“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and take courage are the words the Lord used to command His servant Joshua when He called Him to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land after he succeeded Moses. The question is why is it a command to be strong and courageous? It is a command because it takes those who are willing to overcome their fears to fight through and push ahead despite all odds and possess what God has in store for them – Deuteronomy 31:6.
Courage is defined as the ability to control fear when facing danger, pain – being fearless.
Fear is defined as having an uneasy feeling or anticipation of something. Daily in our individual lives we face and battle with all kinds of fears. These range from, fear of death, failure in life, unknown future, fear of starting a venture, failing in exams, sickness, taking a bold decision, attack of the devil, the list goes on and on. Happily the Scripture tells us that God “ has not given us the spirit of FEAR: but of power, and of love, and of sound mind” – II Tim. 1:7 (KJV)
What Fear Does and Leads Us To:
- Fear can paralyse us and sometimes hinder the fulfillment of our goals and dreams as well as even God’s plans for our lives. But then all is not lost. The good news is that God’s plans for our lives cannot be thwarted if we remain true to Him. The word of God says clearly: “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.” – Phil. 1:6. There is every reason to take courage because God will surely fulfill His purpose in our lives.
- Fear can prevent us from giving ourselves a second chance both in our Christian walk and our social life. Sometimes, we fail but that should not be the end. We need not allow fear to intimidate us and condemn us. Phil. 3:12-14; Psalm 3:3 should encourage us.
- Fear often leads us to make hasty decisions without taking time to seek God’s face for His direction. This may be because our age mates are ahead of us in life and we think we have to catch up with them. The race is not for the swift; we each have our individual race set before us. Habakkuk 2:2-3 and 3:17-19 should get our hearts at peace.
Examples of Strong and Courageous People In the Old Testament:
It is said that nothing comes on a silver platter. Thus, it takes people who are strong and courageous to face the great battles of life. Let us see a few men and women of God who stood strong and courageous in times of difficulties.
- DEBORAH: As a female Judge in Israel, Deborah was strong and courageous and went with Barak to fight against Sisera and his troops. Because of her courage these was great victory – Judges 4:1-23.
- ESTHER: As queen she courageously decided to see the King to intervene on behalf of her people even though it was dangerously to do so. “If I Perish I Perish” has become a source of encouragement to many over the years. Esther’s courage was amply rewarded by God who worked behind the scenes to give the Jews in Susa great victory as we read in Esther Chapter 4.
- DANIEL’S THREE FRIENDS: How can we forget the Hebrew men of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to bow to the image of Nebuchadnezzar, and were courageous to say to the King that their God will be able to save them from the burning furnace – Daniel 3:1-30.
To be continued!!
Source: Culled from SALM’s article in the Chronicle newspaper.