Can I Become More Courageous? [Episode 182]

Become More Courageous

Hey, 4:13ers! I’ve got big news … Lifeway Women is featuring Take Courage: A Study of Haggai as their spring Online Bible Study! This means you can receive FREE access to the seven teaching videos that accompany the study, and you’ll also get to be part of their online community full of women just like you.

So, in anticipation of this special event, I’m bringing back a past episode of the podcast as a reminder of how you can take courage when you feel like you can’t take one … more … thing! You’ll learn some biblical choices you can make to help you be the woman of courage God created you to be.

And today’s podcast will also give you a preview of what to expect in the Online Bible Study that begins on March 3, 2022. You can sign up and get more information about the study at these links:

Can I Become More Courageous? – Encore Episode Show Notes

If you’ve listened to the 4:13 Podcast for long, you know I’m an Anglophile. Yep, I’m a British Wanna-Be … I’m a bit obsessed with all things England, its history, its culture, and its dead authors like C.S. Lewis.

One of my most favorite English cities to visit is Oxford. It’s there on Broad Street that a cross is etched in the sidewalk. That cross commemorates what happened near that spot in 1555.

Here’s the reason the cross is there: King Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary Tudor, was on the throne in England. The country had a troubled, divided history of the Protestants and Catholics not playing nice. When one was in charge, they persecuted the other. Now that Mary was on the throne, she sought to return England from Protestantism to Catholicism. So, during her reign, she had 300 Protestant Christians burned at the stake. Awful, right? You know her as Bloody Mary.

During this time, Bloody Mary had two outspoken Protestant bishops, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, arrested for treason and thrown into the Tower of London. In March of 1554, Latimer and Ridley were moved to the town prison in Oxford. Heresy trials began in January 1555—and there was never any doubt about the verdict.

Latimer and Ridley were sentenced to death and sent to the stake. It’s said that Ridley kissed the stake, and both men knelt and prayed. They were given one last chance to recant, and each was chained to a stake when they didn’t.

The story goes that as Latimer was dying, he encouraged Ridley by yelling from the flames, “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out!”

Wow, right? What incredible courage! You and I don’t face the persecution of 16th-century England, but we do face hardship and difficulty. Fear is a real thing but, sister, so is courage.

To take courage in this life, we must take God at His Word. We’ve got to take His promises seriously, otherwise we’ll take opposition and obstacles way too seriously. The problems we face can devastate us. The struggles we experience have the potential to discourage us. And the failures and frustration can easily defeat us. That’s why we need to learn courage and live courage.

Courage isn’t one and done—it’s a lot of daily choices. You get up when you don’t want to. You show up when you’re afraid. You don’t quit when you feel incapable. You forgive when you’re hurt. You take courage when you feel you can’t take one more thing.

It takes courage to be who God calls you to be and do what He calls you to do. On this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, you’ll learn how to take courage. KC and I unpack 1 Corinthians 16:13, examine what it means to “be strong,” and give you three ways you can take courage no matter what you face.

3 Ways to Choose Courage Based on Hebrews 12:1-3

  1. Choose an eternal perspective. To be courageous, you see beyond this moment, this heartache, this project, and you do it for the joy that is to come (Hebrews 12:2-3). You remember that your heavy burden here is working a far greater weight of glory. You never forget that today’s sacrifices and investments are for the glory of God and the good of generations to come.
  2. Choose endurance. Being courageous means you’re unwilling to quit. You endure—or actively participate and persevere—with that thing in your life that’s excruciating and makes you want to quit. You don’t give up, and you don’t give in.
  3. Choose emotional wisdom. To be courageous means you are not governed by your feelings. You do feel your emotions, but you don’t elevate them above the truth. That’s the example of Jesus in Hebrews 12:2. It was for the joy before Him that He endured the Cross, “scorning the shame.” Other translations of that verse say “despising the shame.” In other words, when it came to the emotion of shame, Jesus felt it. He didn’t ignore it, but He considered it lowly. He managed the emotion with wisdom. If we don’t choose emotional wisdom, we won’t endure our “cross” (note the little c). If we elevate our feelings above Truth, we will quit.

