If I Only Had the Nerve
Micca Monda Campbell

"So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!" Psalm 31:24 (NLT)

There are two choices. We will either cower away from hard situations or charge toward them with courage. As for the cowardly lion in the classical movie The Wizard of OZ, he did both. Of all the Oz characters, I best identify with him.

Like the lion, I believe I could do anything if I only had the nerve. The trouble is that in scary situations the only "nerve" I have is a nervous stomach.

I've faced some pretty hard circumstances in my life, and I've discovered that I'm more courageous than I ever dreamed. One of the hurdles that took real courage was the time I was asked to speak before a group of teens.

I was asked to give a devotional message to the band members of a Christian school as they prepared to compete with other high school bands, at the state competition. On my way to the school that fall morning, my heart was full of joy. I was eager and well prepared to speak to the teens. All was going well until I pulled into the school's parking lot.

Suddenly, I was paralyzed by fear. With my hands frozen to the steering wheel of the car, I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't believe I had said, "Yes" to speak to anyone! Doubts about my ability and message flooded my heart and mind. I was in full-blown panic mode. With my hands still glued to the wheel, I turned and looked at the passenger seat. In my mind's eye, Satan was sitting there with a boastful grin painted across his devilish face that taunted me with doubt. How am I going to pull this off? I anxiously wondered.

I had a choice to make. Either I could allow my anxiety to prevent me from speaking or I could face the platform with courage. How does one find courage when they're trembling in fear? Sometimes it comes down to deciding what is more important—the thing we need to do or yielding to our fear. Courage is not absence of fear as you might think. Rather, it withstands fear. Being courageous is being brave enough to move through our fears. How? We put our hope in God who will see us through.

That day in my car when fear gripped me, I searched my thoughts only to discover that my nervousness is based on pride. What will they think of me? I nervously wondered. Knowing my own limitations created doubt in my mind, which in turn could have caused me to back away. Instead, I decided to move forward in faith. My heart warmed as I considered what was more important. God wanted to use me to speak truth and encouragement to those teens. Sure, my heart was pounding and my knees were knocking, but I chose to be brave. I chose to speak--afraid. The result was amazing. That's the incredible truth about courage. It transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary.

When you feel fearful, what's at the source? Are you focusing on yourself? Taking our eyes off ourselves helps us to see past our fears to the needs of others.

Where has God placed you right now? Are you in an ungodly workplace? Perhaps, you're in a bad relationship with a spouse or friend. Maybe you're living beside unbelieving neighbors or you have to care for aging parents. Whatever your situation, you have a decision to make. Will you cower away or charge forth in faith? While you may face scary risks, think of the difference you could make in someone's life or a whole community if you simply choose to be courageous!

Whatever God is calling you to do, this is His promise. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9). Through you and me God can make a difference, perhaps save a life. The possibilities are endless if you only have the nerve.

Dear Lord, break this stronghold of fear and worry in my life. Increase my faith in You. Be my stronghold and my provision and in You will I trust. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
This devotion is based from Micca’s book An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith That’s Stronger Than All My Fears

Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears 3-Message CD set Taught by Micca Campbell

Additional Resources by Micca

Visit Micca’s blog for more encouragement

Birds in My Mustard Tree: How to Grow Your Faith by Susanne Scheppmann

Application Steps:
Make your choice. Is it more important to yield to your fear or do the thing you need to do? Remember, you are not alone. God is our ever-present helper in times of need. Discover courage by pressing through your fear with faith. You'll be amazed at how brave you are.

What fears are you dealing with today?
How can trusting God help you overcome your fear and experience peace?

Power Verses:
Palms 27:14, "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (NIV)

1 Thessalonians 5:24, "The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." (NIV)

© 2010 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a perfect message for me.... I am a 35 year old wife and mother of two small daughters and have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.... I am up at 4am worrying, as I have done most every night since my diagnosis 6 weeks ago. Today is my first chemo treatment.... Obviously, I cannot give into my fear.I MUST have faith in God! Great message of encouragement for me, thank you!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Courage is not the absence of fear but rather it withstands it. I love it. What a great quote.
Anonymous, I am praying for you today about your treatments and your situation.

Anonymous Donna said...

I'll be praying for the wife and mother commenting before.

May the Lord and your family be your comfort as you go through this. May you be healed completely and live a long full life honoring your heavenly Father. May you, your girls and your husband have deep peace. May Jesus hide you in His healing wings. Malachi 4:2 In the precious Name of Jesus.

Anonymous Friend of God said...

I am also praying for you today as you begin your chemo, our precious sister in the Lord, wife, and mother.. Do not fear for the Lord is with you. Just remember, if he brought you to it, he can bring you through it. I am praying for complete healing in the name of Jesus, who has all power.

I am so thankful for this message today, and for the anonymous lady who shared her very real and very deep fear. Here I thought my simple little
procedure (although BIG to me..) is worrysome, albeit, I am not going through chemo.... If I only had the nerve to face things head on, as opposed to living with fear of the unknown. May God bless you today Micca, and to the mother who is facing her fear today.. Our God is able.. and he loves you for you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this message. I continue to be amazed at the way in which God speaks to me through this forum. God bless you!

