need to hold onto your beliefs.
- At home. Here it takes courage to remain Godly in your close relationships, especially with your parents. Being courageous also means being honest when you’re fearful of the consequences of being disobedient.
G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” What a profound definition! To be courageous doesn’t mean you’re never afraid. Even Jesus was afraid to suffer and die. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed, “Let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39), but then He goes on and courageously adds, “Yet, not as I will, but as you will.” He’s ready to die if God wills it.
Courage doesn’t always have death as an option. More commonly, it involves a consequence or a negative result. Maybe it’s an angry peer, a parental punishment or a lost friend. Whatever the consequence, be courageous in your desire to live and share God’s Word genuinely.
If you’re finding it a struggle to be courageous, then consider the following tips:
- Read your Bible. Scripture is filled with verses about courage. It’s also filled with stories about courage and standing strong regardless of the consequences. There’s Moses’ courage in setting his people free, and David’s courage in defeating Goliath. Then there are the numerous stories of apostles sharing God’s Word, regardless of persecution.
- Practice it. You can’t perfect something when you don’t practice it. Make an effort to look for situations in which you can be bold. Defend the weak, walk away from friends who are acting in a negative way, or speak up and share God’s Word.
- Pray for it. Find your courage in God. He’s always with you, so add a desire to be a more courageous Christian in your daily prayers.
…do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Ladies, are you courageous? Do you know of other ways to strengthen your courage?