Summary: Courage is not the absence of fear. Biblical courage is facing your fears with the power of God's word and the presence of God's Spirit. These are applied to our lives to give us freedom.
Intro: One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, "Mommy, will you stay with me all night?" Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, "I can't dear. I have to sleep in Daddy's room." A long silence followed. At last it was broken by a shaky voice saying, "The big sissy!"
That is funny but fear is a reality. God wants us to walk in courage not wallow in fear. If you follow Jesus close enough and long enough eventually you will come face to face with people, situations and problems bigger than you. Often things that appear beyond our ability to deal with cause great fear. What was it that kept the children of Israel out of the Promised Land? Numbers 13:31-33 (read) because of misplaced fear they wandered in the wilderness instead of walking into God’s promises.
Fear is not bad or unprofitable. In fact we are told to fear the Lord. The word fear in Hebrew means terror, tremble, respect, reverence. There are often painful consequences for multiple generations when we fail to fear God. I believe that I and other preachers too often downplay the fear of God. Exodus 1:17 the midwives feared God and obeyed God rather than Pharaoh when they saved the lives of male Hebrew children. In comparison God brought great judgment on Egypt because Pharaoh did not fear Him. Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:28 “Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
So courage is not the absence of fear! Courage is fearing the correct thing. The devil wants us fearing the world, and situations and people that come from it. If we fall to this type of fear we are afraid of temporary things. People, situations, no money, no job, no husband, no wife, no child, no retirement, no ______ you fill in the blank.
Jesus very clearly said in Matthew 10:28 “Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Courage is fearing God. Having an awe and respect for god that leads us to love and obey Him!
I. Courage comes from the power of God’s word.
The fiery dart of fear was first forged when Adam and Eve distrusted God’s word in the Garden of Eden. Fear at its core is not trusting what God has said. Faith is taking God at His word. Fear is a tool of Satan that causes us to believe in things that do not exist. We must realize that fear is real but it may not be based in reality.
The importance of knowing God’s word is getting God’s version of reality that we often cannot see because of our limited senses. Joshua was getting ready to lead the children of Israel against some overwhelming enemies in the Promised Land. But remember It was Joshua and Kaleb that said we can defeat these enemies. They had already accepted what God had promised that He would give them the land.