rebelling against low expectations

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Courageous


What do you do when you’re afraid? Do you try to hide and forget about the situation that’s making you feel this way? Do you avoid it for all it’s worth? Or do you face your fear head on and walk through it?

We’re all afraid of something, and that’s okay; we’re human and it’s completely normal to have fears. However, as Christians, it’s important that we learn to push through the voice of fear and do the things that scare us, no matter how big those giants might seem.

What Does It Mean to Be Courageous?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”

But I’ve found that this definition doesn’t even come close to the true meaning of the word courage. So, if courage is more than this simple definition implies, what is it really?

Let’s take a look at the story of David and Goliath–a classic example of courage, right? We’re going to focus on one key verse from 1 Samuel 17, but I highly encourage you to take some time to read, or even re-read, this whole chapter on your own.

If you’re familiar with this story, you’ll remember that David’s dad only sent him down to the Israelites’ camp to check on his older brothers and take them food. But while David was there, he overheard Goliath mocking them. He noticed that no one was doing anything about the Philistine’s incessant ridicule, so he decided to take action.

David immediately met with King Saul to bring up his proposition–that he be the one to fight Goliath. Of course, Saul tried to discourage him, but David was adamant. Look at his words in 1 Samuel 17:37:

“Then David said, ‘The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’”

David chose to trust in God completely. And His trust in God gave him the courage to make the crazy decision to go up against this experienced warrior, who was probably around twice his size. Yet even crazier, David didn’t have to fight against Goliath; he could’ve just made his way back home to the rest of his family and his flock of sheep. But he stepped out into a terrifying situation and trusted that God would see him through it.

I don’t know how David felt as he approached Goliath that day, but if I had to guess, I’d say that he was probably at least a little afraid. After all, he’d never faced a giant before. But he didn’t turn or run. He kept going, he kept trusting, and he came out victorious in the end.

That is what true courage looks like.

True courage isn’t just having the strength to “withstand” or “persevere” through fear. True courage is making the conscious decision to place your trust in your Father God–no matter what difficulties, dangers, or frightening things you might face.

Courage isn’t just doing something despite your fear; it’s doing something you’re afraid of in faith.

Why Does Courage Matter?

Above all, we should strive to be courageous because God has called us to be a courageous people. We can see many instances in His Word where God Himself tells us to take courage.

In Deuteronomy 31:6, God says “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of [adversity]. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Psalm 31:24 also says, “Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.”

Additionally, the Bible talks a lot about trusting in God, which goes hand-in-hand with courage. Trust in God is what fuels our courage.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.”

In choosing to trust in God and rely on the courage He provides, we are giving Him the space to work both in us and through us.

If David hadn’t chosen to fight Goliath, only God knows what would’ve happened. Instead, because of David’s courage, God was able to use him to win a battle.

And God can use us too. We just have to trust Him and follow wherever He leads us. Even if it’s hard. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if it’s scary.

We don’t have to be afraid of choosing courage.

How Can We Choose Courage?

If we want to make an impact in the world and be an example of Jesus to others, we must learn to be truly courageous. But how do we do that?

First off, it’s important to clarify that just as we’re all different, with different personalities, different flaws, and different fears, the steps we take to become more courageous might not be the same. Something that requires courage for one person might be something that comes easily for another person. And that’s okay; we’re all different.

It’s also important to remember that it’s okay if it takes a few tries. God won’t love you any less if you back out at the last minute. He knows we’re human and He knows we aren’t perfect, so don’t get discouraged if you try and fail. Continue to trust God and try again the next time an opportunity arises. Take it step by step and you’ll gradually learn that God meets our trust with the courage we need for hard situations.

If you make the decision to learn to be a courageous follower of Christ, there are a few simple steps you can take to begin your journey.

First, take some time to identify your fears. What are your phobias? Maybe it’s introducing yourself to the new kid at church or sharing the gospel with your unsaved neighbor. Maybe it’s confessing a hidden sin to another, older believer or asking for prayer at your small group. What kind of situations make you uncomfortable? Consider what areas you need to grow in. Identifying your fears and what you need to work on is vital; you have to understand what you struggle with before you can fight to overcome it.

Once you’ve learned this, look for someone to hold you accountable–a family member, a friend–someone with a strong faith who will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, trust God, and do those things that scare you.

And, finally, when those opportunities arrive–and they will—remember to focus on your Father, completely trust in Him, and follow wherever He leads you, even if you’re afraid. Pray and ask Him for courage to do the things you need to do.

We’re called to be a light in this dark world, and learning how to be courageous is one way we can do that. You never know how God might choose to use you.

Choose to trust Him and take a step of faith.

Don’t be afraid to be courageous.

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About the author

Raelyn Quinn

is a teenage writer with a love for exploring new worlds through the pages of books and weaving her own unique tales for others to enjoy. When she isn’t writing, you can often find her reading, watching sunsets, and spending time with her family. Raelyn strives to encourage others and bring glory to God through her words. You can read more of her work through her email list, Starlight


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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →