Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s the willingness to face the fear. The willingness to stand in one’s convictions rather than settle for the convenience of the moment.

Stephen was a prime example of courage in the most practical sense of the word. He was the first martyr for his faith in Jesus. His name literally translates to “crown,” but he understood the meaning of his name wasn’t for a crown that tarnishes. It was for one that was eternal.

To understand his life, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. taught from Acts 6 where Stephen was chosen by the apostles as one of the seven men in the daily distribution of food to widows. Here was a man who found purpose in a seemingly meager position. What could have been a burden became a blessing as God’s word spread from what he contributed. He freely shared the love of Christ and was stoned to death for doing so.