Courage Can Look Like a Lot of Things

This week’s guest blog is written by Claire Coggan, an amazing woman of faith and a great friend of TSM. Enjoy it!

The dictionary says, “courage is the ability to do something that frightens you”.
So courage is not the absence of fear but stepping through fear.

Throughout scripture we see God telling his people to trust him and be very courageous. the good news is God uses weak people, people like Moses, Gideon, Rahab, Joseph, Peter… and you and me.
Hudson Taylor said, “All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on him being with them.”

Courage can look like a lot of things. For me when I arrived on TSM in 2011 courage was saying YES to a new season and to fresh prophetic promises God was speaking over my life, of evangelistic breakthrough, healing and miracles. I was excited and nervous all at the same time, a bit like going for a swim in the sea. First you dip your toes in then you walk out a bit further until in the end you might as well dive in and get completely wet.
I think I’ve always known God has called me to be an evangelist. In my early years of being a Christian it felt natural to talk to people that I met about Jesus but as time went on, even though this motivation was still there inside me I became overly busy serving in the church plus I’d slipped into a works based approach to evangelism and had settled for ‘mission’ from within the safety of the church.

On TSM, as I began to get a deeper revelation of God’s nature and of his love for me, I noticed my perspective beginning to change. I began to see that telling others about Jesus was about being motivated by love and listening to the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t meant to be hard work but an overflow of his love in me.

Now when I talk to or pray with people on the street I have an expectation for them to meet Jesus because I know how much he loves them. I always do feel a mixture of fear and faith when I step out but I usually decide just to go for it and I am amazed at how often an awkward moment can turn into an awesome moment like the time I stopped a lady and asked her the Miracle Question (a evangelistic tool pioneered by Mark Marx). She was struggling to answer and began to well up. She had had the worst year and didn’t think even God could help her. She was about to walk on but I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me and I said, “please don’t, God really cares about your year and he cares about you”. She began to open up about the really difficult things she had experienced. I got to listen to her and love her. She kept saying how kind I was being and how our meeting was meant to be. She let me pray for her and was embarrassed that she was tearful in the street. When I suggested we could maybe meet for a coffee she said I’d love that and we exchanged numbers and hugged each other. She came to Alpha and I am still in touch with her.

Knowing his love and becoming more secure in my identity has made me more courageous. I’ve also learned that it’s OK to fail because God still loves me. This was massive for me coming from my background.

I wonder what courage looks like for you. It might be just telling someone you are a Christian; it might be speaking to someone who inspires you; it might be forgiving someone or it might be telling someone how you are really doing. Jesus said take courage, and remember He is always with you.