On my right hand, I wear a ring inscribed with a scripture that’s been an inspiring instruction to me for many years. It’s Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous.”
In the Bible, the verse goes on to say, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
In context, these are the instructions God gave Joshua to enter the Promised Land—a land Moses led God’s people toward up until then. But with Moses now gone, Joshua was tasked with leading a whining and wayward people into an unknown land reportedly occupied by giants. Plenty stood in the way of realizing this promise, including crossing the Jordan river at flood stage, and you can be sure, a whole a lot of fear.
The Source of Joshua’s Courage
Yes, our Bible hero Joshua wasn’t immune to feeling fear. That’s why God had to speak to it.
And not just once, but three times God instructed Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” But with everything stacked against him, and plenty of realities and reasons to be afraid, how was it possible for Joshua to simply “be” fearless?
The answer is the word, “be.” As I explore in my book, Activating the Power of God’s Word,
“be” is not based on feeling or emotion. It’s is a word that means to “occupy a position.”
In other words, God instructed Joshua to take a position of fearlessness and press forward despite whether or not he felt like it. And the way Joshua could do it is by remembering that the same God who rescued His people from the Egyptians, parted a sea for them to walk through and provided food for them from heaven is still with them.
The Source of Your Courage
I know that there are plenty of real reasons to be afraid today. And it’s OK if you feel the pressure of it all at times.
What God asks of you is what He asked of Joshua: keep the promise in view, don’t let realities and reasons paralyze you, but move forward knowing the same God who got you through back then is with you to get you through again.
Be encouraged: God will continue to provide. God will continue to protect. God will move that mountain again.
Kyle Winkler (www.kylewinkler.org) is the creator of the popular Shut Up, Devil! mobile app. His latest book is Activating the Power of God’s Word: 16 Strategic Declarations to Transform Your Life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.