Come with Courage to God
Top 6 Bible Verses About Courage With Commentary
The Bible has a lot to say about the topic of courage. What are your favorite courage scriptures in the Bible?
Courage from Encouragement
I love what I call the three E-migo’s…edify, exhort, and encourage (or give courage to). We all need encouragement from time to time just as we all need courage.
What does the word encouragement mean and what does it have to do with courage? When the word is used in the Old Testament, it is the word “chazaq” which means “to strengthen, prevail, be strong, courageous.
” In the New Testament the Greek word for encouragement is “paraklesis” which is quite different from the word encouragement in the Old Testament. Paraklesis is extremely close to the word used for the Holy Spirit “Paraclete.
” Breaking down the word for “paraklesis” or encouragement in the New Testament we take the first part of this compound world “para.” Para means to come along side. Someone who encourages another comes alongside the person they want to encourage and gives them courage.The second part of the compound word is “klesis” which can mean a calling near, a summons or call for help, exhortation, admonition, and consolation.
So in the New Testament, the word for encouragement can be said to be someone who comes along side another to be near, to respond to their call for help, to exhort them, admonish them and console them and yes, to give them courage. That is what encouragement does…it gives others the courage to carry on. Although we are restricting these verses to courage, what is courage except having the courage to go on, through the help of others (paraklesis) or through God? The word for courage is “tharseo” and means to “be of good courage” or “of good cheer” so I have necessarily tied encouragement to courage because to be encouraged is to be of good courage or of good cheer.
My Favorite Six Courage Bible Verses
Barnabas’ name is interesting. It is the Greek form of an Aramaic name and remember that Aramaic is what they spoke in Judea at this time.
Bar means “son of” and “abas” is close to that of abba or daddy or father so Barnabas could be referred to as “the son of an encouraging father” but the Aramaic form may mean “son of a prophet.” His given name was Joseph, which is Hebrew in origin and means “he will add” and did he ever add to the church.
He added his personal wealth, he added his service, he added his encouragement and by his support of Saul (the destroyer) turned Paul (little one) was accepted into the church. He gave the church the courage to trust Paul. Barnabas was always the encourager.
We need this so very much in the world and in the church today because many of us lack courage. Even thou we are seeking to find Scriptures about courage, I said, encouragement is “giving courage” to another.
Good things come in threes with God and three times God repeated to Joshua to have courage.
When God repeats something twice, it is of supreme importance but when it is mentioned thrice, it is of the highest importance possible, God’s only attribute that is mentioned three times is that he is holy, holy, holy.
God told Joshua that “no man shall be able to stand before you all [get that, all] the days of your life.” God associated strong and courageous as going together.Before God told Joshua three times to be strong and courageous, He told His servant Moses the same thing and once again He ties in the words strong and courageous together as necessary elements in being mutually inclusive but how can a person be strong and courageous? They must believe that, God did with Moses and Joshua, He “goes with you [and] He will not leave you or forsake you.” God goes with every believer and it should give us courage to know that He will never, ever leave you and He will never, ever forsake you.
The words “in God I trust” are where the statement “In God we trust” comes from that is printed on American currency. To not be afraid is to put your trust in God and when you have this trust in God, you will think “what can flesh (mankind) do to me.” Trust is the almost the opposite of fear peace is from anxiety. Trust and obey God and leave the consequences up to Him.
It takes a lot of courage today to not only obey God but to make a covenant to put away all of the things of the world from our lives that are sinful. This is what the people did. They trembled at the commandments of God and stated publicly to “let it be done according to the Law.
” They didn’t just talk the talk but they walked the walk and rose up to the task and the people said that they were with them and to “be strong and do it.” It is hard to stand up and confess your sins and it seems even harder to get up and do it but what takes courage is pleasing to God. This shows that you also tremble at His Word.
It takes real courage to stand up for what is right in this evil world and to bend the knee and confess your sins to God.
Will that ever be said of you? Can you be bold and astonish those who are not yet saved and proclaim the judgment of God to everyone who refuses to repent and trust in Christ? It is very hard.
My mouth gets dry, my heart pounds, and my palms get sweaty, yet I know that there isn’t a person you will ever meet that God doesn’t want to save or that He has already saved.
That is 100% of everyone! Be bold in the Lord’s commission because the real power is in the message and not in the messenger.
If you fear and lack courage, ask the Lord to strengthen you and He will. What is it that you need courage for? Is it to witness to strangers on the street? How about family (that is even harder for me). Maybe it is to your co-workers. It might even be all the difficulties you are going through right now to just keep on keeping on.
Ask the Lord for courage in proclaiming the gospel and if you are nervous, welcome to the club. I would tell you what others in my church told me and what God told Joshua and Moses, “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.
” Now isn’t that encouraging? Shouldn’t those words give you courage?
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas.
Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon
Where Real Courage Comes From
Where does courage come from? And how do you get it when you need it, when some fear towers over you and threatens you, and you feel cowering and fleeing into some cave of protection?
For an answer, let’s look at one of the most famous stories of all time in 1 Samuel 17 — and one of the most misunderstood stories in the Bible.
