Summary: In like manner we can enjoy the protection and comfort during the time of trouble when we stay comforted by the presence of “Rock of Ages” which is Jesus Christ. If Christ is for us who can be against us. He is the source of strength and courage.
BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS
The Lion’s Tail:
Adrian Rogers tells about the man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocket knife. Asked why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head, the man replied: “Someone had already done that.”( Source Unknown)
It’s easy sometimes to be cocky, and pretend to be brave..but what Joshua needed was true bravery, and courage. God not only directs Joshua to be “strong, and courageous”..but he dictates to him how to be so. To live the kind of Life that God wants us to in the society that we live in...we too need courage the way that Joshua did.....Sometimes its hard to be strong, and courageous.
What is courage?
How do we find it?
How do we live it?
Webster’s Dictionary defines it as "That quality of mind which enables one to meet danger and difficulties with firmness, valor." The word is derived from the French word coeur, meaning heart, and comes from the ancient idea that our character and the best of our emotions come from the heart. The movie Braveheart tried to portray such a life of courage against all odds. A better film and one that reaches deeper into the word’s meaning is A Man for All Seasons. This is the story of Sir Thomas Moore, a man of great wisdom and nobility, who refused to bow to the wishes of his king on a matter of principle and lost his life for it.
There is no better passage in Scripture that speaks of courage than Joshua chapter 1. Moses had been the Israelite nation’s leader for 40 years, and now Joshua was to take over. We find God, knowing Joshua’s doubt and fears, saying to him three separate times: "Be strong and courageous" and each time with a different emphasis. First, he promises Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you." The second time, he adds "Be careful to obey all the law." The third time we see his deep concern for his possibly nervous servant: "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."
For the Christian, there is every reason to be courageous, no matter how dark the situation may be. How I need this courage as a pastor, for your company whose financial future looks bleak, I am preaching this to encourage you. But we can look back and know that God is faithful and had provided all that we needed in the past.
What great lessons we can learn from this passage. Joshua had doubts. So do we. He is the same loving God and Father, and his promises to Joshua apply to us now.
“We need to become men and woman of courage”
I don’t know what kind of challenging or discouraging situation you are facing today. But whatever it is, God’s message from scripture today is applicable to you. He is telling you to BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!
Our text is the Book of Joshua Chapter One. The people of Israel are facing one of the greatest challenges of their lives. They are actually preparing for THE BATTLE OF CANAAN. What God promised to Moses forty years ago is now about to happen. God gave them more than encouragement, it is actually a command. He said: BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!
If they are to possess their promise land, then they should be the man and woman of courage.
SOME EXAMPLES OF MEN AND WOMEN OF COURAGE IN THE BIBLE:
Daniel bravely ignored the edict of the king prohibiting all people to pray. His faithfulness to God sent Him to the den of lions. But God honored his courage and loyalty by saving him and destroying his enemies.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow and worship the Golden Image of the King. They were resolved to worship God and God alone. They were thrown to the furnace heated seven times more. But God reward their courage by saving them and even the King was convinced that there is no other God higher than their God.
Moses bravely proclaim God’s message to Pharaoh, “LET MY PEOPLE GO!” God confirmed His message by bringing 10 plagues to Egypt and finally making highway in the sea just to make his people free.
Esther defied the possibility of being killed by appearing to the throne of the king just to save her people. God honor her courage by touching the heart of the king and punishing their enemies.
They were ordinary people like us. But they are also called the men and woman of courage and faith. To be strong and courageous is not automatic.