Scripture Reading — Joshua 1:1-9
"Be strong and very courageous." Joshua 1:7 —
Our hearts stir with the stories of courageous people in the Bible. We admire Abram for leaving his homeland to follow the Lord. We applaud Moses for marching in before Pharaoh with God's demand "Let my people go!" We love to hear of young David going out to meet mighty Goliath.
Well, look at God's approach to Joshua, who is about to take over in Moses' place. God's first words to Joshua are about courage. Three times in his address to Joshua, God repeats the challenge "Be strong and courageous."
Courage is needed when the task is big--and this task is immense! God says, in effect, "Call Israel together; cross the Jordan; conquer the cities; overcome the enemies; resist their gods. Yes, the enemies will be fearsome, but you must be courageous!"
Courage has always been a necessary quality among the people of God. Standing for righteousness in a society that accommodates itself to evil takes courage. Spreading the true gospel of Jesus Christ in a culture that wants to say any religion will do, takes courage. Allegiance to Jesus Christ in a world that is often against Christ takes courage.
Paul's charge to his friends in Corinth applies to us all. "Be alert. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage, and be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13, NCV).
O Lord, I know there are issues to face, temptations to withstand, and enemies to meet. Give me a courageous heart, that I may be firm in my obedience. For Jesus' sake, Amen.