“I know of no higher fortitude than stubbornness in the face of overwhelming odds.” – Louis Nizer – English Lawyer
FORTITUDE is courage in pain or adversity. Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you, and strength in the face of pain or grief. Adversities are difficulties or misfortunes with the notion that you would turn toward them versus running away. Fortitude is a rarely witnessed virtue. Christians under persecution like those in Afghanistan and other parts of the world, are showing the kind of fortitude we in America can find it difficult to comprehend, and warrants our prayers. I wonder if there have been times when you’ve had to look difficulty in the face and stand toe to toe with it. Have you ever held an unpopular opinion or belief that might cause persecution? Have you faced an adversary more powerful than you? Have you held on to your faith despite the odds being set against you? Have you pursued a dream that no one else understood? These things require fortitude.
Fortitude has always been a vital character quality for Christ-followers. In the Gospels, Jesus warned his disciples about the persecution that would come as a result of their identification with Him. “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) In Romans 5, Paul went further, to express the type of disposition a Christ-follower should hold in the midst of persecution. “And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance (fortitude); and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. (Romans 5:2-4, AMP) There are times when fortitude and courage are called for when we are to run toward our fears in order by grace to conquer them.