No matter what you face, you can face it with courage. You can have an eternal perspective, endure, and choose emotional wisdom, no matter how you feel. This is what courageous living looks like—and you can do it because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Can I Become More Courageous? [Episode 182]

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, 4:13ers, big news. LifeWay Women is doing my Take Courage Bible study this spring as their online Bible study, and you are invited. So during the study, you're going to get free access to each of my seven teaching videos and you can be part of an online Bible study community of amazing women just like you. It's starting soon, so go to to get all the info. Because let's face it, sometimes we can't take one more thing, and that's when, my friend, we need to take courage. So to get you started, here's an encore episode of the 4:13 based on my Take Courage Bible study. So head to the show notes at for all the details you need on the LifeWay Women Take Courage online Bible study. All right. Now, here we go.

If we don't take God at His word, we won't take courage in this life. If we don't take his promises seriously, we'll take opposition and obstacles way too seriously. The problems that we face, they'll devastate us. The struggles we experience will so discourage us, and the failures and frustrations will absolutely defeat us. That's why we've got to learn courage and live courage. So today I'm going to give you three biblical choices that will help you take courage no matter what you face. So here we go.

K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Now, your host, a woman who didn't get her ears pierced until she was 26 years old because she was so afraid of the pain, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: And that is my personal testimony. And not only was I terrified of the pain and waiting till 26, do you know what prompted me to finally do it at 26? I had a baby.

K.C. Wright: Oh, wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: So you go through labor, and then suddenly getting your ears pierced is no big deal. But here I am in one of those stores, kind of like, you know, those that you see in the mall today that are, like, really made for teenage girls, full of earrings and bracelets. And I was sitting on a stool, and the woman who pierced my ears gave me a teddy bear to hold. Yeah, one of my finest moments.

But fear is a real thing, and I'm so glad you've joined us today. I'm Jennifer and I'm here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life, because it's true, whatever you're facing, you can do all things through Christ. And we're going to talk about courage because fear is a real thing. But so is courage. The thing about courage, it's not one and done, it's a lot of daily choices. You get up when you don't want to, you show up when you're afraid, you don't quit when you feel incapable. You forgive when you're hurt. You take courage when you feel like you can't take one more thing. Bottom line is, it takes courage to be who God has called you to be and to do what he's called you to do. So that's why we're going to learn today how to take courage, how to make choices that will let you receive all that you need for courageous living. And we're going to do this by looking at just one phrase from one verse in Scripture to show us how.

So, K.C., I know you've got it already open over there. Would you read it for us.

K.C. Wright: It's 1 Corinthians 16:13. "Be on your guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong." I love that.

Jennifer Rothschild: A lot of be's there.

K.C. Wright: Yeah. So good.

Jennifer Rothschild: Let me give you the context of that one verse and then I'll tell you what one phrase we're going to look at. Paul started this church in Corinth, and so that's why this is from the book 2 Corinthians -- is it 2nd, K.C., that you just read, or 1st?

K.C. Wright: It's 1 Corinthians.

Jennifer Rothschild: First. Okay. He wrote two letters. And so this is to that Church in Corinth, and so that's why that is called one of the Corinthian letters. But here's what was going on with these dear people. Paul had heard they were distracted by sin, and they were divided because they had differing opinions, not very different than how we are today. And they were trying to live out their faith with consistency and courage, but life and humanity and sin and all that just got in the way and it tripped them up. And so Paul is trying to help them be who God called them to be, and to help them do what God called them to do. And so he's telling them, "Be on your guard. Stand firm in your faith. Be courageous. Be strong." And those are all qualities, of course, that we want also. We want to live alert, to be spiritually alert, we want to remain faithful and steadfast and courageous and strong. We want all that good stuff.

But the two words that I want us to look at, because they help us know how to be courageous, are actually the last two words in that verse. The last two words are, "Be strong." Now, how do those two words show us how to live courageously? You're going to find this interesting. In fact, we're going to get a little Greek, a little geeky Greeky here. Okay? Because this is a very interesting word that only shows up one time in the New Testament. So those words, "Be strong," come from a Greek word andrizomai. And this word, that is only found one time, it's an imperative command. And imperative means "Thou shalt," right? It's something you should do. It's a command. And it means literally, "Be men." "Be men." Or an older translation would have called it "Play the man." Now, that is fascinating. And I don't want you to think that that means this command is for men only. It's just a way to tell all of us, including women, children, how to live. And we know it's not just for men, because Paul himself also taught in the Book of Galatians, Chapter 3, that really in Christ there is no male or female. I mean, this whole message is for each of us, all genders.

But I want you to consider the culture in which Paul would have written this and the Corinthians would have heard this. Okay? Men, they were the ones who went to battle. They provided and protected women. They provided for -- excuse me -- and protected women and their families and their children. So it's interesting that culturally when this church would have heard those words to be strong, to andrizomai, to be a man, they would have heard that as a way of acting, living that showed great courage, consistency, steadfastness.

