Knowing the battles he would have to fight in order to conquer the Promised Land, God told Joshua three times: ‘Be strong and of good courage.’ Anytime you move forward, obstacles will block your path. Count on it!
H.G. Wells asked, ‘What on earth would a man do with himself, if something did not stand in his way?’ What did he mean? That adversity is your friend—even when it feels like your enemy. Every obstacle you face reveals your strengths and weaknesses, shaping you and making you wiser and more confident.
Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: ‘Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.’ Anytime you leave your comfort zone and step out in faith to follow God, you will be tested. But you will also reach heights you thought were beyond you and go further than others with greater talent who settled for less.
Paul wrote of suffering in this way to the people of Corinth: ‘All this is for your sake so that, as His grace spreads, more and more people will give thanks and glorify God. That’s why we are not discouraged… This light, temporary nature of our suffering is producing for us an everlasting weight of glory.’ (2 Corinthians 4:15–17 ISV)
Courage can be defined as simply ‘not giving up’.