By Chad Palmer
Having the power, or the will to prevail in spite of one’s fears, doubts, or pain would by all means be a solid definition of the word courage. Each of us has had to overcome some sort of challenge in our lives that required us to act against our own desire, or self-preservation requiring courage. Perhaps you or someone you know has had to endure courage under fire from an adversary while serving in the military. Maybe you have had to stand up against a boss or organization when you know that it is morally right. Or maybe it’s the courage to defend your faith and belief in Jesus. Even Peter lacked the courage to do that.
I have lacked courage on more than one occasion. I honestly believe that each of us need courage every day to fight against our common enemy who comes to steal our heart, kill our spiritual desires, and destroy our masculinity. As discussed by Pastor Steve during the Wholehearted Advance: “Men are full of fear, of being good enough, strong enough, brave enough … those fears and others turn into areas of shame.” Our courage is being tested from evil on a daily basis through temptations and struggles such as when we’re hateful, lustful, or fearful, to name a few; but the Lord is on our side.
The Bible is full of stories and examples of courage: Moses leading Israel out of Egypt, Daniel in the lion’s den, and, of course, Jesus’ courage to run the money changers out of the temple, challenging the hypocrisy of the priests, or to die on the cross for our sins. History is defined by men of great courage; and we may not always feel as though our daily lives are being written into history books, but we regularly face choices that require courage and define our relationship with God at all times.
Why is having a whole heart for the Lord important? Courage is derived from the Latin word cor or ‘heart.’ How appropriate that as Wholehearted Warriors and disciples that we inherited through Him the courage, the strength, and the power to act in spite of our fears and doubts.
Men, it is already in you, use it, have the faith and courage, fide et fortitudine, to choose right over wrong, seek the Lord for answers, pray for strength, and be an example to others. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit … the Armor of God is yours … be courageous!
Undoubtably, the heart is the key to everything, even courage! As a Wholehearted Warrior, I challenge you to answer God’s calling on your life: “Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)