How to Rely on God for Your Courage

How to Rely on God for Your Courage

We say a lot that our courage is in God. And we may feel it. But you may ask yourself do I really rely on God's courage? A lot of times we think courage comes from ourselves, from self-reliance. God will give us what we need to rise up and be stoic and endure pain without complaining. At the end of the day, if we're honest, we're often trying to muster up courage within ourselves.

Why do we think courage comes from ourselves?

One we’ve been conditioned to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Power through, get through to the other side. For the most part, I feel like I've got some of my life figured out. I go into, I don't want to say robot mode but go through the motions where it's a default. I've been here, done this before, so let me just do what I've always done and get through it instead of taking a step back and being able to say, oh, maybe I should try this a different way. Or maybe I should look at what God says about X, Y and Z.

I've had to work really hard at building up my faith. I know that God has instilled faith in me but I've also had to be open to it, which was really hard for me to do. And my trust in God has been a long journey for me to be able to get to the point where I trust Him with the decisions, the day-to-day life, or the big things. And so being able to open my hands up and say, all right, God, give me the courage I need, or give me the right steps, has taken a lot of courage in itself to even rely on God.
One of the things we're taught in our society is that dependency or weakness is the opposite of courage. And so, we don't, especially single parents, don't want to appear weak. I know for me when I was in the initial stages of being a solo parent for a lot of reasons, I just tried to put on a brave face. And I'm not saying that we shouldn't, I don't think we should be a train wreck.

But trying to be all things to all people. I didn't want the courts to look at me like I didn’t have it all altogether. And so there is this self-fulfilling default, where you think you have to do it. You can say verbally, I trust in God. When really, internally, we are thinking that we have to do it because we're afraid. I don't have all the answers but that's where courage begins. I think it's in accepting the fact that we need, and we don't have everything under control. I don't know that you can have real courage if you feel like you've got it all under control.

I've been self-reliant my whole life. I'm the oldest of five and I just got pulled into being a second mom my entire life. So, no one was there to take care of me. I was the one taking care of everyone else. I was taking care of myself and everyone else.

I was having a conversation with my former stepdaughter about a decision she has to make, and I said, “Why don't you pray about it? Why don't you ask God and then rely on God to show you the steps?” That's one thing that's taken me forever to learn, is that I can actually do that and I don't have to know the end result. If I can rely on God to give the next step, give the next answer, then it has worked out. It's come out in the wash and I think about that, even in those big life decisions when we're teenagers trying to figure out what we're doing with our lives. We almost put ourselves on this island from an early age of figuring it out without going to God.

Our culture reinforces this. It absolutely reinforces that we should figure it out on our own. And interestingly, if we think about how God works with His people, for example, Gideon in the Old Testament times was coming up against the Midianites, a huge army, and he needed to defeat them to provide for the safety of his people. In Judges 7:2 the Lord said to Gideon, you have too many people for me to hand the Midianites over to you, or else Israel might brag. I did it myself. And so even then He was reminding Gideon. I'm going to help you defeat this army, but I'm not going to let you do it with all of your people and resources in the traditional way that you might think needs to be done. God tells Gideon, “I want you to rely on me.” God reduces Gideon’s army to 300 soldiers and still hands the Midianites over.

That way Gideon couldn't say, and the people couldn't say “I did it myself.” But in America, if I can, speak generally for our culture, we love to say, “I did it my way.”

This topic is so important because we throw around this idea of trusting God, but are we really trusting in God? Or are we loaded with self-sufficiency ideals and expectations? I'm sure everyone listening to this as a solo parent has seen over and over things that don't make sense, and God comes through. We put on ourselves this limiting idea that we've got to do it all ourselves.

If we're saying we want to move towards reliance and dependency on God as the source of our courage, how do we do that practically? I mean, what does that look like? Is it just a mantra that we say over and over? Are there some steps that we can move towards actually implementing this idea of relying on him for courage?

