Contrary to popular wisdom, courage is not what actually conquers fear. Courage is simply the absence of fear.
If your heart was a gas can, fear would be gas and courage would be the remaining air space. As the gas is poured out, the air space increases. Courage, then, is simply the substance left remaining in the “tank,” so to speak, as fear is removed.
So I guess if you’re looking for the force of gravity that tips the can in this illustration, it would be love. Only love removes fear. If you have fears and anxiety about your life or your future, courage cannot increase until love is increased.
Receiving love actually produces courage by removing the fear of negative outcomes in your life. The love that drives out fear cannot be generated from within yourself. Any love you’re capable of stirring up from within has been occupying space in your heart right along with your fears all this time, never encroaching on fear’s territory. Any love you might possibly generate from your own will is no threat to the fears that occupy your thoughts.
The only force great enough to remove fear is one that moves, and shapes, and “tips” your heart into a position that spills out fear. This force must initiate from an external source stronger than your own volition.
Only the perfect love of the Father casts out fear. Knowing how much God loves us will settle every anxiety and insecurity, and position our hearts to leak fear and hold courage. God only desires positive outcomes in your life, and his plan is for your good in every circumstance.
If there is some chance that God, in a moment of anger or indifference, could inflict pain and suffering on your life, your fears would be validated. If God is looking to punish you for any misstep, or inflict on you the evil outcomes you fear in order to teach and train you, you should be worried.
Because we know that the Father would never use evil means, like pain and abuse, to reach a just end, we can trust in his plan for our every good outcome. If we can trust in his plan, we can receive him as our loving Father. If we can receive him as a loving Father, we can see ourselves as his children – showered with good gifts at every turn, and shielded from evil around every corner.
If there are fears in your heart, don’t look within yourself for the courage to conquer them. Look to the Father, and see the unconditional love and good will flowing ever in your direction.