Nothing Changes Without Courage

God wants to use your life to change the world, but I’ve learned that this will not happen without courage. The trouble is that there is a lot of confusion over just what it is.
Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is the Director of Come&Live! and is the younger son of David and Jodi Pierce. Come&Live!’s vision is to create a worldwide mission community that will provoke and inspire Christian artists to use their God-given creativity to revolutionize the world for Jesus.
Instagram: @nzbenpierce
Twitter: @benalanpierce

Website: www.steiger.org/benpierce

The first thing we need to understand is that courage is always based on something.

I am bold in a fight because I believe that I am stronger than my opponent. I can stand up in front of strangers and speak because I am confident that the audience will appreciate what I have to say. So often, God stirs up our hearts and we feel compelled to act, but we don’t follow through. Why? It’s likely that our courage is not founded on what it should be.

We may measure the problem against our talents or resources and think, “This isn’t adding up. I don’t have what it takes.” Or maybe we focus on our struggles and think, “I’m too weak and too sinful. There’s no way God can use me.”

In both cases, the issue lies in the fact that we are looking to ourselves. We are no match for the problems in the world today. They are too big; we are too small. They are complex, and we lack wisdom.

Our boldness cannot depend on what we have or do not have. If it does, we will shrink back and do nothing. Instead, it must come from who God is.

For a time, our family lived on the edge of the red light district in Amsterdam. One day, rival gangs were fighting on the street just below our apartment building. A police officer showed up and without hesitation, charged into the middle of the brawl. Immediately, the two groups of armed gangsters froze, dropped their weapons, and took off down the street. It was a strange scene: one cop chasing down a mob. After pursuing them for a hundred feet or so, he suddenly turned around and ran back to his car, presumably to call for backup. It was as if it had finally dawned on him that he was sorely outnumbered!

This bizarre scene illustrates a critical principle. This officer so believed in the authority of the police force that he was willing to run alone into the middle of great danger. Similarly, understanding God’s authority over all things gives us the ability to respond to whatever He is calling us to.

Real courage comes from looking to God.

Billy Graham famously said, "Believers, look up - take courage. The angels are nearer than you think."

This simple statement reveals a lot about his understanding of courage. He recognized that the source of real courage is a profound awareness of God’s power and authority over all things. By looking to Him, we can overcome fear in all situations because He is greater than anything we will ever face.

As Jesus reminds us in John 16:33, “...in this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

But sometimes we can’t see or feel God, and need to act anyway. This is because, ultimately, courage is not an emotion.

Have you ever felt brave one second, only to lose heart the next? This happens when our courage is based on feelings - which are unstable, vulnerable, and don’t always reflect reality.

Have you met a person who is sad even though everything around them is going well? Or the person who is happy even when everything is falling apart? Emotions are unreliable and a poor reflection of what is true. They are part of the human experience and, though not inherently wrong, they shouldn’t be in charge.

Through many years of experience, I have learned that courage is a decision. Like anything important such as love, patience, or discipline, we must choose it. There are times when I feel like serving my wife, but most days I’d rather serve myself. For the sake of my marriage and out of a desire to obey God, I choose to ignore my feelings, and I decide to serve her whether I want to or not. In the same way, we must decide to act boldly.

I have been in full-time ministry for over ten years, and I have felt a lot of fear. Yet, I have learned that real courage is not the absence of fear, but rather a willingness to do what is right despite it.

Ephesians 2:10 makes it clear that God has prepared a plan for your life. He has uniquely equipped you, placed you in a particular context and, if you are willing, He will use you to make a difference.

But you’re going to need courage because without it, nothing changes.

Related items

  • Episode 163: The World Thinks We’re Weird, and It’s Our Fault!

    In this episode, David shares about his day as a wedding singer in southeastern Turkey.

    The guys then move on the critical subject of relevance. They ask whether we have become foreigners in our cities and how we can become relevant in sharing the Gospel in secular culture. They talk about the need to develop authentic relationships with nonbelievers to learn how to communicate the Gospel effectively outside of the church.

    This discussion is vital to any Christian wanting to use their lives to reach people for Jesus!

  • Episode 162: Talking Total Loss and Finding Jesus with Austin Carlile (Of Mice and Men/Attack! Attack!)

    While in Hawaii for a Provoke&Inspire conference, Austin Carlile (Of Mice and Men/Attack! Attack!) joins Ben, David and Chad in person to share his story, the loss he’s experienced in his life, how he found Jesus in the midst of everything and what God is doing in and through his life now!

  • Episode 161: Are Your Trading Significance for Comfort? Estonia Road Report!

    In the latest Provoke and Inspire podcast episode, David and Ben talk about a difficult No Longer Music show in Estonia.

    They discuss how easy it is to see things through human eyes and how often we say we want to serve God but want to be comfortable.

    They ask the critical question does a significant life require challenge, and is it possible to make a difference without facing hardships?

  • Would Jesus Watch Game of Thrones?

    *This blog post is a follow-up to Episode 157 of the Provoke & Inspire Podcast: “Should Followers of Jesus Be Watching Game of Thrones?"*

    To listen to the full episode click here.

  • Episode 160: Do You Call Yourself a Christian but Have the Faith of an Atheist?

    The latest podcast episode features Ben and David while on the road with No Longer Music. Huddled together in a sweaty Lithuanian lodge, the boys discuss the incredible things God is doing every night.

    Ben raises the critical question of why is it that we tend to live like an atheist despite believing in God? They share personal struggles in this area and share how they have learned to pray bold, faith-filled prayers amid adversity.

    This is a critical conversation for any follower of Jesus. Check it out!

    Don't forget to rate and review the podcast on iTunes:
    https://apple.co/2Itk3of

Come&Live!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE digital copy of "Revolutionary, Ten Principles That Will Empower Christian Artists to Change the World" by David Pierce.

Country
Please wait