The RIGHTEOUS ARE BOLD as a lion! (Proverbs 28:1)
As we continue to consider what Scripture has to say about being BOLD AND COURAGEOUS, may it inspire increased boldness and courage – to be strong and brave in the midst of fiery trials of faith. Let’s not give place to fear – God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear! Let’s be fearless believers, who are strong in the Lord, through faith!
WHAT DO YOU FEAR MOST IN LIFE?
Life-threatening sickness? Financial loss? Loss of a loved one? Death? Failure? Rejection? Persecution? Spiritual enemies? War? Getting infected with Covid-19?
We can overcome Fear!
1 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
I John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Revelation 12:11 – …they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
DEFINITION OF COURAGE
Courage is the ability to confront something painful or difficult or dangerous despite any fear. It’s not a quality, but a choice; a person feels the fear or pain or danger but chooses to persevere anyway.
Courage is driven by a cause; the courageous person believes that cause is worth standing up and fighting for, despite all the clear reasons not to do so.
FIERY TRIALS AND TESTS OF FAITH
”Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”
The soul is refined when convictions are proved through testing. When what we believe survives the threat of persecution and trial, the COURAGE involved is transformational. That’s how character is formed. Virtue is a belief that has been proven in the midst of trials & hardship.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart” (Proverbs 17:3).
2 CHOICES IN FACING DIFFICULTIES IN LIFE
1 – Face life courageously...
2 – OR — Face life fearfully...
Special note: We have freedom of choice. We can either choose life, or we can choose death!
Deuteronomy 30:19 – “…I (the LORD) have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…
John 10:10 – The thief (Devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (JESUS) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
JESUS IS THE GREATEST EXAMPLE OF COURAGE
Matthew 26:36-42 – …38 And he said to them, “My heart is overwhelmed and crushed with grief. It feels as though I’m dying. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Then he walked a short distance away, and overcome with grief, he threw himself facedown on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if there is any way you can deliver me from this suffering, please take it from me. Yet what I want is not important, for I only desire to fulfill your plan for me.” Then an angel from heaven appeared to strengthen him… Then he left them for a second time to pray in solitude. He said to God, “My Father, if there is not a way that you can deliver me from this suffering, then your will must be done.”
- Jesus took the horrifying and undeserved punishment for every sin that ever was and ever would be committed.
- Jesus was savagely beaten and whipped. He was forced to carry the instrument of his death, a hard wooden cross, and die one of the most inhumane deaths ever devised, and the wrath of God was poured out upon him.
- Jesus remained courageous, and lovingly endured the painful ordeal because of His great love for our Father, and for you and me…
- It was incredibly brave of Jesus. He could have said, “No.” He could have decided against going to the cross. Jesus had the option. Like us, he had free will. He was fully God, but fully human too. And humans experience fear. But Jesus loves our Heavenly Father and he loves us and he made the bravest choice in history.
John 10:17-18a – The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.
Matthew 26:53 – Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?
- A sinless Jesus paid the price for our sins so those who believe in Him can spend eternity with Him.
- Knowing our inability to save ourselves, he stepped in to take our place.
- Jesus looked ahead to the end result as he endured the scorn, mockery and beatings before dying. He saw the bigger picture and knew the glorious chapters that would follow.
- He did it out of mercy and love and He did it courageously!
Special note: Jesus showed the greatest act of courage ever, and because of Him, we can be courageous too!
Do you want to be courageous like Jesus?
Moses instruction to the spies that were sent to Canaan was to “be of GOOD COURAGE”!
Numbers 13:20 – … be of GOOD COURAGE, and bring the fruit of the land.
Special note: They brought of the fruit of the land back with them, but courage for the most of them their failed…
The following illustrations are of people who demonstrated cowardice, instead of COURAGE…
- 10 spies (Numbers 13:33; 14:1; Josh 7:5)
- Followers of Gideon ( most of them returned) – Judges 7:3
- Israel before Goliath (I Sam 17:24; 18:29)
- Ephraim (Ps 75:9) turned back in the day of battle.
- The disciples – Matt 26:56 – all the disciples forsook Jesus and fled.
- Israelites – murmuring, complaining, and fearful (Numbers 14:3; Deuteronomy 1:28).
SOME WAYS TO BE COURAGEOUS
1. STAND ON THE PROMISES OF GOD
One of the ways we can be strong and courageous is to stand on the precious, true, and faithful promises of God.
What has the Lord said He will do?
Deuteronomy 31:6-9 – Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” 7 Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. 9 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; DO NOT FEAR nor be dismayed.”
- When we are fearful in difficult times and in dangerous times, we are not to look around and give place to fear. He wants us to look up!
Psalm 3:3 – …you, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Luke 21:28 – (JESUS) “…when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.
Psalm 56:3-4– When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
- What fear is trying to take a hold of you right now? What threat or trouble are you facing?
- Watch and pray with David, “When I am afraid of _________, I will trust in you, O Lord.”
