How to Find Courage in the Bible for Whatever you Face

Courage in the Bible Applied to Chronic Illness Main

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We can find courage in the Bible all over the place. Immediately, I think of David and Goliath, Daniel, and Abraham and Isaac. My mind quickly goes to all the incredible stories of brave people and their faith.

I don’t often have that kind of courage myself. Sometimes I don’t have much at all, if I’m being honest. The kind of courage in the bible sometimes seems like more than I can muster up, more than I can handle. Can you relate?

But we need to be brave. God has amazing and wonderful things for us in His plan for our lives. Yet, we certainly have challenges and struggles. So how do we face it all with courage?

How to Find Courage in the Bible for Whatever You Face

People of Courage in the Bible

Who comes to mind when you think of someone in the Bible who was brave? There’s a whole list of them. Here are a few to help you start thinking:

  • David, a young shepherd boy who slayed a giant
  • Daniel, a man of faith who survived being in a lion’s den
  • Abram, who offered his son to God, and Isaac whose life was spared
  • Deborah, a judge who went into a fierce battle for the people
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who survived a fiery furnace
  • Esther, a brave woman who saved God’s people
  • Hannah, a barren woman who ultimately had a child and offered him to God
  • Joshua and Caleb, two young men who rallied God’s people to the promised land

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the stories of courage in the bible. These are all just from the old testament. Bible stories are literally packed with this stuff, and we have barely scratched the surface yet.

5 Examples of Courage in the Bible

We can learn so much about courage in the bible. Here are just five examples of good courage we can glean from today.

There’s also a free 30-day Bible reading plan at the very bottom of this post with some of my favorite Bible verses on courage. This plan goes into many more stories, so be sure to grab that when you get there!


Scroll down to the bottom of this post to download your FREE Bible reading plan on having courage in the face of fear.

1. Courage Amongst the Lions

Lions are at the very top of the food chain. Nothing else dares to hunt them. Males typically weigh in between 400-500 pounds. They are ferocious carnivorous beasts, consuming between 20-100 pounds of meat each day. (PBS) And Daniel found himself suddenly surrounded by several of them.

Lion's face - Daniel in the lions den

Daniel’s Courage in the Bible

Daniel was a man of God who had found favor with King Darius as one of his top men. The others didn’t like that his good character was helping him to climb the ranks above them. So they acted on their jealousy and plotted against him.

Tricking the king, they trapped Daniel by making it against the law to pray to anyone but the king. But Daniel was courageous. He was a man of God. He knew he should pray to God, not the king. So the other leaders waited until they saw him praying to God, ran straight to the king, and turned him in.

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

With King Darius’ new injunction, he knew he had to follow through with the punishment. And so Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. Saddened to have been trapped and forced to basically kill one of his highest men, Darius said in desperation, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” (Daniel 6:16)

The king couldn’t sleep at all that night. So at the break of dawn, he rushed to the lion’s den. Amazingly and miraculously, he found that Daniel not only survived, but didn’t even suffer a scratch. God had sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths that night. God’s power saved Daniel from the power of the lions.

What Came of Daniel’s Courage?

This turned everything on a dime. King Darius had witnessed a miracle and now believed in God. He decreed that people should trust this God who endures forever, delivers and rescues, works signs and wonders, and saved Daniel’s life.

This scary, life-threatening situation ultimately showed God’s power, gave glory to God, and brought others to Him.

How can you show others about God in the situations you face in life?

2. Facing Giants with Courage

He was a large man by anyone’s standards. Sources claim he stood anywhere from 8’5” to 9’2”, and he had weapons of the same proportion. He would be a shock to see on the battlefield. But Goliath had no clue what was coming his way.

Courage in the Bible of David against Goliath, Hand of biblical David holding sling shot with stone

Goliath’s Challenge

Every day, twice a day, this giant Philistine named Goliath would call out across the valley to the Israelite soldiers to fight him. His pitch was this: whoever lost would be the other’s servants. Well, this certainly had Saul’s Israelite army shaking in their boots. I mean, just look at him! Even from a distance he was scary!

David’s Courage in the Bible

Three brothers were a part of Saul’s army, and their little shepherd boy brother David had come to bring them something to eat. David heard Goliath’s cry across the valley, and he saw how the Israelite soldiers were so afraid. But David (who was King David in waiting) immediately volunteered to fight.

When King Saul heard this, he discouraged it. But David was persistent. He said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). David knew he would have help from the righteous right hand of God. This great victory would be a work of the Lord.

