As a general rule, courage is something that has to be cultivated and nurtured. If you do not stand up for the little things, when big situations come to you it will be that much harder to stand up for what you believe in. I find this to be even more true if you suffer/have suffered from anxiety. Standing up for yourself or for someone else can seem an insurmountable task when you have no confidence. From where are you supposed to gain the strength to stand up and speak out?
I found out this week that though I thought I had been getting better, in the sense of having confidence and pushing through trials, I was in fact lacking a key element in facing hardship- courage. I think I have taken for granted the blessings in my life, where though life is hard I hadn’t needed to make a choice of doing the right thing and standing up or running away in fear. I was encouraged by those around me to stand up for what was right, even though I lost the “battle”. Do I still want to give up? Absolutely. Am I going to? With God’s help, no. See, I had forgotten a very important truth- God has given us courage and strength as part of our salvation.
When we trust God to live through us we also gain His strength to do the hard things in life. Because He has already won the battle against evil and all the struggles in life, He can and will instill peace within us and infuse us with strength when we are weak. As a follower of Christ I have a power I am not using. How ridiculous am I? When someone gives us a gift, do we leave it unwrapped on the floor and keep pushing it aside, not opening it or wondering what it holds inside? I doubt it. So why do we leave gifts God has give us “unopened”? I believe the answer lies in us wanting to control our own lives. As humans we want to be able to say, “don’t worry God, I’ve got this”. We think we can handle situations on our own, and maybe sometimes we are too prideful to ask for help- from God and from those around us.
I would not have made it through the hard thing I had to do this week without God and those around me who encourage me. I actually would not have even attempted the hard thing had it not been for the courage in those around me sustaining the courage in me. I have let my fears, doubts and anxiety hold me down. I continue to. But I don’t want to. Well, to be completely honest I do and I don’t. If I’m honest, I’m cowardly and I don’t want to look hard decisions in the eye. But I have to. If it means being a ministry to those around me and really living the life God has set before me. I cannot take the easy route. I am not called to live a quiet life of defeat, not attempting anything because of fear and anxiety.
Have you felt that way? Like life’s struggles are bowling you over and keeping you down? I understand. You don’t have to feel that way. You can ask God for His supernatural strength. And you can ask for the help of those around you to prop you up and help you fight your battles by lending you their courage until you find your own. If you need prayer or just a listening ear, write me here and I will include you in my prayer for courage and confidence. It is easier to face your battles with a friend. If you need biblical encouragement, I recommend this five day devotional on the Bible app: Understanding our Authority in Christ.