It’s super challenging when I get really honest about it. How do I rely on God instead of myself? I think it starts with some humility to accept that I can't do it on my own. That I don't have all the control, that I am just a wee little human. I sometimes say that I'm just one small person. I don't have it all together. And as much as I'd like to think I do or feel like I do the first step is to accept that I am frail, and I need God to be strong when I am weak. He is strong. And to move away from self-reliance intentionally.

And embracing the fact that we don't have it all worked out and it's okay to not. Which is hard for all of us. As a single parent, you're trying to fill both roles. You're trying to prove to the world that you've got this all together. You're trying to be strong for your kids. All the ways that we're trying to do this. It's counter-cultural to say, “No, I just actually need to be in touch with the fact that I don't have it all together. I don't have it all under control.”

We have to admit that to God, we don't see the full path forward, how this is all going to work out. And I need to own that, recognize it, but then I need to bring it to God.

In Mark 9:12 someone says to Jesus “I believe, help my unbelief.” I have courage in You, but then God help me. The first step is acknowledging that we don't have it all together. The second step is bringing that to God and going, I want to believe. I want to have courage, but I don't right now.

Yes, help my unbelief, but also show me that You're holding my hand. Show me that You've got me, even if I can't see the end result. Because at the end of the day, that whole control thing is just fear, that we don’t want to experience pain, wanting to see the end result.

He gives us little glimpses of the potential way through. Not the whole map. I think that's really important because when He promises to take care of us, He doesn't necessarily say, “This is how I'm going to do it.” Instead, He says, look at the lilies of the field. Look at the birds in the air. They never, they never need anything. I take care of them. Those are His promises. Relying on those promises is another discipline that we can have, to rely on God for our courage.

I would like praying to be my first thought and to pray about every single little thing. I know people who do that, and I love that. And I want to be able to get there. I'm just putting myself out there that I want to be better. I do feel like the more you're able to do that, the more examples and the more you're able to remember the way God shows up.

I'm not a journaler but I know people that keep prayer journals and they'll write down these things because part of the muscle, so to speak, is that you're working out of relying on God for courage. It’s really remembering His faithfulness in big and small things.

The more that I pray about something and see God come through, the more I can trust His character and it helps me to have courage. I can do this again. I did it before. I trusted God before and He came through and so it really does build that muscle when we rely on Him.

What happens to our life when we do start relying on God for our courage?

Through remembering we grow in our resiliency in that we can take the step forward with more confidence every single time we come against it. My hope is the more I pay attention and recognize the ways, not just the ways that God's showing up in those moments, but for me to be able to recognize that if I hadn't taken something to God, there may have been a different outcome. Not only recognizing His faithfulness but also remembering that as you come against hard times, He will help you.

It helps us grow in our resiliency of being able to say, God's got this. I can have the courage. He's going to give me the courage, He's going to give me the steps. He's going to give me all the things I need to walk through this difficult situation.

I had a successful music business career when my wife left, I had just decided three months before that to step out on my own and start another entertainment organization. So, within a three-month period, I stepped away from my job to start a new career. My wife left and I was now a single dad raising three girls on my own, all that to say I had a lot of confidence because of my track record in the music business that I was going to get the funding that I needed to launch this new company fairly easily. I'd had a lot of success, millions of albums and Grammy awards.

Months go by, and every single meeting that I took to try to get funding, I mean every single one, and I'm pretty connected in this city, says no, we're not giving you any money. Every place that I thought would be automatic yes’s said no. I was at the very end of my rope and a friend of mine said, I know this one guy that might be interested in talking, but I personally had never met him. And so, this guy connected me and this was like a hail Mary situation. I remember praying with my girls and I had a conversation with them one morning about how we might need to move out of this house. God will take care of us, but I just don't know what the future looks like. I'm going to go have this meeting with people that I've never met before, and we'll see what happens. And, we had this really sweet moment. My girls said, “Dad, it doesn't matter if we live under a bridge, we're going to be okay.” Then we went to the mall to look at a pet store—it was cheap entertainment—and the car that we parked next to was a Porsche Cayenne, a nice car.

