When Trusting God Takes Courage

courage embraces

I’ve never been naturally courageous. I used to think this courage was something I should be able to muster up, manufacture on my own. And I failed miserably. For years, I battled this intense panic, the sort of head-racing thing that sucks your minds will, overpowers your very breath. The thing the turns your sane, positive thoughts against you and battles to control your brain.

Panic attacks, they walked with me most of my years. Grew up with me, got married, divorced, and raised my daughter with me. Even stood beside me as I became a Christian, and later, remarried a godly man.

And that made the Enemy very happy, because it stood in direct opposition to God’s plan.

Read When A Woman Finds Her VoiceChapter Eight, Dare to Be Brave.
Read Isaiah 35:4; Matthew 9:2; Matthew 14:27; John 16:33.

There’s a reason God’s pressing anthem is “do not be afraid.” He knows me, knows you, and he knows we’re going to face many knocking-knees situations. But he also knows how things are going to work out, and he wants us to trust him. That’s why he reminds us, over and over {and over}, “Don’t be afraid. I’ve got this. Trust me.” But when God reminds us not to be afraid, he calls us to take courage.

To those with an anxious heart, those in need of healing, to the hurting heart, to his disciples, and to the distressed and overwhelmed, God says, ‘take courage.

Take. Courage.

The words, they aren’t some simple cliche, some pat answer. God gives us what we need, and he commands we take it.


His, not ours.

It takes courage to consult God when we feel like running.

It takes courage to remember the good of the past with the hard of the present breathing down your neck.

It takes courage to hold to truth when lies blur our vision.

But this courage God offers is his! When he bids us, “take courage,” it’s as if he stands before us, arms extended wide, offering the very courage we need to face and overcome whatever situation in front of us. This courage, this Truth of his Word, it’s ours for the taking.


What are you most afraid of? Share with us below?  I imagine that’s the very thing the Enemy is trying to use against you and together we will pray this courage in your heart to overcome.

{Find more encouragement with Jo Ann’s recently released book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Using Your Story to Make a Difference.}

37 thoughts on “When Trusting God Takes Courage

  1. Mostly I am just afraid of failing. Not because I am proud; it’s not a pride issue. It is a practical one. What if I give my kids wrong advice or help? What if my business that I have launched never becomes sustainable? What if I fall behind on all of my financial obligations? What if my heart always feels the way it does all to often–pinched and smashed by grief from the loss of my husband and a million smaller griefs that come about?
    Your article hits to the heart of my concerns and the Lord keeps bringing the message around and around, like a ceaseless bout trying to pick up a man over board. It is God’s courage, His strength, and joy that will carry all of us. Not our own. Which, after telling myself again and again, “You need to get it together” I realize that yes, I need to do my part but really, it is the total reliance on God that He desires.

    • Watching you wrestle through this even here reminds me of David as he penned the Psalms, bringing our angst and insecurities right to the throne. And much like David did, you wrote right through the pain into the answers that will guide us on this path. Great post! And I’m praying courage for you this very moment. <3

  2. The thing I am most afraid of? Taking that leap, letting the world know about my dream, following through with what I believe God has showed me He wants me to do with my experiences. Because as soon as I put it out there, there is no turning back. The questions/fear I have; what if I fail? what if this is really my own dream and not actually His? Continually praying I have the trust and faith to take that last final leap.

  3. Courage – I’ve been called a brave person, I’ve done things that require courage. I value courage. Not bravado, or flash in the pan reckless actions but steadfast “Being afraid and saddling up anyway” (John Wayne quote) courage.

    I enjoy working in the background. Being behind the camera, not in front of it. I fear the realization of my dreams because they would require me to be less behind the scenes and more in front.

    Where the things that hurt me growing up would come back again (or maybe they would not – probably not, but fear is like that. It is not rational no matter how hard it tries). The mockery. The “who do you think you are’. The “you are too_______ and not enough__________’

    I dreamed last night of riding. Like a Tim Cox painting. An old, old dream with a tiny flash of potential that it could happen again. But am I too old? Is it too crazy? Too anything for God?

    Maybe part of it comes from being a fire fighter. You don’t do it for the glory. You do it to serve. I never fought on the fire line for hours and hours for anything else than the love of the job and to serve. I serve my family and I love them. Perhaps my time will come, until then I’ll wait prayerfully and with courage that God has this seeming chaos ordered to His will, and we are to be faithful and take courage.

