Becoming Courageous

Posted by admin on Feb 15, 2012 in Blog | 26 comments

Becoming Courageous

I was recently asked if I would speak at my church’s upcoming Ladies Retreat.  My heart immediately leaped with excitement at the thought of sharing my testimony to a large group of women.  I accepted the challenge and started thinking about this wonderful opportunity I’ve been given.   However, my feelings soon turned to fear and anxiety.   I wondered, “Will I be able to clearly deliver the message I’ve been called to proclaim?”

In search for the answer to my question, I was led to one of my favorite stories in the Bible.  It includes Moses begging God to get him out of a mission he was asked to fulfill.  Moses felt the need to remind God that he was not an eloquent speaker.  “The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? …It is not I, the Lord?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Exodus 4:11-12).

I find it extremely comforting to know our Heavenly Father will provide us with the words when needed and we don’t have to worry.   When we are on the journey towards growing both emotionally and spiritually, we surrender our fears to the Lord and we fully depend on Him to give us courage and strength.  We are able to enjoy His peace because He promises,  “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).

What has God taught you about becoming courageous?   Do you rely on the Lord to give you the courage and strength to conquer His goals for your life?

 


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26 Comments

  1. avatar

    I’m right there with you Danielle!!! It has been such an amazing experience as I’m preparing my own testimony for the retreat. I have spent quite a lot of time just sitting and trying to listen…to make sure I am hearing what God wants me to share with these women. It’s funny, as I’ve been journaling and working on this, my testimony is turning out to be completely different than I thought it was going to be. I am learning so much as I go on this journey and I am craving my quiet time with the Lord more than anything. (How appropriate to finally have mastered the point of the Made to Crave class I’ve led!) I’m so excitted to share this process with you…as usual thank you for your beautiful words of inspiration!
    Love,
    Shelley

  2. avatar

    Praise God! Thank you for sharing your experiences as you prepare for the same awesome opportunity, Shelley! I look forward to hearing your testimony at the retreat and learning more about how God has been working in your life. I’m inspired by your commitment to use this process to bring you and others closer to our magnificent Creator! “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished” (I Chronicles 28:20).

  3. avatar

    In leading a Mini-Church, this is something I have had to come to grips with from time to time. There have been occasions when I have become overly confident in my own abilities and knowledge, and prepared for speaking and teaching the group in my own power, instead of letting God gently guide me along. Whenever that has happened, the presence of the Spirit is severely lacking and things don’t quite turn out as planned. It’s then when I remember this is God’s group, God’s people, and I am just a vessel through which He will speak. It’s not of my own power but His alone that people will be blessed and admonished, including myself. Going into an endeavor on our own volition is never advisable, and can be quite scary when you get right down to it. But when we fully submit to God, and the vast power He is ready to funnel through us, we will be amazed at the results. Situations will always arise that we will face with trepidation and doubt. But, when we let God be God and fully yield control over to Him, as the verse Danielle quoted above states, He will lovingly take us by the hand to comfort and guide us through any situation. Praise His mighty name!

    • avatar

      Josh, it has been amazing to watch what God is teaching you as you lead in our Mini-church group. I love how you are listening to the Lord speak to you and guide you in the process. I pray that we continue to be filled with the Spirit and submit to the Lord’s will for our lives. It’s scary and exciting at the same time!

  4. avatar

    I am a work in progress… Fortunately, we have a gentle Father than tends to provide a pregression of steps along our path to train and teach us how to be courageous under His covering. He will not call us without also equipping us to do whatever He asks. The ladies who will hear your heart, your testimony, will be blessed because He has authored your book.
    God bless as you go forth in courage!
    -Shannon

  5. avatar

    Thank you so much for your encouragement, Shannon. I need it! I think there is going to be about 240 ladies hearing me share my testimony. I’m continually praying and preparing my heart and mind for this opportunity!

  6. avatar

    Hi Danielle,
    I wanted to comment on how I am continually learning to rely on the
    Lord-
    If we rely on Him in the small things He helps us rely on Him with the
    seeming bigger things – like speaking in front of a big group.
    So cultivating a vibrant life with the Lord helps me rely on Him. Not
    anything you didn’t know, and pretty basic I know, but it is true. :-)
    Another thing that helps me speak in front of people (which by the way
    makes me really nervous!) is I have to be confident in the Lord I have something to say. I don’t want to say anything if I have nothing to say. So praying and knowing what God wants is paramount in regard to speaking,
    and it requires faith. :-)
    I am praying for you and have heard wonderful things about you from Ellen.
    I look forward to what God is going to do thru His women!

  7. avatar

    Carol, I truly appreciate your kind and helpful words. I need advice from my sisters in Christ! Thank you for admitting that you get nervous when you have to speak in front of a big audience. I never knew that! I love what you wrote, “If we rely on Him in the small things He helps us rely on Him with the seeming bigger things.” I needed to be reminded of that. Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and support! It means so much to me.

  8. avatar

    Danielle,

    So true yet something we all at times struggle with. It is when we come to the end ourselves and realize that we can do nothing apart from the Lord and surrender whatever it is we are facing to Him that we obtain the victory. Thanks for this great reminder!

    Keep being Courageous in Him!

    Tony

    John 15:5

  9. avatar

    Thank you, Tony! I really appreciate the encouragement. John 15:5 is an excellent verse- “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Powerful words we all need to remember!

