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We most times equate courage with fearlessness but that is not the case. It is a wrong interpretation of what courage really is. 

According to Nelson Mandela "Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear."

A brave or courageous person is not one who feels no fear but moves on despite the fears. Most courageous people we see and admire today for what they do or did in time past have had moments of fear - fears of failing, making mistakes, not being able to live up to people's expectations, fear of  repeating past failures or mistakes etc -  but they kept on despite the fears.

Joel Osteen, a motivational speaker, televangelist and pastor of Lake Wood Church in Texas will always say "Do it afraid."  

Last week we celebrated Easter - the most important event in the life of every Christian - which signifies the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave after been laid to rest for three days. 

When we think of Jesus, we often think of his birth (Christmas), his teachings, the miracles he performed, his death and his glorious resurrection but we forget he had moments of fear especially on the days leading to his Crucifixion.

Jesus had always known this day would come and was prepared for it. He knew he would die for the salvation of mankind but when the day was approaching, he experienced and expressed fears of what is to come. 

He groaned in agony, spent time in anguished prayers and sweating drops of blood. He prayed to God to let the cup pass by him if possible.

"Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."  - Luke 22:42 (NLT)

Hebrews 4:16 admonishes we  "....approach God's throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (NIV)

God wants us to come to him boldly expressing just how we feel about certain things or fears and this was exactly what Jesus did. No pretense about his feelings even if he was the Messiah - the saviour of the world - but expressed just how he felt.

Fear may tend to cripple us and prevent us from doing what we ought to do but we can always overcome this fear with confidence in God through prayers just as Jesus did. 

In the next verse after Jesus cried out to God about his fears, we see God come to his rescue by sending angels to strengthen him for the journey ahead.

"Then an Angel from heaven appeared  and strengthened him." Luke 22:43 (NLT)

Jesus looked at all possible pain in the face - physically, emotionally and spiritually - but did not back down having his courage and confidence in God believing he is equipped to see this through.

There is no fear we can't overcome if we decide to keep moving courageously and confidently in God. Joel Osteen's words "do it afraid." will always spur me into action when ever I am faced with fears to do what I ought to do. 

Fear always has a way of reminding us of our past failures and mistakes. It also tries to point out our weaknesses to make us feel we are not capable enough, talented enough or gifted enough. It shows to us how others do it better than we ever would but in place of fear is our courage and confidence in God.

Each time we get scared, let's look to the cross and let the courage displayed by Jesus on that cross be the loudest voice in our heads, minds and heart leading us to pursue every goal in sight.

Quote for the day - "If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed." - Harry Hoover

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