    • I totally get feeling more comfortable being behind the scenes, behind the camera (we have that in common too). It is super hard for me to put myself out there for fear of being made a fool. I will pray for you too, my friend. <3

      • I think God creates us all with different gifts and needs to do for others. I used to think I was a background person and then I was put in a leadership position by default and really excelled. Being behind the scenes is not bad as long as you are not hiding!

  4. Courage…one of the things that others seem to see in me, yet I do not. I see all the insecurities and fears that I have. I fear failing, messing up, and sometimes even success because the more successful people think I am, the more they watch, then the greater potential for letting them down. I also fear that I will force God to change His mind about my future….and yet I know that God does not call someone and not use them.

    I have been thinking a lot about courage since reading this chapter. How it really isn’t mine and yet I need to take courage.

    • I have come to realize, courage only comes from Him and as long as we are doing what He wants us to, it will be just fine. Something I am working on this week myself. Prayers for you and your fears. <3

    • Fear is a natural response and good in some situations. I think if you felt confident in all areas you wouldn’t need God. He knows where to come in and fill the gaps. He’ll give you the courage when you need it.

  5. My biggest fear…that I die and find that God didn’t really know me. That I’m turned away from heaven. I don’t ever want to be separated from the God that I love.

  6. Well after last nights party, I gathered my courage and posted some comments on my Facebook. It might be buried under my opinion on spanking, but I let it be known under all friends and family that I was molested at young age. My first big step besides my immediate family and a few others friends that new. I’m still a little shaky as I know some will shy away from such open honesty but my hope is to encourage a few other family members to open up about theirs. I have no idea why we shy away from talking about it, when we all know who the few are. I image there are a lot more as my parents came from large families. But I’m not prepared to open that can of worms, yet. God is giving me answers about myself everyday. Hugs

  7. Courage for me has a lot of levels, and in so many ways I have surprising courage but those times are about doing what has to be done. When it comes to love though, I am overwhelmed by my sense of vulnerability. Reading this week’s chapter has me finding my teeth clenched. Reaching out to say I love you is scary, even “I love you too, God.” This has been the direction I’ve been traveling towards for many years now; it’s a bummer that the last part, instead of being easier, is the hardest.

    • Perhaps a true love with the One who knows all requires the greatest courage of all?

      Praying truth, and love, and a vulnerability that breeds a whole new you, friend.

      Thank you for your authenticity.


  8. I am great during an emergency. God has always given me the strength to help or take charge when I need to. My fear is what happens next? Seems like I can navigate through troubled waters just fine, but when those waters calm down I begin second guessing. Did I do the right thing? I play it over and over in my mind until I nearly drive myself crazy. I become hypercritical of myself and depressed. My husband is very patient with me. He talks me through it, gently tells me it’s okay to say “no” sometimes, and encourages me to keep up with my daily readings. In my heart I know that God always walks beside me, but in my head, I hear that other voice trying to break me. Your article definitely speaks to me. Especially when you said it takes courage to consult God when I feel like I am drowning. Great article. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Tami, thank you for allowing us in on your journey. You make it safe for us and others to express our own walk. I’m thankful for the patience in your husband and his support. May God strengthen and guide both of you as you walk through this healing road. You have a powerful voice, an important story, and it needs to be given the freedom to fully evolve. Practice patience with that blooming courage, my friend. It’s coming. <3

  9. As I thought about fear while answering The Voice Studio questions from chapter 8, the most prevalent theme centered around my ex-husband. I don’t think I was afraid of much before we got married. Afterward? Just about everything. I suddenly became even more inept at financial matters than I had been (quite a feat!), I became afraid of being alone because, of course, I wouldn’t know what to do. I became afraid to the point of debilitating panic attacks of his rage attacks and later just seeing him. In the past month, I’ve been much better, and I’ve been able to see him without having a break down.

    • Hey Bethany, I’m so sorry. We are in transition this week on the site and everything is a lil jumbled until Monday. We should be back to normal then. <3 Thank you for grace.

  10. Somehow I thought I had already commented on this. This courage thing has been on my mind a lot this week. I don’t feel like I have a lot of courage, and this idea that it is His courage that I need to take hold of and not my own….this is new to me. Yet it has me thinking again about my fears, which are sometimes of failure, sometime of success….but the biggest these days is being someone who disappoints God. I have to remember that God knows all to well about my humanness, and how I make mistakes. None of this ever catches Him by surprise.

    • Hey sweet friend … you did comment. We lost some of our comments when we made the transition over here. It’s some techy junk we’re battling. But we should be set by Monday with a completely revamped, easier to read site so bear with us.

