Life is a series of experiences. Some are rewarding and successful as if God is right by our side, helping us all the way. Other times we may feel like our efforts have ended in disaster, and life is much too hard to endure! The natural human response to failure oftentimes is to isolate ourselves—withdrawing from the source(s) causing us such pain.
However, to live a wholehearted and courageous life, we need to expect some disappointing and unfavorable situations along the way. God never promised an easy life—one without discouragement. In fact, the Bible shows us in John 16:33 where Jesus reminded His own disciples that: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This passage tells us that God knows the difficulties we’re facing, and has a plan for helping us get through them with His power!
To stand strong against the less-than-ideal circumstances you encounter, it helps to have a pre-set plan in mind to embrace life with courage. This is a biblical mindset as well. We read throughout Scripture this order to rely on God when we’re afraid. One example is found in Deuteronomy 31:6 where we read: “Do not be afraid or terrified . . . for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
This combination of walking bravely with courage along with honest vulnerability are the ingredients for authenticity in relationships as well as trusting the Lord to guide us through life. This means we dare to practice courage even when we’re afraid.
Practical steps toward embracing life with courage:
First, decide which values drive your life activities, and then plan action steps accordingly.
- Do you value family?
- Rearrange your work schedule to be home by dinnertime most evenings.
- Finish that higher degree so you can get a different job with better hours and salary.
- Stay home with your kids while they’re young, even though it might severely reduce your family income.
- Do you value God?
- Teach a class at church or in a home small group study.
- Invite a neighbor to attend a Bible study with you.
- Forgive that person who has wronged you.
- What else do you place as high value? Friendship, cooperation, humor, security, truth, loyalty, wisdom, equality, compassion, fairness?
Begin with knowing what your values are, and then determine necessary steps to move closer to embracing your life with courage. Live the wholehearted life for which you were designed. There will always be disappointments, but we can get to the end of our lives with gratitude to God in knowing He has helped us embrace life with courage.