“The Lord is with me: I will not be afraid . . . The is Lord is with me; He is my helper.” (Psalm 118:6a, 7a NIV)
Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s feeling the fear and forging ahead anyway. It’s doing what needs to be done despite trepidation. Courage is locking eyes with fear and staring it down.
When David wrote this Psalm he was a king and a warrior. But, before he was a warrior-king who wielded scepter and sword, he was a shepherd boy with a sling and a few rocks. It was his willingness to do what needed to be done in the face of fear that molded him into a triumphant king.
Fear most assuredly met him at the threshold of every encounter, howbeit lion or bear, giant or enemy army (Ps. 118:5). It’s just that he walked past fear and through the doorway of opportunity anyway. This is courage. It’s what made David great. It’s what separated him from the crowd.
The crowd of the Israelite army huddled together trembling, terrorized by Goliath’s taunts. They assuaged their egos by making excuses as to why they shouldn’t or couldn’t take action. The bottom line is that they saw Goliath as a threat too big to mess with. David, on the other hand, saw Goliath as a target too big to miss. Why such a difference in attitude and action? Why the disparity in David’s courageousness and the soldiers’ cowardice?
The difference is this. The soldiers compared themselves with Goliath and realized they were not competent for the task. They were right. David compared Goliath to God and realized Goliath didn’t stand a chance. He was right. The soldiers who had been trusting in their own strength recognized their strength was deficient. David knew better than to trust in his own strength and totally relied on God’s strength and found it more than sufficient.
David did some due diligence to determine if the cause was just and a quick risk to reward analysis (1Samuel 17:26-37). Then, fully believing that if he were on God’s side, God would be at his side, David walked past fear, through the doorway of opportunity, and into destiny.
Here’s the thing. We are not competent. That is, our own strength is not sufficient to overcome the lions, bears, giants, and enemy armies we face everyday. We instinctively know this. The question is whether we’re going to compare ourselves with those challenges and cower, or, compare those challenges with God and become courageous. If we choose the latter, every challenge simply becomes an opportunity for success.
My friend, most assuredly fear will be waiting at the threshold of every challenge you face today. Don’t let that giant intimidate you. God is with you! Don’t be afraid. Lock eyes with fear and stare it down. God is your helper! He is at your side! Walk past fear, through the doorway of opportunity, and into your destiny!