Take Courage

Take Courage.

Courage. This word has been staring me in the face throughout the first quarter of 2024, and if the year continues in the same direction, it may just be my journey’s companion throughout the remainder. Merriam-Webster defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”. But the Oxford Learning definition of courage challenges me even further: “the ability to do something that frightens one”.

Recently I asked the Lord to download a Rhema word into my heart, a “now” word, if you will. I was asking for something that was divinely dispatched for the community of ministry wives I lead at Sanctuary, but also for the myriad of Christ-followers who reach out, asking how to deal with what 21st-century culture is throwing our way on the daily.

“I don’t want to recycle content, or provide something that everybody else is already saying, just repackaged. I desire to speak something fresh that will challenge the status quo in today’s ministry families.”

The Holy Spirit simply said, “Take courage; take up courage.”

There it was (again). Courage.

Friends, if I’m being transparent, typing the words “withstand danger, fear, or difficulty” picks up the beat of my heart’s rhythm a bit. The truth is, very few of us are running out in a quest to discover danger, anxious to face our fears, craving difficulty. Like praying for patience, who is chasing an opportunity to cultivate courage? Nah, I’d rather grab a slice of cake, pour a cup of steaming hot tea, grab a throw blanket, and curl up with a good book or a remote control in my hand. Comfort? Count me in!

When you begin to dig into Scripture, you’ll quickly discover that the term courage is primarily mentioned when faced with something new–a transition of leadership, a change of scenery, an unforeseen battle just ahead, or an act of obedience was required. And for many, it may not represent true danger, but just doing something that frightens them personally. Even the bravest among us has hidden fears like the fear of being alone, the fear of failure, missing one’s destiny, letting down a spouse or friend, a new season in life like empty-nesting or new parenthood, even trying out a new lane of vocation or ministry.

When I look about this world of ours, and recognize the pervading evil that has not only infiltrated our culture, but our churches, I am struck by the all-too-often absence of courage in those leading out in front. But how can we expect the next generation to garner courage, if we don’t model it effectively? Consider those who were prompting many of the “take courage conversations” throughout Scripture. Those were exchanges in leadership; one generation passing the baton onto the next generation.

  • Moses to Joshua. (Joshua 1)
  • David to Solomon. (1 Chronicles 22)
  • Elijah to Elisha. (2 Kings 2)
  • Jesus to His disciples. (John 16)
  • Paul to Timothy. (2 Timothy 1)

In each situation, the makeup of the surrounding culture was growing progressively worse with the steady dominance of sin and evil. Self-serving lifestyles have yet to decrease, but only increase with the pervasiveness of sin. My husband has often said, “This world is rocking and reeling from the ramifications of sin.” And as we approach the Rapture of the Church, that great catching away of those who have chosen to follow Jesus, our world will not likely become a greater place of peace and joy, but mass destruction and degradation.

Such a forecast is anything but encouraging, and undoubtedly discouraging…unless a generation rises up with courage and passes it on to the next generation, arming them for the battle just ahead.


I picture Moses in my mind as he was staring death in the face, knowing his end was near. His conversations with Joshua were perhaps growing more and more frequent as he anticipated the handoff. Moses knew the nature of humanity better than most as he had been charged with the mission of leading millions of “complaining saints” through less-than-idyllic conditions. In his flesh, Moses was probably ready to wrap this thing up, and yet he had come so far, accomplished so much, and seen God do the miraculous. Now was no time to “drop the ball”. He needed and desired for Joshua to pick up where he was leaving off and…take courage. Be bold. Be courageous. Lead with integrity. Brave the attacks. Do something that frightens you.

As you look about you, in your God-assigned territory, what is something that frightens you? What situation is staring you in the face that you’ve been afraid to confront? What individual is hijacking your mission? What sin is threatening your effectiveness–in your life personally or in the life of someone with influence in your church, ministry, on the job? Take a moment even now, close your eyes, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you. Because you and I both know that, until we name it, we cannot and will not confront it.

What frightens you?

Now that you have a visual, remind yourself of the vision. For each of the exchanges I mentioned in Scripture, included was a mandate from God, a plan of action, and a fresh realization that the next in line would not be stepping out solo. He would have courage as he kept in step with the same God who led his predecessor. “Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed. Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the Lord…”, David said to his son Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:13b-14).

God has given you a vision. And He has one for the generation among us, and the one just beyond us. But will the next generation have an inheritance of courage transferred to them? Or will they witness us shrinking back, unwilling to do the next hard thing, speak the bold message entrusted to us, know God’s Word for ourselves, and obey it without apology? Will they learn to do something that frightens them because they’ve watched us live with courage?

Take courage. Take up courage. Friend, I don’t know what enemy is standing in your way, but I do know this: the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is dwelling in you. Paul challenged the Roman believers by saying, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11 AMP) The prerequisite for courage? Christ’s Spirit, living in you.

Perhaps the true definition of courage could be this, then: Allow the resurrecting Spirit of Christ dwell inside your life in such a fashion that even your mortal body is confident enough to drown out fear and persevere.

You can do it, through Christ, brave one. Take courage.

Share This


Leave a Comment