Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fear or Courage; Weak or Strong

Hard things are put in our way, not to stop us, but to call out our courage and strength.- Anonymous

The above quote must have been meant for me! LOL Things have been difficult lately, but I hope I can persevere and show I have courage and strength. I have never thought of myself as strong and courageous, but hard circumstances do reveal a person's character. Working with people for many years, I have realized a person's outlook on life truly determines how well they handle misfortune. What do you think? Do difficult situations make you or break you? Not necessarily you personally, but people you know. What trait is most common in the face of hardship - fear or courage, weakness or strength?


  1. I think these work together. It takes courage to face (admit) our real fears, and we are strongest when we realize our own weaknesses. It takes courage and strength to rely on God when we ourselves feel fearful and weak, but that is what we should do all the time and what we must do (to make it) when we face the “hard things.” people who face adversity with positive attitudes have spent time (beforehand) with Jesus.

  2. I think all of these traits are common in hardships. It's natural for us to feel fearful and weak, but that's where God comes in. If we look to Him, He can help us overcome the fear and be the strength in our weakness.

    Just my 2 cents worth. I pray that God will continue to strengthen you and that your house will be back in order soon.


  3. Jana, I don't really think that difficult situations make or break you...I think they merely reveal you. They have a way of putting your character on display...and the weakness or strength of your character shows up.

  4. Wow sis that one has made me think. I know for me and all the trials I have been going through the first thing that comes to me is fear, then I have to stop and remind my self that GOD has not brought me this far just to drop me off. Then when I get info faith then I have the courage to over come what ever it is that needs to be done. As far as weakness and strength I feel I have both, but I know GOD is turning my weakness in to strength. One day at a time.

  5. Hi, my dear friends. First, I apologize for taking so long to respond. All of your comments were wonderful. Helen and Carol, I believe you are right that fear/courage, weak/strong, does work together. I particularly like the way Mark pointed out that difficult situations have a way of putting your character on display. Recognizing that you first feel fear, Beka, is a huge step towards courage.

    Having said that, let me add to this topic. I actually believe a person's outlook determines which trait is most dominant in their character. Many times I have seen tragedy strike a family and the responses are all so different. I have seen siblings face the death of a loved one and one sibling sink into the despair of drugs and alcohol, and the other sibling establish a memorial and pursue a change of law to prevent another such death. What causes this huge difference? I believe it is a negative or positive personality. Most people I know who "lose it" when difficulty comes, are the people who have a very negative outlook on life. Everything is bad, they constantly whine, and they are never pleased. On the other hand, the positive character figures a way to survive because their everyday personality sees things on the brighter side. The positive personality is more determined in everything they do. Maybe you can give some input on this thought.

    Really, I have had a couple days that were very dramatic and emotional, and I think this whole post is somewhat preaching to myself. Pushing through the pain and finding courage actually came through confiding in a dear friend who gave me the reassurance that "This too, shall pass." Thanks my dear friend. You know who you are! I have also reminded myself, that God did not give the spirit of fear.

  6. We do well to remember there is a big difference between personality and character. Personality is tied to the physical, but character to the spiritual. Sometimes people with annoying personalities come through when the going gets tough because of their stalwart character.

    Sometimes what we really don't like about a person is a silly, squeaky voice or something equally unimportant (like personality). And sometimes reaction during duress has to do with a lack of sleep. That can really wreck havoc on a strong witness.

    And then, there is the notion that we must forgive ourselves for the audacity to be human. LOL (I noticed Brian hasn't had much to say about "Fun that Matters" since the house fell apart. I bet it's "Laugh so I don't totally lose it" for him, too.)

    Your family is in my prayers.

  7. Yes, Helen, personality is tied to the physical, but it can also be stated as the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual. Character, on the other hand, can be described as the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of a person. With that being said, it is really impossible to separate the two. I completely agree with you about reactions do to sleep deprivation. My 10 year old, Blake, is very negatively affected when he is sleep deprived even though he has a very strong character. So much factors in to every situation. Personally, I just have a difficult time with very negative people. :(

    Concerning Brian - you may have noticed that I changed him from my list of favorite bloggers to some other links. He doesn't post consistent enough for me. In his defense I might add, he has the most ridiculous, unpredictable schedule. Not only is he a senior pastor, he also substitute teaches and is a chaplain for the sheriff department. Then, he is very involved within our district and takes on many other jobs. He doesn't get much sleep and you never know when he will be called out. For him to find enough free time to blog is quite a feat.

  8. Hi Jana:

    Good, thought-provoking post. When I go through difficult times, and I feel tossed and turned every which way, I think it's normal in our human nature to feel fear. But if we look to Jesus, He helps us make it through. The Apostle Paul said, "For when I am weak, then am I strong". I think trials do show us what we are made of, and I also believe they can make us stronger. In the O.T., God likens his people to jewels in certain places. He says, "And they shall be mine in the day when I make up my jewels". I did a study one time on how precious stones are formed deep in the belly of the earth. They undergo extreme heat and pressure to become the beautiful stones they are. And so it is with us sometimes. In another portion of scripture, the Lord says, "I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction". I sure would like to be exempt from any trials or pain, but it's something we all will face at one time or another. He will give us what we need to make it through. I Cor. 10:13. I wrote a poem years ago called "Then Am I Strong". I will try and post it on my blog soon. I love you and I'm praying for you, dear Sis.

  9. Jana, You have been tagged. Go to my blog and see.

  10. Karen - thanks for your comment. I enjoyed your thoughts and perspective. Also, I enjoyed your thoughts on precious stones. When I was a young girl, I loved to collect rocks and precious stones. In fact, my collection won a ribbon in the school hobby show.

    Ronda - I'll be right over.