Blogger Unknown said...

Wow ... I am also praying for the woman beginning chemo .. and love the quote in a later message 'if he brought you to it, he'll bring you through it.' Personally, I had to go to court regarding custody for my son, and though I knew what was right and believed and felt God speaking to me, everyone around me, including my lawyer, told me the judge wouldn't allow us to move to be with my family. I finally gave in to a 'compromise' which has served to bring us 3 years of trials, but God has completely used it to draw us nearer to him. I feel that I gave in to the fear that all around me poured on me, when really, I needed to simply stand up with courage and speak my heart and know that God then would pull me through it, no matter the outcome. Praise God that He has used the time for good ... of course. May I grab hold of His strength and have courage for the future always. Great devotion!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear sweet sister starting chemo today. I lift you up! II Timothy 1:7 For God had not given us the spirit of fear;but of power,and of love, and of a sound mind. Luke 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole;go in peace. Michael W Smith sings a song called Healing Rain..I hope you can listen to it today. May you have peace today sweet lady, healing rain is falling down...:)

Anonymous E said...

Courage is not the absence of fear but rather it withstands it.
I agree - i really like that.
I've also heard it said “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important.”
Thanks for the devo - it was a blessing!

Blogger Unknown said...

I so identify with the cowardly lion too! I want to choose courage and not fear...I pray that next time I'm in a situation I'll coose courage!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You for this powerful and to the point message. I felt it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have been praying for the right path in life for careers. One of my problems is the fear of speaking in public. This message made a lot of sense and gave me clarity on the true sense of courage. I still will be working on my career, but I will try to not let fear prevent me from doing what truelly is my calling

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I cannot believe how perfect this devotional was for me today!! It's amazing how God works like that, huh? I will be reading this over and over. I decided last night that I would decide to say "yes" to God when I know there's something He wants me to do....my faith was in His enabling, and me just saying yes and going was all that was needed....and I wake up today scared and unsure of what that exactly means. THANK you for pointing me back to my power source!

Blogger Sherry said...

Great message!! Thank you, Lord, for this website and the women You speak through and give them courage to reach us. As the others that have posted, this is timely for me as well. So many things God has nudged me to do and I allow that fear to stop me just short - so good to remember the lives that might be touched if I push through that selfish fear.

I am praying for the young women who will conquer the fear of cancer and her treatments - Do not fear for the Lord is with you.

Today is my birthday!! Thank you for this great birthday present message - I know this year will be a year of COURAGE - WITHSTANDING FEAR WITH GOD'S VICTORIES!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had always lived in fear of perfection and worrying about what others thought. Needless to say, my life was stagnant. When my husband left me, I choose to make my "bucket" list and make positive approaches in my life. Through God's strength I am living a life that matters and that is centered on HIM while having FUN trying new things!!! He has given me nerve to try new things to try, fail, succeed and embrace life

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could have read this prior to a job interview , for a job I wanted so badly! I had an anxiety attack while interviewing I could not control it. Needless to say they'll never forget me, and I still work as a frustrated employee in the same place.

Blogger healthisheart said...

I agree with the sentiments and needed the devotion today while I just feel so tired. I just need to be strong and courageous through all I do. It is ok saying it but I'm going to put into action for when God is for us, who can stand against us?

The 'mother and wife' in the first comment. You are courageous just living your life. Have faith, God can even use the bad things in life for powerful testimony. I'll be praying for you.

Blogger Unknown said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Anonymous Rachel said...

Great reminder about taking our eyes off of ourselves and putting them on the one who takes away every fear.... thanks for a great post!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the devotion."Courage is not the basence of fear, it is withstanding it" Allelujah. I work with youths in a school, some of them are not believers of Christ. I know I need the courage instead of succumbing to fearing! Mother and wife who is starting chemo my prayers are with you. I pray that God heals you completely of the cancer. The journey maybe hard but He will see you through.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just decided to read todays post two days after you posted thinking "maybe Friday's devo is about fear"? Wow. God is so faithful even if we are not. So comforting also to know that I am not alone in my fears. To Anonymous woman who posted about treatments, I will be praying for you. PEACEFORTHEJOURNEY.COM is an amazing blog as she has just had her first chemo last week for same diagnosis and is so very gracious and encouraging. PLEASE visit her blog!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a blessing to read this.

After losing my infant son to SIDS, I had a hard time trusting God. The last few month tho, He has been speaking softly to me of love, peace and hope. He has shown himself faithful to me, and has been faithful to give me strength to speak at my sons memorial, strength to face each moment that comes and strength to accept his peace.
I live with grief still, but now instead of grief coloring everything, His peace covers everything.
What a wonderful gift and blessing.

I, too, am praying for the mother who undergoes Chemo!

God's plan is perfect, even if we don't see it now. He is with us, and has walked before us. He knows what we need before we need it. And he is prepared to extend His hand at the right moment.

We are all in His hands and our times are in His hands.

Blogger QueenBebop said...

enjoyed your blog very much god bless

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing Grace, this is what we go through everyday. Iam leaving my job in the next few days but fear of the unknown grips my heart. I chose to trust God in all my circumstances with breavity.

God bless you dear Sister.

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