This study can be done personally or with a friend. Check out the download section at the end of this study for offline and printable versions which include teacher’s notes.
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.
John 16:33 CSB
Jesus warns us we will face suffering in this world and it will take courage to keep going. Courage is not a talent or gift, it is a skill that is developed. Have you started developing the courage needed to face life’s challenges, to talk to people you don’t know or understand, to be yourself, to do the things that you’re too afraid to do? Jesus can show us the way because he was courageous enough to do all of that and more.
In this clip, Rocky challenges his son to not be a coward in the face of life’s challenges.
What is courage?
Courage is doing something that frightens you, but doing it anyways because you believe in something greater than the fear.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
- Why does it matter how courageous you are?
- Why do you think God wants you to have courage?
- What are some fears that hold you back from enjoying life?
If you could ask God to help you conquer one fear, what would it be?
God Inspires Courage
Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. 8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:7-8 NLT
God believes in you
God tells us “you are the one!” He wants to encourage us because he believes we can take on the things that we’re afraid of.
God stands with you
Moses reminds Joshua that he doesn’t need to be afraid because God is by his side and will not let him fail. God wants him to succeed.
What does God want you to have the courage to do?
What are some things you think God is calling you to “be strong and courageous” to do?
In this video Ellie Goulding sings about a best friend who gives her courage to take life on. This is what a relationship with God is like. How do you see God trying to be your friend and help you tackle your fear?
Jesus Gives Courage
 When the Council saw the boldness of Peter and John and could see that they were obviously uneducated non-professionals, they were amazed and realized what being with Jesus had done for them!
Acts 4:13 TLB
Jesus gives courage to the ordinary
Peter and John weren’t warriors, seasoned fighters, or recognized leaders. They were ordinary men who were able to act courageously because of their relationship with Jesus.
Is your relationship with God giving you courage?
How would spending time with Jesus help you have courage? What would spending time with him look like?
Friendships Bring Courage
 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Hebrews 3:12-13 NIV
Sin and loneliness steal courage
Feelings of guilt and isolating ourselves from friendships are two things that can steal our courage.
God gives us friends to help our courage
God reminds us friendships give us the courage we need to take on the sin, unbelief, and fears we can’t conquer on our own.
Who is a friend that makes you feel like you can take on anything?
Do they know about the fear you talked about for your goal? Tell them about it and ask for help to conquer it.
Courage is resistance of fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear
Talk it through: How can being closer to God help you conquer your fears?
Take action: What can you start doing in your relationship with God to become courageous?
Walk through step by step what it would take to change. Be as detailed as possible.
- What steps will this decision involve?
- When will you do them?
- Possible pitfalls?
- Who will you ask to help hold you accountable?
This section is meant to be done together over the next 1-2 weeks. Set up times to do some of these together or to do them separately and then talk about what you learned.
- Read together: Joshua 1-12. How did God give Joshua the courage needed to lead Israel? Talk to a friend about what you learned about God and yourself
- Watch together: Unbroken and Wonder – after watching, talk with some friends about what you learned
- Do together: Start a group chat where you can post inspirational quotes and videos on courage, and follow up with each other on how it is going taking on your fears