Fortitude (Dictionary): Courage in pain or adversity, strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.
Fortitude (Bible): Courage, persevere, abide, endure, long-suffering, patience, powerful, able, possible.
The dictionary primarily sees fortitude as courage and mental toughness. The Bible has similar definitions but adds in abide and patience. We see that the Bible is filled with examples of fortitude joined with faith. The Bible usually reveals fortitude through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was an amazing example of fortitude and He is our example to live out a life of perseverance. The prophet Isaiah prophesied about Jesus and His endurance:
Isaiah 53:7: 7He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. (NASB)
As we see the fortitude of Jesus coupled with His suffering, we can see how our lives should also be ordered by examples of fortitude. Many others have walked the path of long-suffering and showing their faith by their amazing endurance. The writer of Hebrews was very direct in how we must persevere! Our faith will be tested for sure but we have the Lord Jesus Christ to help us each step we take.
Hebrews 12:1-3: 12Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (NASB)
When a farmer starts to plant seed, he fixes his eyes on a distant point of focus. As long as he maintains that focus, his rows will be straight! The same is true of us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus in all we do. Then the seeds planted will bear fruit!
John 14:25-27: ” 2I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.27 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.” (NLT)
The remarkable grace of God maybe beyond our understanding. But His grace is always there-even in our most difficult times! With God’s Grace, we can live a life of Godly fortitude-without complaint! Let us look again at Hebrews:
Hebrews 10:19-25: 19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (NASB)
God’s gift of faith is incredible! He has equipped us for every battle and stands with us through the best and worst of times. Those of us in a spiritual or physical battle today must hold fast to our faith! The Lord will be there for all who call upon His name! “Fortitude” turns out to be an interesting word.