The Bible doesnâ€™t say â€śBe strong and courageous when you feel like it.â€ť Sometimes I wish it did! But that would allow us to rely on our own strength which we all know is less than reliable. Instead, weâ€™re called to rely on Godâ€™s strength which never fails and never taps out. This is even more difficult on days where we just donâ€™t feel ourselves. Inevitably, there will be a day when we wake up tired, sick, or feeling like the cards are stacked against us. So how do we muster courage on those days? What are some ways we can push ourselves to be courageous to face the day when all we want to do is shrivel up and go back to bed?
1. Set Yourself Up for Success
The first thing you can do every morning is get up and dress the part. Even if you donâ€™t feel courageous or prepared for the day, wake up at the same time anyway. Make the bed to keep yourself from crawling back in it. Get dressed in an outfit that makes you feel powerful. I had a client several years back who reserved a specific shade of lipstick which she called â€śthe armor of God.â€ť She reserved this lipstick for those especially difficult days when she needed a visual reminder to put on the armor of God and rely on His strength that day. Whatever makes you feel bold or powerful, make it part of your morning routine, and watch how quickly your attitude towards the day will shift.
2. Fake it in Faith
A study was done several years ago that showed that if you stand in a powerful position with your feet shoulder-width apart, your hands on your hips, and your head held high, you can actually trick your brain into feeling more powerful and brave. Whether you buy in to the study or not, the idea is very helpful. Sometimes you wonâ€™t feel bold or courageous until you start believing God can make you courageous if you faithfully play the part.
To rely on Godâ€™s strength, we need to be faithful and ask for it. This should be a daily occurrence, but some days, youâ€™ll just need to stop from time to time, go to your knees in prayer, and beg God to bring strength when you have none. He is faithful and will always equip you to complete the call He has given you each day, so ask in faith knowing He will respond.
4. Give yourself an incentive
There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a little reward or incentive to keep yourself going. If you struggle with social anxiety and know you have a day full of conferences or presentations, plan a quiet hike in the afternoon where you can escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy the quiet time you are craving. If you are an exhausted mother unsure whether you can manage carpool or toddler tantrums for one more day, plan a long bubble-bath or order a new book to look forward to as a reward for whatever chaos the day throws your way.
5. Remember the Long-Game
Itâ€™s easy to slip into the here-and-now mentality, but as Christians, weâ€™ve been called to live every day in light of eternity. Think to yourself, in 10,000 years is this lousy day even going to be a blip on my radar? The answer is no. Will the faithful act of being courageous when God calls me to be matter? Yes it will. So donâ€™t fall into the trap of believing that the struggle you are facing today has no expiration date. Keeping a long-term perspective will help keep the fears and doubts of today in their rightful place.
To encourage you, Iâ€™d like to leave you with a Bible verse to consider as you rest this weekend to face another week. Lamentations 3:22-23 says that Godâ€™s love never ceases and that His mercies are new every morning. That means that while we sleep each night, He makes a new deposit of strength and mercy to face whatever the day ahead of us has in store. If we believe that He has equipped us for anything in our path, the most courageous thing we can do is start walking.
Here are some questions to consider as you begin your weekend:
- Do you believe God has equipped you to face your day today?
- What is God calling you to today that you are tempted to shy away from?
- What incentive would motivate you to live courageously today?
- What makes you feel more powerful even if you feel your weakest?
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