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5 Scriptures Guaranteed to Give You Courage

5 Scriptures Guaranteed to Give You Courage

There are many situations in life that require courage, but oftentimes it feels as though it can’t be mustered in the moments that we need it most. It’s not a virtue that can be faked or manipulated.

However, with the help of Jesus, His Word, and His Spirit, we can find a strength and boldness that could never be procured on our own accord.

Below are 5 common but difficult struggles that many of us encounter in life, each one bookended with two scriptures that are guaranteed to provide the bolstering that is necessary to press forward with courage.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Siri Stafford

  • 1. When You Are Forced Outside Your Comfort Zone

    1. When You Are Forced Outside Your Comfort Zone

    “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

    Whether it is stepping into a new job, sharing vulnerably in a Bible study, or asking your crush out on a date, saying yes to situations that stretch you can feel terrifying. We all have an innate desire for protection and safety; this instinct stems from a good and necessary part of our survival as humans.

    However, the problem arises when we forget God’s promise of protection and start believing that it is up to ourselves to ensure. As we see in the Psalm above, the courage to boldly step into those risky situations comes from the assurance that it is the Lord who provides the covering that we need in life.

    We don’t have to constantly guard ourselves, because He is our hiding place in the midst of uncertainty. We can trust our safety with Him who loves us with a deeper care than we have even for ourselves, and as a result we can experience the confidence to step out of our comfort zone like never before.

    Take the leap, step out of the boat, and know that your Heavenly Father has your back--and is so proud of you for trusting Him!

    "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." Prov. 18:10, ESV

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  • man biting nails scared worried fear of death

    2. When You Are Longing for Control 

    "He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night." Ps. 121:3-6

    Do you ever find yourself lying awake at night as your mind reels through all the “what if’s” of a situation that is worrying you? Though rationally we know that there is no actual benefit to dwelling on the worst-case scenarios, it is easy to deceive ourselves into a sense of control by overplanning or anticipating harm.

    We let ourselves believe that by visualizing all the situations where things could go wrong, we can somehow prevent or simply dampen the pain that we fear is impending.

    Imagine, however, the freedom that could come if we were willing to let go of that grasping for control, and instead release our fate into the hands of Him who promises to watch over us through all hours of the night and day. While initially the discipline to reign in that mind cycle of worry feels difficult and scary, we can encounter peace and rest by refocusing our attention on His care that is described throughout Scripture, particularly in the Psalms.

    As we let go of control and place it in His hands, we can find comfort as we remember that even if that worst case scenario does become reality, the one thing that we really need in life--Jesus--will never be lost. 

    "Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." Ps. 73:25, 26 NLT

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  • 3. When You Feel Stuck in Unbelief 

    3. When You Feel Stuck in Unbelief 

    “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matt. 17:20

    While it is easy enough to remind believers of God’s promises that are peppered throughout the Bible, what do we do when we are struggling to believe those Scriptures? How do we find comfort and courage in God when we are grappling with doubt in His goodness, or even in His existence altogether?

    While seasons of unbelief can feel terribly jarring and discouraging for us to encounter, God is neither surprised nor dismayed when those doubts set in. The beauty of the Gospel is that it centers on Christ’s moving toward us, rather than on our own strength of faith. When we are faced with the depressing reality of our waywardness of mind and heart, we can remember we have a God who is in the business of working mightily through weak and broken vessels.

    While it takes courage to have faith in the midst of unbelief, we are not alone in that effort. Take a look at the story from Mark 9 of Jesus casting out a demonic spirit from a young boy. The boy’s father, though admittedly struggling to believe that Jesus could rid his son of this evil spirit that had plagued him for years, approached Jesus and asked for help anyway.

    Instead of trying to deny or solve his apprehensions, the father simply came as he was. Jesus acknowledged the father’s doubt and yet met him with grace and power as he granted his request to rid the boy of his demons. Even when it feels like we have more doubt than trust, more questions than assurances--Jesus is faithful to show up, listen, and bridge the gap of our unbelief.

    “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24, ESV

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  • 4. When You Are Struggling with Worry

    4. When You Are Struggling with Worry

    "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Zeph. 3:17, ESV

    The words from this Bible verse brought me particular peace during the pangs of childbirth, and they continue to provide help as I learn to trust my loved ones into God’s care. I keep a print of the passage framed in the nursery when my babies are young. I recite it to them each night before laying them in bed, as a way of comforting both of us with the promise of God’s presence and protection regardless of what the night may bring.

    While usually there is no real danger threatening me or my children while we sleep at night, there are plenty of fears that creep into my mind nonetheless. What if they are a victim of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)? What if they cry and I’m not there to comfort them? As they grow older, the fears continue: what difficulties will they encounter at school and out in the world when I’m not there to look out for them?

    In what ways will my own sin and weaknesses as a mom contribute to their pain in life? How comforting it is to remember Jesus, who left heaven and entered the world as a baby Himself. Not only is He looking out for me, but He is also looking out for those whom I hold dear. He is with us, whether we are facing monsters under the bed or the most dangerous realities of life.

    The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).Matt. 1:23

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  • A sad woman sitting on the floor, The universal virus of sin

    5. When You Are Enduring a Season of Darkness

    "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Ps. 40:1-2

    Waiting requires a different kind of courage -- one that often feels even more difficult than those situations where you are making a choice to step into an intimidating situation. This type of waiting can feel excruciating, especially when you don’t see a way out, or you are mourning a loss that you can’t imagine ever recovering from.

    The faith to wait means having a willingness to be still in the midst of discomfort, usually for an unforeseen amount of time.

    However, it is in that lonely place of darkness and hopelessness that Christ meets us with a comfort that no other vessel can provide. He empathizes with our pain, welcomes our cries for relief, and gently points us to hope in the day when all things will be made new.

    Not only does He provide the immediate companionship and provision that we need in our waiting, but also spurs our hearts to look forward to the end of all the sadness, pain, fear, and death that plagues us. Not only will those troubles be stopped, but they will be replaced with a peace and joy that overshadows even the deepest valley of this world.

    Even though there are many sorrows in this life for which we cannot imagine a satisfactory restoration, we can simply cling to Jesus in the meantime and rely on Him to provide the hope that we need to take the next step forward. 

    “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:4

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    Julie Davis is a retired ballet dancer-turned-homeschool mom of 3 young daughters. Her passion is for walking alongside fellow believers and reminding them of the grace and power of the Gospel in their lives. She loves to ponder and laugh at the adventures of life and motherhood via her Instagram and blog. Julie and her husband George live in Richmond, Virginia and enjoy hosting friends, getting outside, and sipping on moderately priced bourbon.