The founder and chairman of a successful US airline expressed his business philosophy by saying, “I love doing things that scare me. There’s no courage without fear.” Instead of basking in the airline’s prosperity, he’s always looking for places to expand, and he takes a risk every time he begins service to a new city. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Courage is not the absence of fear but the willingness to act, even if we are afraid of what might happen when we do.

When Paul wrote to his co-worker Timothy, he urged him to take an open stand for Christ, even though Paul’s own boldness had led to imprisonment. “God has not given us a spirit of fear,” Paul wrote, “but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed” (2 Tim. 1:7-8).

“Playing it safe” should not be an option for followers of Christ. Believers have always been called to identify openly with Jesus and with those who suffer for their public allegiance to Him. The power to do that comes from God’s Holy Spirit within us.

Let’s act with courage and face the very thing we fear today.