How to Have the Courage to Go Forward

Do you have these days when you wonder how to have the courage to go forward? I woke up on such a day with one wish – I wanted to go back to sleep, to avoid the painful reality of my new unwanted life as a widow.

Instead of the hopeful, vibrant vision of a life together with my husband, I saw only blackness when I thought about my future. It was just a black hole, an emptiness. I dreaded the future and did not want to live on, to move forward.

But God did not leave me there. Gently and persistently He spoke to my heart on that day, and on the days that followed, infusing me with the courage to go forward. I want to share with you four ways to grow in courage and confidence for the future.

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How to Have the Courage to Go Forward

Courage to Go Forward – Remembering God’s Deeds

Yes, we tend to forget. The tragedy that happened seemed to erase my memory about all the amazing work God has been doing in my life, all small and big miracles, and His provision and faithfulness.

When we choose to remember and dwell on all the blessings God has provided for us in the past, we gain hope and confidence for the future, simply because God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We can count on Him today and tomorrow. 

Since God is the great I AM, He is also in our present. Remembering His deeds in the past opens the eyes of our hearts to see and acknowledge what He is doing today. It helps us to discern His will and receive His daily provision.

When we remember the blessings, God has provided for us in the past, we gain hope and confidence for the future. #encouragement #hope #courage Share on X

Trusting God to Activate Our Hidden Potential

As a loving Father God sees our hidden potential and longs to activate it. The story of Gideon is a powerful example of how God deals with our fears, worries, and insecurities. Imagine Gideon, dreading his life and future under the severe oppression of the Midianites. And then he sees and hears something unbelievable. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”  (Judges 6:12)

There are much power and love in this one sentence. The Lord is with you. The Lord is with us. He promised never to leave us, nor forsake us. His loving presence and tender care, His power and wisdom every day are at our disposal if we choose to. The Lord is with us and this is enough. There is no need for more.

However, God adds something more. He calls Gideon “a mighty warrior”! God sees our hidden potential and all we are destined to become and do with Him and through Him. Our part is to trust Him that He could carry us through the process of transformation as He did to Gideon.  God leads Gideon to the moment when he gains the courage to move forward. God encourages him, guides him, and transforms him into a strong and courageous leader.

As a loving Father, God sees our hidden potential and longs to activate it. #encouragement #spiritualgrowth #transformation Share on X

Boasting in the Lord

We can draw confidence and courage for the future when we don’t rely on our own vision and wishes, and on our own strength to live a meaningful and satisfying life. The truth is our knowledge and resources are limited. And as much as we want to peek into the future driven by curiosity and a sense of control, we don’t know what lies in the future. But we know it belongs to the Lord. We can trust His wisdom, good plans, and purposes, and we can hold fast to His sovereignty. 

We may feel week and fearful, but as long as He is with us, strengthening and encouraging us through His Spirit, we can be confident and take brave steps in an unknown future.  Because “the eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27)

Holding onto Hope

It is very discouraging when the things we hoped for did not turn out as we wished. It is heartbreaking when we see our hope deferred. But it is also true that even when all our hopes for things and people dont fulfill, we have one Hope that never disappoints. We have Jesus, our personified Hope, and Gods promise to make things right and restore everything we have lost.

Choosing to hold onto that hope every day infuses us with strength and courage. We know that whatever happens here, its not the end. Our stories are still written. And we can trust God’s heart for a happy end. That’s why we can go forward with the confidence and courage to live the lives He has planned for us.

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”  (Psalm 31:24)

More Encouragement for You

If you need more resources, encouragement, and comfort in handling your losses and grief and moving forward, I can highly recommend these books. Check them out.

Draw Near: How Painful Experiences Become the Birthplace of Blessings by Hadassah Treu

Life Changing Stories compiled by Mary Armand (You can read one of my stories here too!)

Life Can Be Good Again by Lisa Appelo

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst

Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley

Restoration Year – a 365 Days Devotional by John Eldredge

The Deepest Place: Suffering and the Formation of Hope by Curt Thompson

Soul Cry: Devotional Prayers for Wounded, Grieving and Suffering Hearts by Gary Roe

The Grief Guidebook: Common Questions, Compassionate Answers, Practical Suggestions by Gary Roe

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry L. Sittser

A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life by Jerry L. Sittser

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Your Turn

Which of these ways do you find the most helpful? What are your ways to have courage? Share in the comments and on social media if this article has encouraged you. Thanks!

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We know that whatever happens here, we can trust God’s heart for a happy end. #hope #encouragement #trustGod Share on X

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14 Replies to “How to Have the Courage to Go Forward”

  1. Such an inspiring post! I always hold on to hope and never forget to count my blessings. It’s my way to have the courage to move forward during my darkest days. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Mae! Cultivating gratefulness is a great way to stay hopeful and move forward with courage!

  2. I sleep all day sometimes when I just want to escape responsibilities. But then I start praying and I fall asleep and feel so much better. Thank you so much for this encouragement.

    1. Thanks, Meredith! I can so much relate to your experience! You are right – praying gives us the strength to move on and get rid of anxiety.

  3. Anna, I can’t tell you how many times you have come to mind over the last several weeks. I am praying for you! Your posts are very encouraging. I’ve imagined being in your shoes and I just cry. So I want you to know that someone is lifting you up regularly! Trusting God is the one that I’ve needed to embrace the most when I need courage to move forward. Sharing your post!

    1. Thanks so much for words and love, Kelly! It means so much to me knowing I am lifted up in your prayers! Trusting God with my unknowns is something I try to do daily too so I can move on.

  4. Beautiful words. I think I often have trouble letting go of how I thought things would turn out. I appreciate your saying to have hope that things will be right and restored. With faith, anything is possible. Thank you for sharing your insight. Stay well.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience and for your encouraging words, Ana! We need to hold onto hope because everything is possible with God.

  5. You are so right that it’s easy to forget the good things God has done. That’s the strategy I need to focus on and the one I think is the most helpful. Thanks for the inspiring ideas!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I am happy that you found this helpful! Remembering who God is and what He has done is a daily habit I am cultivating too.

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