And it's interesting -- this will also help you understand this because it was used one time in the Old Testament, this Greek word. So the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Here's your quick little lesson. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, but it had been translated into Greek. And so the Bible that Jesus would have read from would have been the Septuagint. So he would have read that Greek. And the word andrizomai showed up in the Septuagint in another place, in Joshua 1:9. You may know what that says. "Be strong and of good courage." That's that same word. And so what does it mean to actually be a man?

K.C. Wright: Hmm. Yeah. This could be confusing, because there are good men, right? Men who are Godly and wise, they protect their families, they provide. They kill the bear, right? The kind of men worth imitating. But then there are men who don't walk according to their calling. They may have been abusive or harsh, instead of protecting, they hurt others. There are men who are just not trustworthy and even abandon their own families. So to be told in Scripture to be a man can conjure up all sorts of emotions and images depending on your own personal experience with men.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: So this can be really confusing. I get it. We try to understand it in its cultural context here, but how do we actually do this?

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, you're right, K.C., it is confusing because there are good men. There are good men. But even a good, good man, I don't believe, is really the trustworthy source of imitation that helps us to know courage. There's really only one truly, truly good man, and he's who we can look to to see what it really means to act like a man, because he's the God man, Jesus. And so this is where I want to pull these choices that we can make for courage. If we want to really be a man, I think this is what it looks like if this is what we're going to live like. And it's in Hebrews Chapter 12. K.C., Could you read those verses.

K.C. Wright: I would be honored. One of my favorites. Hebrews 12:2-3. "Fixing our eyes," locking our eyes, "on Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured his cross, scorning the shame, and is now sat down at the right hand of the Father. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Jennifer Rothschild: So you won't grow weary and lose heart. In other words, so that you can live courageously. And so what is it in those verses that we see that Jesus did that shows what it means to really, quote/unquote, play the man? I'm going to give you three choices.

The first one is this: you choose an eternal perspective. Choose an eternal perspective. You heard K.C. read that it was for the joy that was set before him that Jesus endured the cross. For the joy that was set before. So in other words, to be courageous, you got to see beyond this moment and this heartache and this project. In other words, you do it for the joy that is to come. You remember that there is a reward beyond what you can see.

In fact, in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul was writing there and he said when we have this kind of eternal perspective, when we make that choice, we don't lose heart. Even though outwardly things are wasting away, inwardly we're being renewed. Because these light and temporary troubles are working within us a far greater weight of glory, because that which is seen is temporary and that which is unseen is eternal.

So when we choose an eternal perspective, we're able to see that even your heavy burden here, it's working a far greater weight of glory. And so when you choose to keep that perspective, you just never forget that today's sacrifices and investments, they're for the glory of God and they're for the good of the generations to come. That's how you live courageously. And if you don't choose this eternal perspective, then you're going to become short-sighted. You're going to be willing to give up way too easily or give in to discouragement when it feels heavy. Or fear. Whatever it may be. So the first choice to live courageously is to choose to have an eternal perspective.

Second choice: Choose endurance. So to be courageous means you're just unwilling to quit. You're just not willing to quit. You endure. And endurance is not passive. It means you actively participate and you persevere. That's what Jesus did. It said for the joy that was set before him, he endured his cross. He actively participated with that awful experience. And so that means you do the same thing, you endure. Wherever it is that you find yourself, you choose you're just not going to quit. You are going to endure.

Now, none of us have a cross that in any way is worthy to be compared to the cross of Jesus. But for the sake of our conversation, let's say you have something in your life that is a cross. In fact, let's say you have something in your life that is excruciating, because that is the root of the word excruciating. The cross is the root of that word excruciating. And it just means something painful. You got something in your life that is excruciating. That thing that hurts you, that thing that makes you want to quit. That's the place where you choose to endure. You refuse to turn back, you don't give up, you don't give in, you just actively participate with whatever it is that God has allowed in your life. You just don't turn back and you don't turn bitter. If you want to live courageously, play the man, then you choose endurance.

Third choice: You choose emotional wisdom. Do you realize that's the other thing that Jesus did in those verses K.C. read? It says that he despised the shame. He despised the shame. And when we use the word "despise," a lot of times -- I remember growing up in the south, somebody would say, "Oh, I just despise that," and it meant they hated it, right? Well, the true nature of that word "despise" in "despise the shame" means to consider it lowly or to esteem it lowly or to show low regard. So when it came to that emotion of shame, Jesus didn't disregard it; he just showed low regard toward it. In other words, he didn't ignore it, but he just didn't elevate it above truth.

