Merriam-Webster defines fortitude as the strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.  When I think about fortitude, my mind immediately takes me back in time when communities built large walls to provide protection from their enemies.  The more time, energy, and resources that were put into the walls determined how effective they would be.  The walls were certainly an investment knowing that adversity would come at some point.  There is a correlation between the ancient walls and our current lives.  I Peter 4:12 says, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.”  Regardless of our background, education, profession, or beliefs, we will all face trials and tribulations.  The question is, are we properly prepared to handle them with courage and strength.

Craig D. Lounsbrough once said, “I can wait for life to shape me in whatever manner it chooses.  Or, I can shape me to make life whatever I choose.”  Make no mistake, life can throw some crushing blows to our physical and mental wellness.  Developing the fortitude that will sustain us during challenging times takes preparation.  Like an athlete trains their bodies and mind to accomplish great things, we will all benefit from preparing for those challenges in life that will test our fortitude.

There are many verses in the Bible that encourage fortitude.  One that I recently read is Isaiah 41:10 that says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  It is comforting to know that God recognizes that fear, anxiety, and pain are difficult challenges that we will experience.  God promises that he will strengthen and help us when we need it the most.  Even in our weakest moment, God will lift us up with His right hand.

There is a certain boost of confidence that comes with someone who is superior in strength and ability being on your team.  The term G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) is a popular phrase in the sports world.  Players that have been given this title bring an energy and confidence to the team like no one else.  Each of us can choose to have a relationship with the One who is the ultimate source of strength and power. The One who laid down His life for us and promises to be with us in difficult times.  Don’t miss the opportunity to bolster your strength and wisdom by growing your relationship with God and walking in the truth of His word.  Life will still bring its challenges, but you will be partnered with the G.O.A.T.  Unlike the athletes that may share the title, God will never underperform or disappoint.  He will provide the unwavering support that you need regardless of what life throws at you.

Challenge: Whatever you are facing in life, stay the course.  Focus on those things that bolster fortitude and sustain you through the challenges of life.  Never forget that each of us have full access to the One that will never let us down or disappoint.  He will strengthen and help us in our times of need.