      The more important issues, this courage that we take, yes, he knows our humanness, and he waits to us to grab hold. May we all always grab hold.

      Great to have you on this journey, Deanna. <3

  11. Growing up I loved Pippi Longstocking books. Why? She was brave and courageous. She was full of life and could do anything. I longed to be her. Over the last 9 years I found courage came when I was no longer living in fear. It was not overnight. It took time overcoming the lies my x-husband poured out on me on a daily basis. Looking back, it saddens me to think I gave someone so much power over me. In reality I know he took my power through manipulation and control. Freedom is such a wonderful thing. Loved this chapter.

    • I loved Pippi too! Oh how I wanted to be brave and strong and free. Love that. Love your story, Karen. You are inspiring, friend.

    • Oh my Goodness a long lost sister:
      when I was a teenager I worked @ the theater when the movie Pippi Long-stockings came out. There was a doll @ the box office & I wanted that doll so badly the manage created a contest whoever dresses up & looked most like Pippi while working the ticket booth would win!
      I did win but @ quite a price my hair was sprayed with sticks in it to stand out straight.
      The spray never washed out.
      What a fun memory, I could not access this week so sorry I missed it. Such a Beautiful share! Thank You Dear Karen

      • Marie,
        I love your story! So cool and I could see you all dressed up, braids sticking out, laughing and having FUN!

  12. Some of you participate in the yearly “One Word”. My word was courage. Even before I read the lesson for the second time, God called me to have courage to stand up and address a couple of issues in my life with other people. I am still praying for the correct way to do it, without trying to win, putting someone else down, or intimidation. Coming out of Co-Dependence, I still have to continue learning how to process things without fear. I still covet your prayers in this way as I will draw HIS courage to make godly decisions based on HIS Word and Will. Mary Y Robinson

    • Oh Mary, I love that God sees the motive of the heart. Praying continued pure motives for you as you learn this very healthy step. Take courage, friend. Your doing beautifully!

  13. Well i hit a major emotional snag over the holidays, and I pretty much just screeched to halt. Stopped following the encouraging blogs I knew I needed, especially the ones I knew would call me to action:/
    HOWEVER it was a huge step of courage that started it all, so although I feel like I wasted a couple weeks afterward, i’m trying to celebrate the fact that I spoke! I echo another’s comments here in wanting to learn balance as I recover from co-dependence. After feeling steamrolled by another’s manipulation and control, I do not now want to react in the same spirit!! In the end I’m proud of myself for confronting the situation; I only wish i had discerned where the line was. However the Lord showed me my expectation had been that person would “see the light” Now I realize what I feel I need from them is something they simply don’t have to give. I will have to find it in my Heavenly Father. Still I don’t regret speaking up. It was necessary and brave to do so.
    Now my next courageous step? That may be a different story.
    I wasn’t able to make it to the voice studio yet, so I will be back later but I wanted to check in…;)

    • Valorie, I love that example of taking courage. Far too often, we do not practice in advance the things that need to be said. And when we find ourselves in these situations, we wonder why things go wrong. 🙁 Raising my hand here too! But it sounds like you respected your own healthy boundaries and tried to do it outside of a mean spirit. LOVE that, for you, for your life, for your family, for those relationships that are important enough to stand your boundaries for.

      Praying you through!

  14. I so needed this my friend. I have really been struggling. Pray for me to get my courage back. 🙂
    Haven’t blogged in so long and miss this group like crazy.

  15. I have just gone through a really rough time. Now because I opened up and shared something personal to a co worker I thought was a friend, I am fearful that others will learn my secret. I had to have a brace put in my mouth to stop a childhood habit that gave me much comfort but I am at risk of losing my teeth. No one has walked in my shoes so why am I so ashamed. I have been betrayed most of my adult life that is why fear comes so natural. Thinking about the secrets I have kept is because there is no safe place to share ecept to Jo Anne and of course God. I think my underlying fear is judgment and I won’t be liked. The other reason than is I am lonely, married lonely with a secret and I don’t belong anywhere. I have returned to couseling but her advice is to consider my options and perhaps leave my husband. Which financially is not prudent. My antidepressant was not therapeutic so now I am two weeks on the right dose. I switched back to my old job where I was happy and I am working on this not sleeping because I play every thing over in my head. Today, a single tear escaped, so I must be doing better. I no that God can use me. Right? ; Blessings…. Diana

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