And so for us that means we choose to not be governed by our feelings. We feel them, absolutely we feel them, but we just never let them get elevated above the truth and the mission and the purpose. If you do, you'll quit. I mean, who wouldn't? Feelings are powerful. But feelings are not your GPS. Truth is. That is why you play the man. You imitate the choices that Jesus made, for he is our supreme example of courage. Many of you know I've been to Oxford, England, several times, because I'm such a C.S. Lewis junkie.

K.C. Wright: Same.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know. K.C., that's going to be our dream trip someday, because you've never been.

K.C. Wright: Oh, please. Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: I just love to go and see other people love it too, so I would love to take you and be your tour guide, the one with the non-British accent. But anyway, I've been several times, and it is my happy place. But there is a cross which is etched into the center of Broad Street there in Oxford, and it's to commemorate what happened there in that spot in 1555. So I'll give you just a little history. In 1555, Mary Tudor, she was on the throne in England. You might know who she is. She was the oldest daughter of King Henry. You know Henry VIII? Her mom was Catherine of Aragon. That was Henry's first wife. She was actually one of the few wives who kept her head. Because, yeah, he wasn't real good to his wives. So Mary became the fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

And so prior to her reign, England had been Protestant. Now, if you don't know about their history, England's history, they had a very troubled, divided history when it came to religion. So the Catholics and the Protestants -- let's just put it this way, they did not play nice. So, like, when one was in charge, they persecuted the other. So as Mary comes to the throne, she's Catholic. And she wants to return England so that they can become a Catholic nation again, and so that meant that she began persecuting the Protestants.

So during her reign, there were 300 Protestant Christians burned at the stake. And so now you may know who I'm talking about. That's Bloody Mary. That was her name, Bloody Mary. So during this time, there were these two outspoken Protestant bishops, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley. And so Bloody Mary had them both arrested. And they shared a cell in the Tower of London, which I got to tour. It was fascinating and awful, quite honestly. And so in March, though, of 1554, Latimer and Ridley were moved to this town prison in Oxford -- where I also got to visit -- and it was there that they were to debate in public with Roman Catholic theologians. And so they defended their faith in Christ, you know, that salvation was by grace through faith alone.

And then it was time for the heresy trials, and they began in January 1555. And truly, there was never any doubt about what the verdict would be. And so Latimer and Ridley, they were sentenced to death, and they were to be burned at the stake. And so that's where this occurred, where you see that cross on Broad Street. And it was said that when they were taken out to the stake to be burned, Ridley literally kissed the stake, and both men knelt down and they prayed. And they were given one more chance to recant, and they chose not to. And so when they didn't, they were each chained to a stake and then a bag of gunpowder was hung around each man's neck. And by the way, that was actually a luxury. It was compassionate because it meant that they would burn faster. So the wood was lit. And as Latimer was dying, the story goes that he encouraged Ridley and he calls out from the flames, where he is tied to the stake. And he starts to call out, and the crowd hears him, and he says, "Be of good courage, Master Ridley, and play the man, for we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England that I trust shall never be put out."

Now, I know that was not the best British accent, but, y'all, that is some powerful stuff, because that's what it means to play the man. That's what it means to live courageously. It means you have an eternal perspective. You see beyond what you're experiencing now and you choose to endure. You don't quit, you don't turn away, and you choose emotional wisdom no matter how you feel. And if you've got Christ, then you have the capacity to live this way, because this is what courageous living looks like.

K.C. Wright: That means, 4:13ers, no matter what you face, you can face it with courage. Jen, I got a question. Is this a part of your new Bible study?

Jennifer Rothschild: I figured you would notice that it is, all this talk about courage. Yeah, it is. And it'll be out in July.

K.C. Wright: Oh, boy.

Jennifer Rothschild: And this, in fact, is one of the favorite stories that I tell in the Bible studies.

K.C. Wright: I cannot wait. I cannot wait. You can preorder the Bible study right now at That's Or just go to the show notes at to see the Bible study, plus to get a review of these three choices. And remember, whatever you face, however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

Jennifer Rothschild: Now give me your British accent, K.C.

K.C. Wright: Oh, my.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's very good.

K.C. Wright: Oh, my. I'll have to...

Jennifer Rothschild: That just wasn't much. Oh, my.

K.C. Wright: Faster than the shake of a lamb's tail. I don't know. That wasn't good.


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