The root of the word courage is “cor”, which in Latin means “heart”. Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you by finding the strength you need in your heart. Throughout history, “courageous” has been used to describe people such as Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Ghandi, Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa, and countless others who have made bold sacrifices for the good of mankind. Some people don’t realize that all of us have courage, but we are all given different battles to face.
A. A. Milne said, “You are braver than you seem.” You will not get public recognition for all the courageous acts that you perform. You will not get a medal of honor for facing depression every day. You will not have a statue erected for finally being able to read at your own grade level. No one will ask for your autograph when you go a whole week without looking at your scale. You will not have a crowd of fans cheering you on as you struggle through your parents’ divorce. You cannot live off the recognition of others because if you give them the power to build you up you also give them the power to tear you down.
The only recognition you will ever need is from Heavenly Father. In the day of judgement, you will realize that He knew of all your struggles and He will reward you for being a faithful servant. God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers, and sometimes the hardest part of a battle is not seeing the end and not being able to see the progress you have made. But when you rush into Christ’s arms in the last day, you will realize that you were never alone. Christ felt everything with you. The tears you cry are His tears. He has already shed them for you and He is there, ready to wipe them away if you will allow Him.
An unknown author once said, “You all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in you, that’s why you’re here. I want you to know that it’s okay if you only save one person, and it’s okay if that person is you.” It’s okay if no one knows your battle. God does. It’s okay if no one on Earth knows what you are feeling. Christ does. It’s okay if your victories are silent and for yourself. Those are the most important ones.
Oftentimes we are blinded by the idea that the greatest people who have lived are those who stood up to armies and are written in textbooks. I guarantee you that God recognizes that you are standing up to the armies of temptation, confusion, self-doubt, or hopelessness. He knows that these trials are difficult and He will not reward you any less for fighting private battles in your room at night. Not all battles take place on a battlefield.
Courage doesn’t always roar, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t notice it.
How have you been able to find courage in hard times?