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Life hands us a steady stream of stress and troubles (Job 14:1). However, there are also days of joy and happiness. During our times of stress, we need the courage to continue strong. Courage is a character trait we need most of all when we face defeat. Without courage, we can lose heart and get discouraged. It is no accident that the word courage means a brave heart, but the word discourage means to lose heart. Discouragement is the result of losing heart in the light of the pressures life presents.
Our greatest test of courage is to refuse to accept discouragement. We only fail when we quit trying. Paul wrote that we should lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees (Hebrews 12:12). Pressing against a resistant force strengthens us. We grow weak when we do nothing. We need to get up, face the trials in our lives and act. These are the enemies of discouragement. Remembering to turn to God for strength will give us the most courage we can have.