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.” Joshua 1:9
There’s certainly a lot of courageous people in the Bible. After Moses’ death, God commands Joshua to take the Israelites into the promised land – not knowing what to expect. God reminds Joshua that with every step, He will be just ahead of Joshua paving the way.
The dictionary definition of courage is: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. But that doesn’t really do “courage” justice. There’s plenty of people who build up their courage to do really stupid things. And without consulting God on our next steps how can someone really “withstand” fear and difficulty?
Courage is one of those mysterious uniquely human gifts. A gift that is frequently used wrongly when the Holy Spirit isn’t involved. I find when I’m telling myself to be brave it’s a signal that I need to start praying.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
Awhile back I challenged a group of friends and acquaintances to embark on what I called The Boldness Challenge. I asked each of them to make a list of five things they’d like to accomplish. And then, they were to start working on each of them, reporting in occasionally. For some it was digging deeper into their faith. For another it was completing the John Muir Trail. From starting a business to learning to fly, the lists were incredibly diverse! One list included forgiving certain people in their lives. Each person had been putting off tackling a dream or a goal. All of them would need God’s courage to move forward.
I’m so thankful that when I know I’m going to encounter a difficult situation or embark on a new and scary adventure I can count on God for the mysterious courage. The Holy Spirit wells up inside me and gives me the strength to take that step forward.