Step Out With Courage

We dream of being courageous. But we also want to play it safe. So what would it take for us to put away our fears, heed our inner desires, and step out of our comfort zone?

A soldier pushes forward into battle, despite a friend’s death minutes before. Firemen maneuver through a building, surrounded by scorching heat as they search for survivors. A man stands between angry gang members and their bloody victim. Such are examples of physical courage and bravery in the face of danger or harm.

A teen says no to peer pressure when being tempted for the first time to smoke a cigarette, drink, or use drugs. A mother draws upon whatever courage she has in order to leave an abusive situation, not knowing how she and her kids will survive. An employee refuses to follow his manager’s unethical instructions, knowing he could lose his job. Moral courage comes with making a choice and doing what's right.

But spiritual courage may even be more powerful and life changing. It’s the type of courage you draw upon when you listen to the voice of God in the quiet of your heart, and despite your fears, follow His lead.

Ellen loves to sing with the church choir, and one evening during rehearsal, the director asks her to sing a solo, assuring her the music will bless the congregation. Although terrified, she agrees. That Sunday, she waits with clammy hands, feeling nauseous. What if her voice cracks? What if nothing comes out? Despite her trepidation, when the time arrives, she steps out in front of the choir, and waits for the intro to be played. As soon as she begins to sing, a warm peace washes over her.

Cindy attends church regularly, helps with the nursery every other Sunday, and is an active member in the women’s Bible study group. She has no trouble talking about her faith when she’s with friends from the church, but is praying for courage to be bold about her relationship with the Lord outside of her own group. One day, while at work, she joins a number of people gather around a large table for lunch. A co-worker rants about his religious neighbors, and then complains about hypocritical Christians. Cindy’s heart races and her cheeks warm, but she feels the tug to speak. She silently prays, steps into the conversation, and gentle words draw the attention of those around her.

Michael is a CEO for a large company, pulling in a comfortable salary for several years. Lately he can’t seem to get his mind off an idea for developing a youth center in the inner city, where kids could hang out after school and be mentored. Michael and his wife pray about it, and both come to the decision as to what God is leading them to do. Despite friends and colleagues advising them not to, they begin implementing a plan. They quit their jobs and sell almost everything they own in order to fund the project. They move from being accustomed to a large income to living off their savings. They have no idea of what the future will hold, but they step out with courage, believing God will provide.

Have you been in a similar situation, yourself? Sometimes God asks us to do things outside of our comfort zone. You may think there’s no way . . . it’s too scary. People will laugh at me. I’ll fail. I don’t have the skills. I’ll look stupid. It’s too crazy. We all can find excuses to say no to what God has laid out before us.

There’s no sin in being afraid. It’s how we respond to that fear. With courageous trust in God—or self-preservation—that makes the difference.

Spiritual courage is using the talents and gifts God has given you, even when you may be afraid that you’re not good enough.

Spiritual courage is answering the call God dialed into your heart, despite how crazy the world may view it.

By finding the courage to sing, Ellen may embrace that God entrusted her with a musical gift in order to help mend hearts and heal broken people.

Cindy may experience coworkers seeking her out, wanting to learn more about this Jesus she talks about. And she may learn that sharing your faith can sometimes be more about listening to people and bearing their burdens, than preaching the gospel.

Michael? Well, he may discover that to live the life you’re called to live—to serve God fully—and to follow the passion of your heart, may be the greatest adventure of all. No prestigious job title or large bank account can compare.

And what about you?

Are you ready to leave your comfort zone—your safe place—and step out with courage?

When you are fearful, remember . . .

* God commands that we be courageous.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.” (Jos. 1:9 NIV)

* God is the one responsible for the outcome. No matter how frightened we may be, we can trust that He’ll be at our side.

“Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Jos. 1:9 NIV)

* He’ll give us the strength we need to be courageous.

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24 KJV)

Have a great week!



  1. I love this post. I am stepping out by pitching at my first writers conference, starting a writing group and just telling people Im a writer. I is taking courage and a step of faith. Im anxious to see what God will do.

  2. Jan,

    You have some exciting things happening! They're all important steps in your journey.

    I can remember how fearful I was of pitching at my first conference. But, as soon as I sat down, the editor chatted away and made me feel very comfortable. Each time gets a little easier - especially with learning that editors and agents are people, too, and not as intimidating as what they might seem to be.

    It took awhile before I felt comfortable telling people that I was a writer. After all - me? A writer? Stephen King is a writer. Francine Rivers is a writer.

    But, I knew if I was going to have other people take me seriously, "I" had to take that part of my life seriously. It took awhile, but now I don't hestitate to admit that I'm a "writer."

    And the really cool thing is that my best friend, who initally ignored that part of my life, now tells people for me.

    So, go girl!

  3. Dawn this post is a wonderful reminder that our life's journey isn't about what we can accomplish it's about how much we can trust the Lord to accomplish in and through us.
    I've had many experiences like the examples you've shared and when I've accepted God's invitation I've never been disappointed, hurt or humiliated in the aftereffects.
    Keep writing the truth to encourage bold faith.


  4. Hi Diane!

    Thank you for commenting. I always appreciate hearing that people can relate to my words.

    Thanks also for the encouragement!!!

  5. Hi Diane!

    Thank you for commenting. I always appreciate hearing that people can relate to my words.

    Thanks also for the encouragement!!!


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