Courage is defined as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

Joshua 1:9 “I command you — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Considering this is the last post of the year, COURAGE is the perfect word for us to meditate on. Many of us have hopes, dreams, and visions that we want to come to pass; however, because of our fears or lack of courage we often find it extremely difficult to take the necessary steps to make our dreams become reality. Life has afforded us so many obstacles that we begin to live a life of complacency and lose sight of our ability to pursue what we know is destined for us.

I too am guilty of not exercising courage to pursue my dreams. So often people will tell you to stop and that the journey is too difficult. We often tell ourselves that it-whatever your it is- cannot be accomplished, it is not the best route for you…We create stories that are not real. We tell ourselves lies, and then believe the lie.

As I jog my memory of a time that I exercised courage, I think of being a pre-teen. As a pre-teen, I considered myself a winner. I was confident in my ability to perform academically, I was confident in my ability to memorize almost anything. For this, when given the project to recite a poem at church, I eagerly accepted the assignment. I studied the poem, recited the poem in front of my immediately family with confidence, and was prepared to share the poem in front of a 300 member congregation.

Let me set the scene.

I was supposed to be opening our church Christmas Play with a lengthy poem. I arrived to church early and sat at the back of the church with my poem in my hand. I replayed the words in my head and I thought I was prepared to recite the poem with very little effort, until my name was called. I remember hearing “Lereca is going to open today’s program with a poem.” As soon as I heard my name, my heart started beating fast, I could not breathe; yet still I proceeded to the front of the church. I knew I was prepared to give my speech and so I thought I had nothing to worry about. When I finally got in front of the church, I felt as if I could not complete the tasks. Have any of you felt fear? Did you give up? Did you follow through? Did you face your unknowns? Did you preserve? How did you respond? Despite how I felt, I exercised courage to recite the poem. It took me 14 attempts to get it right. I remember some people from the church congregation saying… “come on baby”. I remember my parents making the hand gestures for me to sit down and leave the stage. At the end I received a standing ovation. I felt accomplished and I was so happy that I recited the poem.

The lesson I learned.

I learned that when we want to accomplish something that we need to decide that we will develop a no matter what attitude. Developing a no matter what attitude will help us push through each obstacle. I also learned that along the way there will be people there to cheer you on and conversely you will also have people that will discourage you and ask you to take a seat. The main lesson I learned: DO NOT SIT DOWN ON YOUR DREAM. If GOD gave you a vision, he will give you the provision to accomplish the mission. The scripture clearly states that GOD will be with you- GOD commands us to move forward. Do not stagnate yourself.

In the words of Les Brown, “Take a leap and develop your wings as you fall!”

As we move into the New Year, I encourage you to think about something you want to accomplish, and ask GOD for the courage to help you face your fears so that you can move one more step towards your destiny.

Identify one area of your life/ one project/ one vision in which you need to exercise courage (list one)____________________________.
What step will you take daily to face your fear? _________________________________

Read this daily.
God I need to exercise courage in __________________________ and I commit to ______________________________________________________________________.

Commit to the challenge. I DARE you.

~Lereca Monik