With five smooth stones and a sling, he faced the giant. David said:

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

1 Samuel 17:45-47

What Came of David’s Courage?

And with that, David launched a stone. It hit Goliath square in the forehead, and he instantly fell over dead. The battle was indeed the Lord’s.

What battle have you been fighting in your own strength that you need to turn over to Him today?

3. Courage in the Fire

Three Jewish boys had been appointed leaders under King Nebuchadnezzar. The Bible doesn’t give us their specific ages, but I’ve seen anywhere from 13-20. So we know they were young. One evil day, the king presented a golden statue to the people and decreed that everyone must worship it (or else they would be thrown into a blazing furnace).

Isaiah 43-2

The Boys’ Rebellion

These three Jewish boys (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) followed God wholeheartedly. They knew it would go against God’s Word to worship anything other than Him. So when all the other people bowed to this new statue, they didn’t.

Word spread quickly, and they were soon ratted out. The king became furious. Not only did he declare they had to be thrown into the fiery furnace, but that it should be heated seven times hotter than normal (which burned and killed the men who put the boys in the furnace).

Choosing the Fire in Courage

What amazes me most about this point in the story is the boys’ response to the king:

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:16-18

As you can imagine, this didn’t exactly persuade the king to change his mind or lessen their punishment. So the boys were bound and thrown into the fire.

God’s Saving Power

King Nebuchadnezzar never expected what he saw next. There was a fourth man in the fire. The men were no longer bound — they were all alive! How could this be?

The king called the boys out of the fire and inspected them. Not a hair singed. Not a burn mark on them. They didn’t even smell like smoke! God met them and saved them in their time of need.

What Came of their Bravery?

Much like King Darius’ revelation we talked about above, King Nebuchadnezzar was an instant believer. He immediately decreed that no one was to speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego because no other God can save this way.

And again, we see how God uses the courage of those who love and follow Him to show His power and bring people to Him. What powerful Bible verses!

Has something become more important to you than God? What idols have you been worshiping?

RELATED: Finding Strength in Weakness

4. The Bravery of One Woman

This particular brave woman, raised by her cousin when her parents died, was named queen for King Xerxes. She ultimately would save God’s people through the amazing courage God gave her.

Esther's Courage in the Bible

Esther Named Queen

Esther’s cousin Mordecai, the man who raised her when she was orphaned, sent her to be considered as queen for King Xerxes. When she was chosen as queen, she had no idea her position would provide such an incredible opportunity to save the lives of so many.

A Plot to Destroy the Jews

Mordecai went to the king’s gate frequently to see Esther. While he was there, Haman, one of the king’s royal officials, noticed that Mordecai didn’t bow down and honor him. So Haman became angry. He plotted to destroy not only Mordecai, but the entire Jewish population throughout the kingdom.

The Jewish people were mourning and weeping about what was to come. Mordecai sent messages through one of Esther’s attendants that she must approach the king in order to stop these plans. But Esther knew that would mean risking her life to enter the king’s court without being called in. Yet, she approached the king anyway.

Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.

Esther 4:16

The Plot Twist

As days went on, Haman’s anger burned hotter and hotter against Mordecai. And when the king honored Mordecai, it certainly added fuel to the fire. Then, as the time came closer for Haman’s plan against Mordecai and the Jews, there was a major plot twist.

The king learned that Haman planned to hang Mordecai on the gallows he had built. So the king decided that’s how Haman would be punished. Yes, killed on his own gallows. And he was.

Then Mordecai was invited into the king’s palace and the king gave him his signet ring. The Jewish people had been saved. Talk about a turn of events!

What Came of Esther’s Courage in the Bible?

As a result of Esther’s bravery, her family — and the entire Jewish population within the kingdom — were saved.

There’s so much more to this story than I can share here in a few short paragraphs. So be sure to read it in the free Bible reading plan download below. What a story of courage in the Bible!

How could bravery in what you’re facing help others around you?

5. Courage Shown By Jesus’ Parents

And now we turn to the new testament in our stories of courage in the Bible. I love to look at the bravery of Joseph and Mary, the mother and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. They were ordinary people. But their love for God and obedience to His will was courageous.

Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus

Visiting Angels

Both Mary and Joseph received visits from angels about becoming Jesus’ parents. Can I be honest about that? I think being visited by angels takes bravery.

In basically every account of a visit from angels in the Bible, the angel says, “Don’t be afraid.” So that tells me that the appearance of angels in and of itself is frightening. But both Mary and Joseph listened and heard the angel’s news.

