“…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Courage isn’t something that we often think about. We usually associate courage with acts of valor and heroism. Courage isn’t thought of as an everyday thing, but maybe it should be. First, let’s look at how courage is defined…
Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.
Let’s just look at the first sentence of that definition…
Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.
I really can’t think of one day in my life where I have not had to face one of those things. Can you? Obviously, some days have less challenges than others but everyday has some level of uncertainty which can lead to fear, which can snowball into intimidation, danger and pain. The problem with uncertainty is that it fosters fear and fear can easily multiply. The enemy loves to use uncertainty to ignite fear in our hearts. The enemy knows that if we have a fearful heart we are ineffective for the Kingdom.
Fear is addressed in God’s Word often so it makes me think that dealing with fear must be important. One of my favourite people in the Old Testament is Joshua. Joshua was chosen to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. It was obvious to Joshua that this would involve overcoming a lot of obstacles and many battles. It was a job that would make anyone fearful. In Joshua chapter 1, God addresses Joshua and tells him what he is to do. God understands that this is no small task. This is what God says to Joshua in verse 9…
Have I not commanded you? [pullquote position="right"]Be strong and courageous[/pullquote]. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
He tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. But He also tells Joshua why he can be strong and courageous. Joshua can be strong and courageous because God is going to be with Him wherever he goes. Joshua isn’t going it alone. God loves him and his people so much that He is going to walk with them every step of the way. Joshua was ready to go because his heart was convinced that God loved him and would never let him down. Joshua was one of the greatest men of faith because he stood with great courage for the Lord. His courage was fueled by the knowledge that he was loved.
What about you? Are you convinced of God’s love for you? The Bible is a love letter written to you. Take time to read it today and let your heart be convinced of the love that God has for you. Once you grasp this love, you will begin to see opportunities instead of obstacles, and adventures instead of danger.
Beth Moore says it so well…
[pullquote]Courage comes from a heart that is convinced it is loved-Beth Moore[/pullquote]
If you are convinced of God’s love for you, His love will leave no room for fear in your heart. Living a courageous life isn’t about willing yourself into doing anything, it is about understanding the love that God has for you and trusting that love. I encourage you today to be strong and very courageous because [pullquote position="right"]YOU ARE LOVED![/pullquote]