In the window was written with a white marker, “Those who God has put their foot upon a rock shall not stumble.” And Zoe my oldest said, “Dad, I think God is trying to tell you something because we had just prayed about this.” The end of this story is within 24 hours of having that conversation with my girls, I had people that were going to invest and within a week of that, I had money in the bank. It was incredible. That was not my courage. I exhausted all my own efforts. I sat in vulnerability with my kids. God showed up in a way that was beyond me.

When I started Solo Parent, I remembered that story of I don't know how this is going to grow. I don't know what's going to happen. But I know that God shows up. That's resilience that's not based on me or anything I bring to the table. It's based on if we believe God wants us to do something or move in a direction, He always provides. If things would have happened on my own, it would have robbed me from seeing God’s connection.

I think that that's exactly what God was trying to teach. I love Judges 7 and I'm feeling this passion to tell our listeners, please read it. Please read the whole story because I'm just giving little snippets.


The first is we think our courage comes from ourselves because we don't want to be dependent. We have to get past that to rely on God for courage.
To rely on God for our courage we have to accept that we don't have things under our control, but He promises to be with us.
When we rely on God for our courage, we will be more resilient. And not only will God take us through, like we say all the time, not only is there hope, you can actually be transformed because you go through a transformation.

Listener Question

Hi. I'm Chloe, a single mom. What is one lie you were never able to correct in your breakup that your ex-spouse’s family may still believe?

First of all, I'm not going to disparage anyone, but my ex was convinced that I was having an affair during the last four years of our marriage, which was totally untrue. I've been divorced for 17 years. My daughters are all adults, but my ex told my daughter that I was in Paris having an affair with this woman and my daughter texts me and asks, why does she continue to bring this up? I've been remarried now for nine years.

I'm thinking the reason Chloe's asking this question is because we want to correct and make things better but there comes a point when it doesn't matter. I have to accept that she can believe whatever she wants to believe. I don't have to correct all that because my daughters know the truth. I know the truth, my friends know the truth, and I think my life bears witness to the truth that I wasn't having an affair and so I just stopped trying to prove it. Because that can be exhausting, and it can go on for years and tax you of the goodness in life.

No Comments






AFRAID ARMY BRAVE Chip Dodd Chris Hogan Control Core Community Financial peace Forgiveness God in our struggles God with us Grief Hope during holidays John Delony John Eldredge Kristi McClelland Lament Letting go Parenting with heart SUICIDE V.I.P. Voice of The Heart acceptance alone anger annvoskamp anxiety apathy backpack belong benefits to forgiveness bitterness boundaries broken trust broke budgeting budget chaos children community children church co-parent codpendency community confession confidence conflict contentment coparenting courageous courage createafamilymissionstatement creating space custody dating debt depression desire destress detachment different but better disciplingourkids discovering purpose divorce dream again emmanuel emotionalhealth emotions family community familymanifesto familymissionstatement family fear feelings finances financial stability financial freedom friendships for our kids friends generosity giving glad goalsetting goals godourprovider gratitude grief as normal growth guilt healing healthy community healthycoparenting healthyparenting holiday grief holiday loneliness home hook-up hope howtobeconfident hurting hurt identity intentionalparenting intimacy isolation joy in parenting joy kid's community kids forgiveness kids self-worth kids lacking courage lacking trust lacking limits lingering loneliness lonely loved matter mental healthdatingtips mind mistrust modeling money needing courage new normal newness newyearsmotivation no courage no money no peace not be a codependent numb optimal our past parenting alone parenting peace in forgiveness peaceful peace perfection perspective physical pleasure purity purpose rage rebuilding recovery from codependency redefining family community redefining redemption reframing rejection relationships relyingonGod replace resentment restore sad safe environment self care self-care self-love self-worth serve serving community serving sexting sex shame sharing showing affection single moms singleparentfamilymissionstatement singleparenting soloparentfamilymanifesto soloparenting sound speaking affirmation spiritual abuse spiritual community spiritualformation stability steps to forgiveness stress stretching struggles teaching our kids teachingourkidsaboutGod teching our kids toxic shame trauma trusting God trust unacceptance uncovering identity unhealthy connections unloved unworthy value vengenance vision volunteer vulnerabiltiy walking wisdom worry worthy worth