Doubts and Questions Answered

When Mary heard the angel’s message that she would carry the Son of God, she didn’t understand. She asked the angel, “How will this be…since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34) It didn’t make sense. But she listened to the angel’s response and complied, stating that she was the Lord’s servant.

When Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant, he thought through what to do. He decided they should part ways, but he would do so quietly to keep Mary from being disgraced. But an angel visited Joseph then too, and Joseph changed his plan and complied.

What Came of their Bravery?

I often think both Joseph and Mary were chosen for their humility. But both chose bravery in the moment it mattered most. As a result, they were the earthly parents of Christ Jesus. They knew Jesus better than any living person on the face of the earth. They got to parent Him and watch Him grow up (which is not explained for you and I in the Bible, by the way). What a gift!

What doubts and questions do you have about what lies ahead of you? How could your situation turn out if you choose bravery?

How to Have the Kind of Courage in the Bible

Remember, courage is not the absence of fear. We will all face fear and times of trouble in our lives. Instead, courage is facing the fear and choosing to do the right thing even when it’s hard.

We are fortunate that the question of how to be courageous can be found in the Bible. Paul, an incredibly courageous follower of Jesus who penned several new testament books, lays it out so beautifully in his letter to the Ephesians. Let’s read these words of encouragement:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:10-17

God provides and equips us with everything we need for the battle ahead. As we claim the armor of God each and every day, verse 18 continues to tell us that we should pray always.

How has God equipped you? Have you been praying about your battle?

How To Have Courage with a Chronic Illness

As this website is a blog primarily on diabetes and faith, and I live with type 1 diabetes, let’s apply this courage and bravery to living with a chronic illness. I personally would suggest it’s a matter of perspective. And I think you have basically two choices here.

You can choose to act helpless in the face of adversity, be fearful of your illness and potential complications, and play the victim. And many people will support you in that. Diabetes is hard — I get it. I understand that first hand. And the fear of the unknown is hard too.

Or you can be prayerful, put on the whole armor of God, and choose to fight the battle in front of you. This life was given to you on purpose and for a purpose. And a chronic illness like diabetes doesn’t have to hold you back. God’s hands will guide you and He will fight for you.

You can still accomplish God’s will for your life. You can still have an impact on this world. And you can still share your love for Jesus with others. You can help people. And you can give God glory because He is good no matter what. Diabetes isn’t good, but He absolutely is.

On the topic of bravery, Mary Tyler Moore (the previous JDRF president and fellow T1D), said this:

Quote about bravery from Mary Tyler Moore

Look to Friends in the Bible for Courage

When hard times come your way, and they will, look to our friends in the Bible for courage. Their examples can inspire you and help you remember God’s promises, God’s truth, and His perfect love for you.

Remember that God won’t always keep you from the lions you face, but he can protect you against them like he did for Daniel.

God doesn’t always remove the giants in our lives, but He can give you courage and power to defeat them in your time of need.

And God doesn’t remove us from the fire. But He leads us through it. Sometimes the miracle happens within the fire. That is where the chains break, people see God’s power and glory, and they are drawn to Him.

When it doesn’t make sense, don’t lean on your own understanding. Trust that He will guide you on a straight path. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Don’t allow satan the pleasure of using the situation you face to keep you living in a spirit of fear. You were made for so much more!

Heavenly Father, thank You for these courageous people in the Bible who chose bravery in the face of challenge and opposition. There is so much to learn from Your Word, and I am thankful to be able to read it today. Lord God, please provide me with the courage I need. Help me to have courageous feet, to take the steps You have prepared for me, and to trust You more and more as we go together. Help me to sense Your presence and the power of the Holy Spirit while I follow Your will for me. God, thank You for all You have planned for me. Amen.

Get Your Free Bible Reading Plan

It’s time to download your free 30-day Bible reading plan! This plan will walk you through powerful verses and the stories of several courageous people, the challenges they faced, the choices they made, and how they persevered.

Once you’ve read through it, would you please let me know? I would love to hear from you. And if you’re looking for more Bible reading plans, just click here.

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How to Find Courage in the Bible for Whatever You Face

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New Testament Reading Plan Printable
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Kaycee - Devotions on Diabetes


Welcome to my Devotions on Diabetes website! Thanks for stopping by. I've lived with diabetes for 30+ years. And I'm here to provide you with a heaping helping of encouragement while you deal with diabetes and navigate this chronic illness with God by your side.

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Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul is now available on Amazon.

Devotions on Diabetes: A 30-Day Journey to Anchor Your Soul by Kaycee Parker




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