Often mistaken in translations for confidence, this is the verb form of the word for “courage”. Outside of Scripture it can also be used in a bad sense where a person has an excessive amount of courage; however, typically it is used to express a good courage, based on the reliance of the dependability of someone. Within Scripture this is its only use, in a positive sense.

In Acts 28:15 as Paul is being brought to Rome due to the persecution of the Jews, when he sees the brethren in the area, he thanked God and took courage. Paul was able to depend upon these saints.

“Good courage” is predominantly used in 2 Corinthians referring to Paul’s attitude towards the saints in Corinth. While he is absent from them, he has courage that they will do the right thing, 2 Corinthians 10:1. It is with this courage that he also has confidence in them (2 Corinthians 10:2).

In 2 Corinthians 10:2, many of our English translations imply that Paul was of good courage while with them; however, in the original Greek it is expressing his courage toward them while he is away because he reckoned to them as ones who are dependable – And I implore, while not being present to have good courage in confidence unto you, which I dared to reckon on the basis of some, the ones reckoning us as walking according to flesh. Paul reckoned to them that they were dependable and therefore would do what is right, even though some of them were stating Paul was not walking properly. We also see in this passage good courage being used with confidence, showing they are not conveying the same idea. Confidence is an expression of being persuaded, where good courage is a result of dependability.

In addition, Paul also expresses good courage toward the fact that although while home in the body we are absent from the Lord, when we are absent from the body we will be present with the Lord in 2 Corinthians 5:6 and 8.

Therefore, while being of good courage always and intuitively knowing that while being at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 5:6

Now, we are of good courage and are pleased rather to be absent out from the body and to be at home before the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 5:8

This courage comes from the fact that God has stated He will never leave us nor forsake us, for He is our helper and we can depend upon him (Hebrews 13:6). Therefore, our conduct should be without covetousness while being content with such things as we have. Remember, covetousness is idolatry. Idolatry is not limited to bowing down to idols made of sticks and stones, it is a worship of something that we use to justify a lifestyle that seeks what others have because we are not content with what God has provided us.

In a world that seeks to manipulate us into acting independent from God by living a life that is bound by laws to show our own righteousness or fulfilling the desires from our flesh rather than living out the life we have in Christ, the reality is God is our dependable helper Who has provided us with all things pertaining to life and godliness. Therefore, let us take good courage and walk by the Spirit, fulfilling His desires so that we are content with what God has given us, for He has stated He will never leave nor forsake us and unlike the world He is dependable; hence, we should have no fear from those who can only harm the body, but rather be of good courage because of the One Who is able to save our souls and unapologetically live a life that properly expresses the righteousness we have in Christ.