David and Goliath
Three thousand years ago, in the Valley of Elah, a massive man named Goliath of Gath stepped the Philistine ranks to defy and taunt the army of Israel and its God. For forty days, he harangued the Israelite warriors, heaping shame on them, since none dared to accept his fight-to-the-death, winner-takes-all challenge. Every morning when he stepped forward, the men of God shrank back.
Then a teenage Hebrew shepherd boy named David showed up in the camp with some bread and cheese for his soldier big brothers and heard the giant pour out his scorn on the impotent host of his Lord. David was indignant. So he took his shepherd’s sling, grabbed a few stones, knocked Goliath on the block, and chopped off his head.
What David and Goliath Is Not About
Many think David’s defeat of Goliath is a story of personal courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
They see David as the archetypal underdog, an Old Testament Rocky Balboa, standing up to an arrogant, powerful blowhard.
They see him as a self-confident, independent young man who was brave enough to fight for what was right and rely on his own strength and skills, rather than conform to conventional tactics.The popular moral of the story is this: Get out there and face down your giant because the heroically courageous come out on top.
But that is not at all what this story is about. It’s true that David was courageous, and courage is an essential, glorious virtue. But when he faced Goliath, David’s courage was a derivative virtue. It was being empowered by something else.
The Source of David’s Courage
Before looking at where David’s courage came from, we need to ask why Saul and his soldiers lacked it, at least at this moment. On the surface, the answer seems manifestly obvious.
The Philistine champion was about nine-feet tall and incredibly strong (1 Samuel 17:4–7). He was a highly trained, experienced massacre machine who had sent many opponents to meet their Maker (1 Samuel 17:33).
Physically, every man in the Hebrew camp was outclassed. Fighting Goliath looked suicide, plain and simple.
But it is not so plain and simple. First of all, because fighting Goliath didn’t look suicide to David, who was as physically outclassed as anyone else.
But also, because these men believed in God and knew Israel’s history. They knew the stories, how God had overcome one giant adversary after another.
Many of them had personally seen God do amazing things, such as Jonathan’s defeat of a Philistine garrison in 1 Samuel 14.
No, the men lacked courage to face Goliath because at this moment the men lacked faith. At this moment, for whatever reason, despite all the stories and past experiences, Goliath looked bigger than God. Each man believed that if he went out against this humungous human, he would be on his own and end up as bird food (1 Samuel 17:44).
David’s Deep Confidence in God
So what made David different? It was not because he had the self-generated, raw, cool courage of the American action-movie hero. What fueled David’s courage was his confidence in God’s promises and God’s power to fulfill them.
In the preceding chapter, Samuel the prophet had informed David that God had chosen him to be the next king of Israel and anointed him with his brothers around him (1 Samuel 16:13). David knew this information when he arrived in the camp and heard Goliath’s sneering rants. And he drew additional confidence by remembering how God had helped him in the past (1 Samuel 17:34–36).
This reality was David’s courage wellspring. He was not self-confident; he was God-confident.David believed that God would never break his promise, and if Goliath made himself an obstacle to God’s promise, God could flick him the way with a pebble.
David saw God as bigger and stronger than the fearful Philistine.
So he went out to fight knowing that God would give him victory over Goliath — and when he did, the victory would demonstrate God’s power and faithfulness, not David’s courage (1 Samuel 17:46–47).
What’s the Source of Your Courage?
Courage is not an autonomous, self-generated virtue. Courage is always produced by faith, whether our faith is in God or something else. Courage is a derivative virtue.
For the Christian, a lack of courage, what the writer of Hebrews calls “shrinking back” (Hebrews 10:37–38), is always evidence of a lack faith in a promise of God.
Some “Goliath” is looming larger than God in our sight and taunting us into humiliation. All we see is how weak and pathetic we are, and how inadequate we are to face him.
Fighting him seems impossible, and the thought immobilizes us.
All of us experience this fear. So did David. David is such a helpful example for us, not only because he fueled his confidence and courage to face Goliath from God’s promises, but also because he so frequently felt fearful and needed to encourage his soul again by remembering God’s promises. A quick read through the first 25 psalms shows how often David battled fear and unbelief.
Get Angry at Fear
But faith made David more than courageous. When he heard the Philistine defy the living God and his army, it made David angry. Goliath’s taunts and accusations scorned God’s glory. And when no one stepped up to defend God’s name, it made God look weak. David would not tolerate that.
And such should also be our response to every fear and “lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Our fears are not primarily about us, even though they feel that way. Our fears are primarily about God. They impugn God’s character and call him weak, or non-existent. They defy God and his church.
That is an outrage, and our call is to stop cowering and stand up to our fears, not allowing them to intimidate us into unbelief.
In the new covenant, we are not to battle flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), but to love our human enemies (Luke 6:27). However, we are to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Our “Goliaths” are our indwelling sin and the “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
And we are to wield warfare weapons against them (2 Corinthians 10:4), including the shield of faith and the sword of God’s word (Ephesians 6:16–17). We are to aim to kill.These giants, who are bigger than we are and very intimidating to our flesh, will be slain just David’s was — by faith. And our courage to face them will not come from our self-confidence. It will only come from confidence in God’s powerful promises.