I believe faith and courage go hand in hand together. It takes a lot of strength to sometimes have faith when everything looks hopeless, but it takes courage to act out your faith. Let me explain.
According to the dictionary, courage means the ability to do something that frightens one or strength in the face of pain or grief.
Looking in the bible there are many people I can write about having faith in God’s word and having the courage to act it out.
One particular story I want to focus on is in Daniel 3:8-30, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, if you do not know it, do take the time to read it, but I will give a quick summary
King Nebuchadnezzar made a decree that everyone must bow down to a gold statue that he built and whoever doesn’t will be thrown into a blazing furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego went against that decree. The three of them refused to bow down to the statue which angered the king and led to them being thrown into the blazing furnace, but before the King ordered them to be thrown into the furnace, they were given another chance to change their minds but once again they refused. Daniel 3:16- 18 (NLT)
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
They had faith that God will save them from being thrown in the fire and had the courage to voice this out to the King knowing fully well the consequence of their disobedience. Even though death was looming they didn’t waver in their faith. The king made the fire seven times hotter for them but you know what God was with them. God said in Deut 31:6
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you."
For us to stand strong and be courageous and he will not leave nor forsake us. I believe these were the words the three men were holding on to. In Daniel 3:18 the three of them said even if God doesn’t save them they are not bowing down. Ask yourself are you that courageous?
There are a couple of things I could take from the story in regards to faith and courage. Their faith in God which gave them the courage not to bow down. One of my quotes this year is “feel the fear but do it anyway”. Don’t let fear hold you back from doing what God has placed in your heart to do or what the bible tells you to do, even if you are afraid do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed by it, talk to God about it and allow your faith to be bigger than your fears, doubts or whatever it is that is stopping you from taking the next steps needed.
The bible says to be strong and courageous. Deut 31:6 it is repeated again in verse 8, and again in Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Many people have faith in God but they are afraid so they don’t act out their faith, they do not take the next step to activate that faith. It is through your actions your faith comes alive. Faith is the belief it takes courage to act it out.
Secondly, the fire was supposed to burn Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego but God was with them and when the King saw they were still alive he brought them out and had no choice but to promote them because he saw the God which they served. sometimes it’s not what we say about God that stays with people but what we allow God to do through us to show himself to the world. your battle that you are going through right now you are going to be victorious. God will use it to elevate you like never before. You have just got to stay strong and be encouraged, you will come through better than before do not compromise in the midst of fear. Let the word of God fuel your faith and keep pushing you to have courage.