- (TPT version) – But in the day that I’m afraid, I lay all my fears before you and trust in you with all my heart. What harm could a man bring to me? With God on my side, I will not be afraid of what comes. The roaring praises of God fill my heart as I trust his promises.
Joshua 10:25 – Then Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of GOOD COURAGE, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”
2. WAIT UPON THE LORD AND HOPE IN HIM
Psalm 27:14 – “Be strong and COURAGEOUS; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him.
Psalm 31:24 – Be of GOOD COURAGE, And He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
3. BE STRONG AND BRAVE
Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, my brethren, BE STRONG in the Lord and in the power of His might.
I Corinthians 16:13 – …BE BRAVE, BE STRONG.
3. KNOW GOD’S PRESENCE IS WITH YOU
Joshua 1:9 – 6 Be strong and of good courage… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 46:1-2;7 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Isaiah 41:10 – FEAR NOT, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
4. CONTINUE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH BELIEVERS
Having brothers and sisters in Christ walking with us can help give us courage, too. Their mere presence can be a source of encouragement to help keep us going in life and continue serving the Lord.
Isaiah 41:6 – Everyone helped his neighbor, And said to his brother, “Be of GOOD COURAGE!”
Acts 28:15 – And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and TOOK COURAGE.
5. THE LORD IS OUR SHEPHERD
Luke 13:32 – “DO NOT FEAR, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (JESUS)
Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me…
Hebrews 13:6 – So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I WILL NOT FEAR. what can man do to me?”
6. STICK WITH THE WORD OF GOD
Joshua 1:7-8 – “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Joshua 23:6 – Therefore, be very COURAGEOUS to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left…
Special note: Sometimes we tend to focus on what others are saying rather than what God is saying! What God says is most important!
Psalm 119:9-11 – How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
2 Timothy 3:17-18 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
7. FIGHT WITH FAITH
I Corinthians 16:13 – Watch, stand fast in the faith, BE BRAVE, BE STRONG.
I John 5:4-5 – …this is the victory that overcomes the world — even our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Matthew 8:26 – But Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you gripped with fear? Where is your faith?” Then he stood and rebuked the storm, saying, “Be still!” And instantly it became perfectly calm.
- Fear opens the door for the enemy to work in our life, but faith opens the door for God to work in our life.
- Yes, there are storms in life, but Jesus promises to be with us in the boat in the midst of the storms.
- “…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world!” (JESUS) – Matthew 28:20
Luke 8:50 – But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.”
- Even when there may be valid reasons to be fearful, we can choose to have faith and experience miraculous breakthrough’s!
8. I WILL NOT FEAR
Psalm 3:6 – I will NOT BE AFRAID of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
Psalm 78:53 – And He led them on safely, so that they did NOT FEAR; But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
Psalm 27:3 – Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall NOT FEAR: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident…
Psalm 118:6 – The Lord is on my side; I WILL NOT FEAR; what can man do unto me?
Psalm 56:4 – In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I WILL NOT FEAR. What can flesh do to me?
Isaiah 12:2 – Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and NOT BE AFRAID: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
9. KEEP FAITH IN GOD
I Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
2 Timothy 4:7 – (PAUL) “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.“
10. LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY
Psalm 112:5-8 – …Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
- (Another version) Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;… a good man… shall not be moved forever… He shall NOT BE AFRAID of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
- We don’t need to be afraid of bad news when we have Jesus with us. A good man does not need to be fearful!
Proverbs 28:1 – The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Proverbs 3:24 – When you lie down, you shall NOT BE AFRAID: yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.
I Chronicles 19:13 – Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what is good (right) in His sight.”
2 Chronicles 32:7 – “Be strong and COURAGEOUS; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him.”
SIN BRINGS FEAR!
Isaiah 33:14 – The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: …
Romans 1:18 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…
- Sin brings guilt. Guilt brings fear of judgment… If you know you are not doing wrong, you have nothing to fear.
1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
11. REMIND YOURSELF THAT GOD LOVES YOU AND HE IS FOR YOU, and overcome fear
Isaiah 43:1– But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “FEAR NOT, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
Isaiah 41:10 – FEAR NOT, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Romans 8:31-32;35-39 – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously (feely) give us all things?… 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:1-2 – There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Deuteronomy 1:21 – Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; ‘DO NOT FEAR or be discouraged’.
Deuteronomy 3:22 – Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 – “…And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; DO NOT FEAR nor be dismayed.”
Isaiah 35:4 – Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “BE STRONG, DO NOT FEAR! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”
Psalm 91:5-6 – You shall NOT BE AFRAID for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day; nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you…
God wants us to be BOLD and COURAGEOUS! Let’s be BRAVE and FULL OF FAITH! Let’s be FEARLESS believers, who are STRONG in the Lord, through faith!
Special acknowledgement: Thanks to John Miranda for assistance with some of the preparation of this message and for sharing it at our online service.