Our Spiritual Toolbox
   Week 2: Courage

Introduction:  Courage is the first tool in our toolboxes, and let’s start with what courage is NOT.  Courage is not the same as being fearless.  Courage knows better than to not take fear seriously and has nothing to do with the carelessness or recklessness that characterizes being fearless.   

So, what IS courage? 

Bravery is certainly a part of courage.  Bravery is having the strength to face the dangers, fears, and difficulties of life.  We can say that courage is “letting our ‘braves’ be more than our ‘scareds’” (as I used to tell my kids).  But courage is much more than being brave. 

The word courage has its roots in the French word coeur which means heart.  To have courage means to live and speak from your heart, to live and speak with integrity and honesty.  That often calls for bravery, and it certainly calls for faith in Jesus’ promises.  In our scripture for this week, Jesus promises us of two things.  First, that persecution and difficulties will be part of our lives.  We will need courage!  But secondly, he promises that he has already conquered all that is not good in our lives.  Therefore, we can live from our hearts with integrity and honesty.  We can live courageously. 


Jesus said, “The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.  I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”  — John 16:32-33


 ♦ Reflecting on this week’s scripture: 

– These are words Jesus spoke to his disciples shortly before he was arrested, tried, and crucified.  What does courage look like within that context for Jesus?  For his disciples? 

– Jesus also gives the promise of peace here because his death is not the end, but the beginning of resurrection life.  

– What does courage look like within that context for Jesus?  For his disciples?  For you? 

– What words or phrases of Jesus’ speak to you in this passage? 


♦ What have fearlessness, bravery, and courage looked like in your life? 


♦ What situations, difficulties, and fears in your life need courage right now?


♦ Write your own definition of courage that reflects your personal need to live with integrity and honesty. 



I can be so scattered by the fears and challenges of my life.  In my confusion, I forget that you are beside me, always ready to en-courage me with your promises of peace and resurrection life.  Grow my courage so that I can live from my heart with honesty and integrity.   Amen.