CourageBro. David Chancellor
4/27/2003 11:00 AM
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
God was giving Joshua direction about what he expected him to do. There were challenges that were part of what Joshua was told to do. There were some really good promises, too. There would be some things to come up against, and some pressures on Joshua to add to or diminish what God told him to do. Joshua was going to have to have courage. Courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. God told Joshua that it would take some strength to do what he had given him to do, because everything wouldn't always be agreeable. We need internal strength to face the difficulty, danger or fear, and still do what is right. Joshua needed to know the law, so that he could know what God wanted him to do. We need to know what God would have us to be doing. Joshua was to make the law a part of himself.
When going out to battle, it's good to know that you have someone to back you up. God will be there and will provide what is needed. This doesn't say, "Be strong in yourself." There is a source of strength to go to. Paul found strength in the face of difficulty in God. If we would be strong, we need to draw on the source of strength.
The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came. They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved. But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
You need the assurance that you are right where God wants you to be, when you face difficulty. Few come to the right relationship with God, but if you would draw on God, then you have to have a right relationship with God.
Encourage - to inspire courage. When Nehemiah was building the wall, he and his men wouldn't back down in the face of difficulty. We need to help strengthen others to stand. When you need strengthening, God wants your brother to reinforce you in a good way. We don't want to give the kind of encouragement that says "...you better fight or we'll shoot you from behind..." You can encourage others to stand by letting them know that you're there for them and will back them up in their hour of need.
Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
Job's comforters came and told him everything he was doing was wrong. Sometimes difficulty comes even when you're doing right. God's people will have things to face, just like everyone else. When you try to help someone, speak as though you were in their shoes. See it from their perspective.
Job said that he would try to give strength by his words. We should pray that God would help us to encourage others. Job was willing to help others, even in his own hour of difficulty. You can be encouraged by encouraging others.
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
What would you think if God told you what he told Peter? Faith and courage go together. If you would have courage in the face of difficulty, you need your faith built up. Jesus was telling Peter that Peter needed courage he didn't have. Peter was afraid of the little maid. He needed to be strengthened. Later, his faith did take hold. Jesus was telling him that once he got the benefit of what Jesus prayed for him for, to share it with the others and to strengthen them.
After Pentecost, Peter shared the strength that he had received. After he received it, he had the responsibility to share it. Jesus told him to strengthen (encourage) the others. They were trying to help the others to go forward for God. God can work through us to help us to face danger and difficulty, and yet to persevere. People need encouragement. Share the encouragement God has given you with someone else.
I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
For someone to have courage, he needs strength in his soul. People are courageous because of something God puts within. Be strengthened by God in your soul. God can strengthen us in the inner man. The strength brings praise for God. Praise God for the strength he gives. Give God the glory. God can help us face the difficulties and challenges of life. The fears may come, but God can strengthen us for whatever it is. We may not know what the future holds, but we know the power of God will make the difference. Wherever there was a little bit of good, God wants to encourage that. God would have us to build others faith and encourage them to draw close to God. Let mankind know that strength is found in God.