The Battle for Courage—A Hill to Die On by Shane Idleman
It may be a war of words rather than weapons, but America is as divided as it’s been since the Civil War.
The situation in 2 Chronicles 15:5-7 seems eerily similar to our situation today: “In those times there was no peace … but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands.” Years later, Israel faced another insurmountable situation: “We have no power against a great multitude that is coming against us nor do we know what to do” (20:12).
Can anyone relate? Fortunately, God doesn’t leave us without a battle plan. Although we don’t always know what the outcome will be, He calls us to be courageous. Here are just a few examples from 2 Chronicles.
Prepare Your Heart
One key principle we learn from King Jehoshaphat is that he prepared his heart to seek God (2 Chron. 19:3). Build courage by strengthening yourself in the Lord … by spending time reading and obeying His Word, as well as praying, fasting, and worshiping. We play like we practice. Or said another way, we fight like we prepare. Courage is the outflow of inner disciplines—little discipline, little courage.
Focus, Aim, Pull the Trigger
When I was young, my father often took us shooting. There were only seconds to aim and fire as targets darted through the air. If we took our eyes off the target, even for a second, we would miss the shot. The same holds true for developing courage. If we take our focus off of Christ, we can easily become discouraged. Jehoshaphat said, “But our eyes are upon You” (2 Chron. 20:12). He knew that focused attention is critical in battle.
Why would you walk willingly into the enemy’s camp? Why would you feed wrong desires and thoughts when they do nothing but war against the soul? If you’re losing the battle and becoming discouraged, look at your media diet. Is it instilling courage? If not, refocus your sights on Christ.
Courage is Caught
God’s battle plan always involves courage: “Act courageous and the Lord will be with you” (2 Chron. 19:11). Courage is important because it’s undergirded by trust and faith. In essence, we are saying, “Lord, I trust You so I’m going to step out in faith. I’m not going to fear. What can man do to me?” Courage meets fear with faith.
When difficulties come, let your children see you praying and seeking God rather than being upset or frightened. Our kids are watching. If we are angry or scared, we’re subtly telling them, “God can’t get us through this; we can’t really trust Him.” Courage is caught more than taught.