Be Strong and Courageous

By Jim MacDonald

Having Courage and Strength

For years I’d pray for God to give me courage and strength to… (whatever I needed). I knew God spoke throughout the Bible about courage and strength, so I thought it very appropriate to pray for it.

Then, like so many times before, a passage resonates with me. My eyes were opened to the truth–even though I’d read it many times.

Joshua 1:9 “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.”

God didn’t tell me to pray for courage and strength. He said as a believer, I already have it. (Hark…), I already have it—”Be strong and courageous.”

Additional passages about being strong and courageous

God gave Joshua the task of taking the Israelites into the Promised Land after Moses had brought them out of Egypt. Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

In Deuteronomy 31:23, God said: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

1 Chronicles 28:20, David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”

And Paul, speaking to the church of Corinth said: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”—1 Corinthians 16:13

When you know the Lord, it’s a given—Be strong and courageous. We have but one purpose here on earth and that’s to serve the Lord. Therefore, whatever you do, know that when you are serving the Lord, you are to be strong and courageous. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Ok, easier said than done right? So, what’s stopping you from being strong and courageous? What’s keeping you from carrying out God’s will?

Fear, doubt, the uncertainty of what God’s called you to do? If you are actively pursuing the work of God’s kingdom, then the evil one is trying to divert you. That’s a fact—and the way to overcome that is praying, worshiping, and reading God’s Word.

Did other Biblical characters struggle with fear and doubt?

Don’t think for a second the leaders in the Bible didn’t suffer the same fears and doubts as you and I do. God called Moses to go speak to Pharaoh about freeing God’s people. Here’s Moses’ response:

“…Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”—Exodus 4:10

And in Exodus 4:13 Moses said: “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

Does that sound like you? It did me.

Then, Profit Isaiah had to deliver the bad news to the Israelites about their city being destroyed and left in ruins and without inhabitants. Isaiah said: “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”—Isaiah 6:5

Have you ever used this excuse: I’m too young or I’m too old? The Profit Jeremiah was also given the task of delivering bad news to the Israelites. This was his excuse. “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”—Jeremiah 1:6

As you’re pursuing your dreams and goals there will always be fear and doubt. Work through these spiritual roadblocks and you will find success on the other side. If these dreams and goals honor God and you feel He inspired you to strive for them, then NOTHING should be able to stop you.

Be strong and courageous and remember: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. —2 Timothy 1:7


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