  10. avatar

    Danielle, reading that was such an encouragement to me! It’s so exciting to see people growing closer to the Lord. Your post made me think about witnessing to others. Sometimes, out of fear of not knowing what to say, I let opportunities slip by. It’s when I fully surrender my fears to God, and have faith in His strength, that He works things out way better than I could have expected. When I have faith, He provides the boldness I need. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” -Romans 1:16

  11. avatar

    That’s true, Diane! This applies to whether we are speaking to one person or hundreds of people. Thank you for that reminder! I’m so glad that you posted your thoughts on this topic and mentioned a fantastic verse that motivates us not to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. May we all continue to boldly and courageously share the good news!

  12. avatar

    I have recently been challlenged in my professional life to speak up and defend my Savior Jesus Christ from mocking and ridicule. I am often in the presence of non believers who think it wise to put down the name and person of Jesus… almighty God!!! Admittedly, I have stood by too many times and not spoken up to defend His holy name. I may not agree, but I also may not say anything or quickly change the subject. Oh wretched man that I am! I must admit, there is never a time I do not feel ashamed after such a mistake. How can I be used of God boldly if I won’t defend His name when business and reputation are on the line? How in the world could I possibly care more about what man thinks of me rather than the souls of men bound for death and destruction. I want to be better in that moment… To step up to the CHALLENGE and test of proclaiming the name of the Lord and His righteousness even to the point of personal persecution by the world around me. Jesus tells us in His word, “therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in Heaven… But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in Heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). Jesus is crystal clear about this point in His word. He reminds us time and again we can not serve two masters… We can not be bold for Him at church or among saints and cowards for Him in our private/professional lives. The Bible tells us tougher times are ahead for Christians on this Earth. Who will each of us be in those days? I want to learn now how to speak up for Him and proudly name His awesome name to all who know me not just those who worship with me.

  13. avatar

    Marcus,

    Wow… I couldn’t agree more with your post. This is an area I too have been struggling with and challenged with recently…I feel so ashamed when I don’t stand up for the Lord in the some of my work situations. Oh wretched man that I am…. I am so thankful that God’s grace is enough and that He loves us even when we don’t deserve it… Thanks for sharing your comments and for your honesty. I too want to “be better in the moment and step up to the CHALLANGE” of boldly declaring Christ through my words and actions in every aspect of my life.

    Pressing on together with you,

    Tony

  14. avatar

    Marcus and Tony, that is one of those verses that when I read it I say to myself,”Wow!” God doesn’t mess around. This life isn’t Mario Brothers where if we fall into the fiery pit we get another fresh life starting at the beginning. No, instead we get one chance to live according to the scriptures, witness to others, and bring God the glory and honor He deserves. I have to remind myself that we need to make the best of the time we have, and maintain a sharp focus and determination. But at the same time, instead of living in fear and shame, the amazing thing about God’s plan is that he fills us with courage, strength, and JOY to spread His gift of salvation to others. I think when we actually realize that other people can have a real relationship with their creator just as we have, it makes it easier to want to share this truth with them. Of course people will ridicule and have disdain for our beliefs. If they don’t have Christ how can we expect them not too? No matter how people treat me, I have been trying to transform my mind to think of people as being horribly lost, blinded in the deepest darkness, grasping for something to show them the way out into the light. The lost of this world need us. We are the fishers of men. We’re not here for ourselves, but to love others and be a servant to the world in the name of Christ. My prayer is that Christ will continue to transform my mind and heart to be ever more capable to bring this Good News to others.

  15. avatar

    Marcus, Tony, and Josh-
    It is absolutely wonderful to read about how you desire to fearlessly stand up for Christ. I pray that many more men will commit to this very important challenge.

    “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”
    (I Corinthians 16:20)

  16. avatar

    This is such an amazing truth, but also one that is hard to remember! Often when I look at a situation, I am tempted to first worry, and then look to God. It would be so much easier if it was the other way around. God is willing and ready to provide EVERYTHING that I need for the purpose he has called me too. Great post. =)
    - Aimee

  17. avatar

    I agree, Aimee! I always love reading your thoughts and learning more about what God is teaching you in your life. :)

    “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

  18. avatar

    What a wonderful reminder of God’s strength in our lives. Thank you for your testimony.

  19. avatar

    Hi Dicky, thank you for your comment. May we all continue to rely on the Lord for the courage to share our testimony!

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

  20. avatar

    I have grown to just be obedient. If God place something on my heart then I submit to His will. Yes, I use to get the butterflies but I rather be obedient because my reward is far greater than man’s ridicule of me.
    Who am I anyway to think I am better than Jesus. He was ridiculed but HE still obeyed His Father Who Art In Heaven. Yes, God will equipp us with the tools we need. He must test us to see if we will stand on His word or depart from it.

    You have a beautiful blog here, and thank you for visiting Christian Comfort & Conversation Cafe. Sharing God’s word is pleasing to God.

    Shenine
    A Woman After God’s Own Heart♥

  21. avatar

    Hi Shenine,
    Thank you for adding what God has taught you. You have reminded me about the importance of being obedient to our Heavenly Father. I love how you said you would rather be obedient to the Lord because your reward is far greater than man’s ridicule. Amen! May you continue to become a mighty and courageous woman for God!

    I’m very happy that you commented on my site. I look forward to visiting your blog again and learning more about what God is teaching you!

  22. avatar

    I’m glad you liked my blog. I hope to see you there more..God bless you

  23. avatar

    Hi Betty, thank you for visiting my site. I would love to continue to read your blog. May you continue to follow God’s call to write!

  24. avatar

    God has been speaking to my husband and me about “courage” for quite some time. I believe He was preparing us for a step we’ll be asked to take in the near future. Which will require courage. I am thankful to see other believers also being called to be courageous!

  25. avatar

    Cristal, that’s exciting you and your husband feel God is leading you to something that will require you to demonstrate courage! I look forward to learning more about what God is calling you to do. May you continue to rely on the Lord for strength!

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