Courage vs Confidence

How do you grow in Confidence?

I love competitions. I’ve run two marathons and competed in a ton of mountain bike races. Recently I got to join over 100 other people do the Waco Tactical Fitness challenge in Waco, Texas. You run a 5-mile cross country course through fields, mud, rappel down a slippery slope into a river - and then walk in the middle of a river for a couple hundred yards (I found out you can’t run in a river!), and crawl through long narrow pipes, up towers, over 8’ walls. Oh, and each of us had to carry a pistol with 100+ rounds, and an AR-15 with 100+ rounds. And, any food, water, first aid, tools, weather gear that you might need. We shot targets out to 400 yards from towers, trees, stacks of old tires, laying in the mud and from under cars, in cars and at cars. It was a blast! (no pun intended).

Roger Staubach (former QB of the Dallas Cowboys) says confidence comes from hours and days weeks and years of constant work and dedication.

Because it was my first “run and gun” competition, I had no experience, which means I didn’t have much confidence even though I had trained (I got 11th in the overall 5 mile run). So, I needed courage.

Courage is needed when we lack confidence, when failure, fear shout at us that we don’t belong, that we can’t do it.

Confidence and skill grow with hours/days/weeks/years of training. Your experience begins to inform your next encounter. You become better. You grow in confidence. You need courage less and less.

However, when you start something new you don’t have hours/days/weeks/years of training you need to draw on courage. That’s why here in Joshua 1:8 God says to “be strong and courageous” – Note he does not say “be strong and confident.”

Joshua and Israel don’t have hours/days/weeks/years of military training. They’ve been making bricks for hundreds of years. God was trying to grow their confidence in Him by giving them unconventional tactics against the Amalekties (Ex. 17, Moses hands up = they prevail, Moses hands down = they get killed).


God was trying to train them in faith in Him so their confidence in following and obeying God would grow. When they get to Jericho they will need confidence in following and obeying God because the battle plan is...unconventional. They’ll need courage to step out in faith and follow God’s plan because His plans deviate from cultural norms.

Because courage is uncomfortable, we all spend a lot of time seeking confidence.


We wait to feel confident before we take action, we want the assurance that things will work out. But we will never feel confident unless we

start with courage.

Are you waiting to feel confident before you do something?


Do you need to act in courage and start?

Courage allows us to act despite our fears.




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