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Does God Want You to Be Courageous?
The battle of courage versus fear.
We think courage is reserved for superheroes or for people who skydive.
Every time fear rears its head in your life, courage is given an opportunity to shine.
Joshua and Courage
Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. (Joshua 1:6)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Joshua had been given the leadership of the children of Israel. Moses had led them through the wilderness, but he had died. Now Joshua would lead them into the land of Canaan.
Many battles lay ahead, and Joshua was new to leading the nation.
Naturally, I imagine he felt some fear. God encouraged him to “be strong and of good courage.” Knowing the LORD God was with him wherever he went motivated his courage.
Joseph and Courage
Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43)
The Jewish council helped to put Jesus to death on the cross. They were celebrating their apparent “victory” over Jesus.
Joseph - a member of the council himself - went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus to bury Him.
Do you think Joseph felt a little bit of fear? He could have lost his seat on the council - or worse.
But he was waiting for the kingdom of God, and he knew enough about Jesus to know that the Lord was connected to God’s kingdom (Matthew 16:16-19). So, he took courage and did what was right.
Paul and Courage
And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. (Acts 28:15)
After a long journey, which included being shipwrecked, Paul finally neared Rome. Some of the brethren come out to meet him, and Paul thanked God for them and took courage.
Paul must have been feeling some fear about what awaited him in Rome.
However, his brethren encouraged him and motivated him to choose courage over his fears.
What About You?
Living the Christian life will sometimes put us in a position where we feel afraid.
Maybe your boss tells you to do something unethical at work - should you do what’s right and risk losing your job? Fear begins to set in.
Courage knows the Lord is with you in whatever you face - just like Joshua.
Courage chooses to do what’s right despite your fear - just like Joseph.
Courage can come from being encouraged by your brothers and sisters in Christ - just like Paul.
To each, there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour. - Winston Churchill