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How to Have Courage in the Face of Adversity

Now is an invitation from God to take courage.

Pastor, Author, Podcast Cohost
Updated Apr 18, 2024
How to Have Courage in the Face of Adversity

There’s a house being constructed directly behind mine. Each day, I watch the progress as the workers settle the land, pour the new foundation, and begin framing the walls. I always think about the courage of the construction workers. Their work may seem routine or mundane, but they really are brave souls—climbing dangerous heights, working with high-powered machinery, and skillfully realizing their designer’s plans.

In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul uses a similar image to remind us of an important truth. He says, “If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation; the old has gone, and the new has come.” This “new creation” that Paul talks about means that in Christ, we have a new settlement, a new foundation, an entirely new frame. We are just like that new home—masterfully designed, carefully constructed, and thoughtfully built up, each and every day, by our Creator. 1 Peter 2:5 says it another way, “You are like living stones being built into a spiritual house.”  

You are a spiritual home being constructed by God; what an incredible truth!

As we all know, though, there are so many things that can become little wrecking balls in our lives. There is so much, especially in today’s cultural climate, that attempts to destroy God’s good work, so much that tries to demolish us.

What do we do when we feel emotions like fear, weariness, or confusion? When we feel like the world is being torn apart?

How should we respond when our circumstances weigh so heavily on our hearts that we can’t see beyond them? How do we deal with it when we become stuck in fear or emotional turmoil? How do we look forward when so much around us is changing? When our circumstances feel uncontrollable?

Just like those construction workers in my backyard, it takes courage to stay faithful in seasons of chaos and confusion—it takes courage to realize our Designer’s plans.  

A few years ago, I was battling some wrecking balls of my own, and I desperately needed courage to stand firm. So I came up with an acronym for the word COURAGE: Christ-Centered, Overcoming, Unashamed/Unafraid, Restorative, Authentic, Growing, Encouraging, along with a series of questions and truths. If you need some courage of your own, may the COURAGE acronym strengthen you:

  • Christ-Centered—Am I keeping Jesus at the center of my heart, mind, schedule, fantasy life, and what I am listening to, learning about, or watching? Have I allowed the world and its panic to creep into my soul? Am I currently obsessing over the news or social media? Do I need to turn off my phone and breathe for a few moments? God, I want to thoughtfully build on nothing less than the Cornerstone of Jesus. Please lead me. 
  • Overcoming—Am I empowering others to overcome difficulties right now? Am I displaying the overcoming power of God at home and online? Am I living in the power of the Spirit? I fight under the banner of the King of Kings, who has already claimed victory over every circumstance, including this cultural moment. I can overcome in the strength of my Overcomer.
  • Unafraid—Am I allowing fear to define me or imprison me? Am I allowing stress or chaos to control me? Jesus, let my faith be bigger than my fear. My being is defined by your doing, and my doing is a result of your being. Therefore, I have nothing to fear. You are by my side. 
  • Restorative- Am I using this time to restore brokenness in my relationships, in my home, at work, in my church, on my street, in my city, in the world? I am called the Repairer of Broken Cities, according to Isaiah. God, especially right now, help me live up to that name.
  • Authentic—Am I being honest and real about my struggles and fears? I don’t have to force my emotions to be something they are not; I can come honestly to God with my full, authentic self, and he’ll transform me. Fear grows in the darkness, but it cannot survive in God’s marvelous light. 
  • Growing—Am I using this time to grow in maturity—spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, relationally, physically, and in gratitude? Or am I stuck? Am I developing healthy, regular spiritual practices? I am an under-construction project, so I can be graceful with myself, but I never want to stop growing.
  • Encouraging- Am I lavishing love on everyone around me? Am I pouring out the abundance of Jesus to those around me? Am I encouraging others on social media? Or tearing them down? When I encourage others (literally, putting courage in them), I am truly living like a child of God. 

Friend, you are chosen by God. You are his precious possession. You are his beautiful child. You are his new creation, his spiritual home. And thankfully, we’re all still under construction.

Now is an invitation from God to take courage.

This season may feel uncertain and scary. But rest assured: the Faithful Builder is at work skillfully restructuring and remodeling your life, your heart, and His world as part of his perfectly designed plans.

His firm foundation is stronger and more powerful than anything trying to knock us down.

Build your courage in Christ—and you will always stand firm.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/vchal


Aubrey SampsonAubrey Sampson is a pastor, author, speaker, and cohost of the podcast, Nothing is Wasted. She is the author of Big Feeling Days, The Louder Song, Overcomer, and her newest release, Known. Find and follow her @aubsamp on Instagram. Go to aubreysampson.com for more. 

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