How do You Maintain a Spirit of Courage?

IMG_5554.JPGOur illness constantly gives us opportunities to seek courage. How do we do it over and over? SL shares.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

My dad is fond of saying that ever since I was a little kid I’ve craved adventure. As I got older what adventure looks like is different and I think I’ve had enough excitement if I can take all four of my kids out grocery shopping.

Before I got sick I had all sorts of dreams what my adventures would look like, but now clinical trials are some of the most exciting things to come along!

One thing that hasn’t changed though, is that I’m still scared.

It doesn’t matter what the adventure looks like it is still uncomfortable and a change. (Coaxing a toddler out, who happily climbed-into the ice cream freezer case, is not for the faint of heart!) Add into it that the adventures we face in the midst of chronic illness. They often have really high stakes.

It isn’t glamorous and even the mundane things sometimes feel like they are akin to climbing Mount Everest.

But God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of courage.

It is hard to have courage when we know how painful the road is going to be, but that is exactly what God promises us when we hold His hand. We can be weak because He is strong and it isn’t our strength that we are trusting in–it is His.

Fear is normal, but when we let our spirits be consumed by it, we miss out on the adventures He has for us–from the amazing to the mundane. The incredible part is that we don’t know which is which yet, because God uses even the simplest things in the most profound ways.

We don’t need to live in fear when we follow a God who wastes nothing.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being a God who desires a relationship with us and to give us courage. Please help us to step out in faith and be strong in You even when we are scared to live out all the adventures we have been called to. Please help us to see all aspects of life accurately as the adventure they are when lived for You. Thank You for using all things for Your glory. Amen.

About the author:
S.L. Payne lives in the South with her husband, three permanent sons and foster daughter. She is thankful for God’s faithfulness in her illness as God has used to it help her see Him in everything; the three boys have supplied the humor! She loves writing, photography and laughing with her family. She also writes on her website, uncommongrace.net, where she hopes she can encourage others to live in grace. You can follow her on Twitter @saralynnpayne.

What things make you feel like you are living in a spirit of fear instead of courage? How can you begin to give them over to God?

This is Casting Crowns singing Courageous. The video is from the movie Courageous. The lyrics speak of how we were made to be courageous, and that is worth noting. God never asks us to do or be something in which He has not equipped us. And yet, He doesn’t equip us to be able to do it without Him. We can be courageous, but not without God’s strength and power. -Lisa

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