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Sometimes, I wish I had more courage. Some people seem to be fearless. They will try anything, go anywhere, talk to anyone, take multiple risks and enjoy it. Think about 17 year old David – a shepherd boy with no military training. He visits the Israelite army to deliver some care packages from home. He hears Goliath’s taunts. He wonders why no one in the army is willing to take on Goliath. Then he volunteers!

When the king of Israel hears about David’s offer, he tries to discourage him. “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” (1 Samuel 17:33). Yet David refuses the king’s discouragement. He refuses the king’s armor. Instead, he will fight goliath with his sling of stones. You all know the story. David strikes down Goliath and wins a great victory for Israel.

I wish I had more courage like that. It seems David just had a good dose of macho. He would take on anyone or anything. Except, it wasn’t like David went into this battle totally naïve and completely unprepared. David informed Israel’s king that he had actually face grave threats before in protecting the sheep – a lion and a bear. David had killed both of them. Yet David does not attribute his success to his own macho and skill. He says, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

You may also know that David continued to display great courage through his service to the king and the early years of his own reign. It all came because of his dependence on the Lord. Yet then he began to slide. At the height of his power, he got complacent. He sinned and then didn’t have the courage to admit it and deal with it. So he tried to cover it up. Later, he didn’t have the courage to discipline his own kids.

So in David’s story and our own, the key to courage is not absence of fear. It is moving forward in spite of our fears. It involves going forward because God is with us. He is strong though we are weak. To Joshua, the newly appointed leader of Israel, the Lord says, “Do not cower and do not be terror stricken for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9).

Is something causing anxiety or fear in your life today? Do you wonder if you will have the courage to overcome your fears? Well you don’t have to pretend to be fearless. With God’s presence, power and support, You can go forward in spite of your fears.

“Lord, it’s challenging to face our fears. We try to deny, ignore or press them to the background while we go about our day. But if we never face them, we will always have them. Help us to see we don’t have to dig deep to find some force within ourselves to face our fears. Instead, you will walk with us and empower us to overcome them one day at a time. So empower us with courage based on You today.”