Friday, February 27, 2015

Be Courageous

Be Courageous

By Sarah P.

“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, NKJV

Courage is not a word you hear a lot nowadays. Maybe you’ve heard your history teacher say that George Washington was “courageous” or you’ve read Joshua 1:9 before when you were nervous. But, to be honest, we just don’t apply courage to our daily lives. defines courage as, “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.” John Piper defines courage as, “…the willingness to say and do the right thing regardless of the earthly cost.” The two definitions are very different, if you think about them; one is saying that courage is action with an absence of fear and that it comes from your own mind or spirit, and the other is saying that courage is willingness to follow God’s leading, even in the presence of fear. We’ll call the first definition “the world’s courage” and the second “God’s courage.”

Let’s examine the world’s courage. The world tells us that courage comes from the power within our own minds. Following this line of thinking, we should be able to somehow empower ourselves to having courage. Yet, when I’m afraid, I don’t find a power within myself that will make me courageous—or banish my fears. Instead, I often find my own depravity and powerlessness staring back at me and wish I was someone else.

When God told Joshua, “be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,” He knew that Joshua was scared. This was when Joshua was beginning to assume leadership responsibilities after Moses had died. Joshua was realizing that he was responsible for leading thousands of people, and that probably made him really nervous. Therefore, I don’t think God meant, “stop being nervous and defeat fear by using the power within you.”  Instead, He goes on to tell Joshua a reason not to be afraid: “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” He’s saying, “You do not need to be afraid because I am with you always.”

Courage is not a self-motivated lack of fear. It is a God-motivated willingness to do the right thing despite fear. The only way to defeat fear is to have courage and faith in God and act anyway.

So, despite what the dictionary may tell you, courage is not an absence of fear. Maybe, if we understood that, we would act a little more courageous. We would stand up to temptation from our friends and our own hearts. We would be the voice for God at our schools and workplaces. We would stand up for others, and we wouldn’t let the fear of what others think stop us. And that’s all because courage does not require us to be naturally fearless or be born with special qualities; it only requires us to be willing to follow God, no matter the cost.

Will you be courageous? Will you take a stand? Will you put your faith in God and follow Him, no matter the cost?

God Bless,



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