What If Courage Were Sold in a Bottle?
What if we could go to the store or pharmacy and purchase a bottle of courage as easily as a bottle of cough syrup? I believe that such a product would be flying off the shelves.
Courage is defined as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” It is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. It is bravery, especially in battle. There is no denying that we are in a battle like no other for our nation. Courage enables us to face pain, discouragement, loss, and hardship. It causes us to continue to speak up when we know there will be a cost.
Proverbs 24:10 tells us: If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! (NIV). Another translation renders that: If you faint when under pressure, you have need of courage (TPT).
America needs courage.
Winston Churchill stepped into history when he stepped into his role as prime minister during a time when it appeared Britain was already lost. Few would have been willing to take on the uphill battle to lead in that time of war against Hitler. His predecessor simply sought peace, but lacked the backbone to stand.
What about us?
The first year of Churchill’s administration, Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany. Churchill had made a promise that the British people would “never surrender.” And they didn’t. His courage and strength gave them courage.
Will we impart courage, or fear?
The way we live, how we respond, and the words that come out of our mouths will instill either fear or courage in our children, our grandchildren, and those all around us. When we live by courage, we impart courage.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., a physician and poet in the late 1800s, said: “Courage is about doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared. Have the courage to act instead of react.” This was not just a motto he lived by, but also something he imparted into his family line. His son, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., served as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1902 to 1932 and has become one of the most widely cited justices. It certainly appears that he learned courage as a child and then acted on it.
I look back to the days when I was in elementary school, when prayer was removed from the schools and abortion was legalized. I remember hearing adults lament over these tragedies, but, at least in the circles in which I lived, I don’t remember many who took action to actually try to stop what was taking place.
Our nation paid the price. We have paid a price. I don’t want my children looking back to say they never saw us stand up to defeat the tyranny now at work trying to take away our freedom. As we consider the path forward, may we recognize that sometimes the determination to stand against evil is just as important as actually defeating it.
What about the heroes of faith, those who chose courage, knowing that it could end in their death? What about young David, as he ran toward Goliath with only five stones and his trusty slingshot? Or Queen Esther, as she chose to go before the king to plead for the lives of her people? Or Jonathan and his armor-bearer, who climbed a hilltop, at a distinct military disadvantage, and nevertheless defeated 20 enemy soldiers — their actions thus imparting courage to the discouraged troops of Jonathan’s father, King Saul? Jonathan took courage because he understood: “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” (1 Samuel 14:6 NLT).
What about more modern-day heroes, such as Paul Revere, who rode through the night to alert military leaders and unsuspecting colonists that the British were coming? Or Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips along the Underground Railroad to free over 300 enslaved people between 1850 and 1860 — even with a $40,000 ($1.2 million in 2020 dollars) bounty on her head? Or how about “Tank Man” (also called the “Unknown Protester,” or the “Unknown Rebel”) — that unidentified young man in China in 1989 who stood alone facing down a column of armored tanks rolling down the street?
The ability to stand in the face of fear is a selfless act that stirs supernatural courage. It releases hope into the atmosphere and in others. As we consider our present-day fight for religious freedom, freedom of speech, the right to own property, and the right to bear arms and protect our families, may we remember that it is a fight that our children are watching and on which our nation hinges.
Courage may not come in a bottle, but it does come in a Book. It is where we must keep our eyes and hearts, firmly on Him as we continue in prayer — as we continue as one.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).
Lord, we look to You in these difficult times, knowing that nothing is impossible with You. Your Word is truth, and we plant our feet firmly on that truth: that You hear our prayers and our cry for help. Lord, we believe that America was founded as a nation upon Your Word. We pray that we would stand for religious freedom and to honor You. And so, now we choose to stand by faith, in the face of those who attempt to destroy our Constitution and the biblical values upon which it was created. We pray regarding the midterm elections, and we ask for Your intervention against corruption. We pray for godly leaders to be installed where unrighteous leaders have installed themselves. We pray for mercy and revival in our land.
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Karen Hardin is a literary agent and writer. She is the author of Infected: How to Stop the Global Spread of Rage, Deception and Insanity and God’s Justice after Injustice. Her work has been published in USA Today, Western Journal, WorldNetDaily, Intercessors for America, Charisma, and CBN.com, among other sources. Click here for an Oklahoma Voter Guide. Click here to receive a free copy of the How to Overcome Adverse Situations prayer guide. Photo Credit: Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash.
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