Summary: A sermon looking at our need to be courageous for God as found in God's word to Joshua in Joshua 1
Possessing courage entails those qualities enabling us to face difficulty, danger, disappointment, despair, death, and whatever other dreadful “Ds” life throws at us.
Courage is putting our faith in action. To have courage is to act in accordance with our beliefs. If we say we believe in something we should be able to stand for that belief no matter what comes at us.
So I think it’s safe to say we all need courage to face the future. We need courage so that we’re not debilitated by fear and paralyzed by anxiety. We need courage so we don’t cave in and compromising our convictions due to difficult circumstances.
The Apostle Paul said that God has not given us a fearful spirit, but rather a mind that is sound, a heart that is filled with love, and a power to face our fears. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Courage is not about all that super hero stuff we see on TV or in the movie theaters, but rather it’s about the courage to face life’s everyday challenges. It’s the choices we make that show if we’re courageous or cowards. It’s choosing between what is right over what is convenient. It’s choosing our convictions over comfort.
In short it takes courage to be a Christian. It takes courage obey God.
Unfortunately many believers come up short of the courage needed because they’re content with where they are, never allowing themselves to enter into or enjoy the fullness of their inheritance as children of God.
God has given us all an inheritance, but it takes courage to possess it.
It was such an act of courage and belief that saw the Apostle Peter boldly standing in defense of the faith before those who sought his death.
After healing the crippled man at the gate called beautiful, Peter said,
“Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12 NKJV)
Remember this is the same Peter who ran away from these very same Jewish authorities when Jesus was arrested, and who denied even knowing Jesus for fear of his life. But now he is standing before the very men who filled him with such fear earlier.
Unfortunately far too many of us don’t believe we can be courageous Christians like Peter, or those men and women of faith we read about in the Bible or in biographies of the church during those times of reformation and revival.
Many believers see themselves more like Joshua and the way he first felt, as the children of Israel were ready to leave the wilderness behind and enter into God’s Promise Land.
Several times the Lord had to say to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.”
It would seem that the Lord was seeing a fear within Joshua.
The Lord said,
“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)
Could it have been that Joshua felt weak and incapable of this task? Could it have been that Joshua needed the strength and assurance to stand and take hold of God’s promises? Could this be the reason why God had to encourage him, which means God gave Joshua courage so that he could fulfill his purpose and calling?
There’s a lot to be learned from Joshua’s life and the conversation God had with him that speaks to this topic of what courage should look like.
Speaking of courage John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
Winston Churchill said, “Without courage all other virtues lose their meaning.”
Two young boys went to see the dentist. The first boy said, “Doc, will you pull a tooth right now? Don’t need no gas or Novocain, just yank it out.”
The Dentist said, “Sure, now that’s what I call being a brave and courageous lad. Now, which tooth do you want pulled?”
The boy then turned to his friend and said, “Come on Jimmy, show the Doc your tooth.”
Martin Luther King Jr. rightly assessed courage saying, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Let’s take a look at these qualities that make us courageous. The first quality is to…
1. Be Faithful