Instinctively, we as humans hide or run away when we are afraid. This is why, so often in history, present-day and pop-culture, we admire those who are brave and decide to face their fears head-on.
We watch dozens of movies about superhero’s as the appeal of one person (or a team if you are into the Avengers like I am), faces insurmountable odds and becomes a champion.
We applaud local heroes like fire-fighters, police officers, military personnel and every-day do-gooders who keep the community safe.
We remember those in history who had the courage to fight, lead or persevere even though the ways of the world may have been against them.
We remember George Washington who lead a rag-tag army to beat back the greatest global superpower of that age.
We remember Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds into freedom and out of slavery.
We remember Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and other legends who tried to make the world a better place.
What do all of these people have in common? Courage.
There was another man in the Bible who revealed this character quality – Jonathan, the son of King Saul back in the days before David slew the giant.
In 1 Samuel Chapter 14, we find King Saul camped out with his pared down army of 600 troops underneath a pomegranate tree, protected from his enemies by a rocky chasm.
Now, King Saul in this moment showed fear and weakness and lacked leadership to have lost 2,400 men and to not have a plan for an offensive attack to beat back the Philistine Army (Israel’s top enemy). So, his son Jonathan took matters into his own hands and set off with his armor bearer to the Philistine’s outpost.
While they were climbing down a cliff making their way to the enemy’s camp, Jonathan said to his armor bearer: “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or few!”
They make it to the other cliff-side and Jonathan suggests that they call up to the Philistines, and if they respond by telling them to come up and fight, then the Lord will help them defeat them.
When those who were guarding the Philistine camp saw the two, they shouted at them, “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!”
This was the sign Jonathan was waiting for. He and his armor bearer clambered up the cliff and took out 20 men. Then, a panic suddenly swept through the camp, an earthquake struck, and the soldiers scrambled, terrified.
On the other side of the chasm, Saul’s army noticed the confusion of the enemy camp, and struck.
During the battle, Philistines killed Philistines, the Hebrews within the camp revolted, and the Israelites who had been in hiding, perhaps who had deserted the army in the first place, helped chase the survivors away.
And it is written that the Lord saved Israel that day – all because two men were brave enough to trust God for the victory.
Jonathan and his counterpart could have easily turned back and quit three times: When it was uncertain while waiting on God’s signal at the bottom of a chasm, when it required great physical effort to scale a cliff, and when it became dangerous and life-threatening at the top.
But they didn’t and showed true courage by being obedient to God and having great faith.
Do you have unstoppable courage today?
Do the things that matter in your life right now reveal where God has done great things because of courageous faith or are they only the result of going with the flow?
Living by faith is not a matter of knowing the future it’s a matter of knowing God’s will and purpose for your life and developing godly character.
What is it that God has asked you to do that requires courage?
It might be permeated with uncertainty; it might take effort, or it can even be dangerous – but God won’t ever leave you to fight your battles alone.
So, take heart today, and have courage. Whatever you are going through, God will be with you every step of the way.
In love and truth,
Copyright © 2020 by Melody Turner. All rights reserved. Written exclusively for MXTV (https://mxtv.org/courage-in-the-face-of-fear/) No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from MXTV.