COURAGE

by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© February 2021, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

Contents

I. DEFINITIONS OF COURAGE

II. COURAGE IN THE BIBLE

III. COURAGE ACCORDING TO THE 7 SYSTEM

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I. DEFINITIONS OF COURAGE

The following definitions of courage are taken from an article in Psychology Today:

1. FEELING FEAR YET CHOOSING TO ACT

Without temptation, there can be no virtue. Without danger, there can be no courage.” - Roy Masters

Bran thought about it. 'Can one still be brave if one is afraid?' 'That is the only time one can be brave,' his father told him.” —George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave person is not the one who does not feel afraid, but the one who conquers that fear." —Nelson Mandela

"There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid." —L.Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

"Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done—that's courage. The one who feels no fear is a fool, and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward." —Piers Anthony

"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." —Oliver Wendell Holmes

2. FOLLOWING YOUR HEART 

Passion is what drives us crazy, what makes us do extraordinary things, to discover, to challenge ourselves. Passion is and should always be the heart of courage.” —Midori Komatsu

"And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” —Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, June 2005

"To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself."
 —Soren Kierkegaard

It takes courage...to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” —Marianne Williamson, "Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of 'A Course in Miracles'".

The word courage derives from the French language. The word coeur in French means the heart. Courage has to do with following your heart and doing what you know is right in your heart.

3. PERSEVERING IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

"When we are afraid, we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger, but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger." —Mark Rutherford

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer." —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

"Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them." —Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'" —Mary Anne Radmacher

'Go back?' he thought. 'No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!' So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” —J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.” —Mark Twain

4. STANDING UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT

"Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself." —N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire

"Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes." —Maggie Kuhn, social activist

"From caring comes courage." —Lao Tzu

5. EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS; LETTING GO OF THE FAMILIAR

"One cannot discover new oceans unless one has the courage to lose sight of the shore." —Lord Chesterfield

This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.” —Robert F. Kennedy

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." —Anais Nin

Other words that have a similar meaning as courage are bravery and valor.

WHAT COURAGE IS NOT

To help understand a subject, it is often helpful to mention what something is not:

Courage is not just acting stupidly and placing yourself in obvious danger. In other words, it is not going forward without giving your action any thought.

Courage is also not just rebelling. Both rebellion and conformity are incorrect and just forms of reaction. Instead, discern in the light of truth and move forward from this wisdom.

II. COURAGE IN THE BIBLE

The Old and New Testaments of the Bible are wonderful sources of statements about courage. Here are some of them:

1 Chronicles 22:13

Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

2 Timothy 1:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Proverbs 28:1

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

1 Chronicles 28:20

Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 31:24

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Mark 5:36

But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.

Psalm 112:7

He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Philippians 1:28

And be not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

Matthew 10:16-20

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Psalm 16:8

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 27:1

Of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 56:3-4

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Isaiah 12:2

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

Daniel 3:16-18

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

2 Chronicles 32:7

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him.

Proverbs 24:10

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Matthew 14:29

He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

Romans 8:31-39

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword (frighten us)?

1 Chronicles 16:11

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Ezra 10:4

Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.”

Joshua 10:25

And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”

2 Corinthians 5:8

Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Philippians 1:27

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.

2 Chronicles 32:8

With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

2 Samuel 10:12

Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”

Deuteronomy 31:23

And the Lord commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you.”

Romans 5:1-11

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Galatians 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Matthew 17:20

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV / 51 helpful votes

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Hebrews 13:5-6

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Acts 24:14

But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets.

Luke 12:4

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.

Isaiah 26:3

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Esther 4:15-16

Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

Psalm 144:1-15

Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke!

1 Chronicles 19:13

Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”

Revelation 21:8

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Daniel 10:19

And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

Ezekiel 2:6

And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.

1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV / 38 helpful votes

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Acts 4:31

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Acts 4:20

For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

Psalm 23:1-6 ESV / 38 helpful votes

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Psalm 18:1-50

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.

Exodus 9:16

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.

Genesis 28:15-17

Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

James 2:24

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

Isaiah 51:7-53:5 ESV / 36 helpful votes

Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but my righteousness will be forever, and my salvation to all generations.” Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over? And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 41:10-13

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Proverbs 10:24-30

What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted. When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever. Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him. The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short. The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. …

Isaiah 40:3-42:7

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Revelation 2:26-5:10 ESV / 32 helpful votes

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Matthew 16:23-17:8

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Psalm 116:1-118:29

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!” Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.

III. COURAGE ACCORDING TO THE 7 SYSTEM

The 7 system can be applied to courage:

1. Physical courage. This is to move ahead with your life and plans even though you may have to endure some physical unpleasantness or hardship.

2. Emotional courage. One needs to control emotions of fear, in particular, and perhaps other emotions such as anger, in order to move ahead with courage.

3. Taking back your power. Courage has a lot to do with the third energy center, which has to do with taking back your power and taking control of your life.

4. Social courage. Courage often requires going against the crowd and not minding criticism and perhaps rejection from the masses of the people.

5. Partnerships and creative expression. Courage is very needed in marriages, work situations and business matters. This usually involves standing up for what is right and often leaving situations that require that you compromise your principles.

6. Intellectual and political courage. This is most important today and involves careful thinking without sloppiness or compromise of logic. Too much of today’s education lacks this quality, unfortunately.

7. Spiritual courage. This level of courage is about having faith in God, goodness and truth at all levels. It is a sublime trait to cultivate spiritual courage in all matters.



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