Summary: Superman never felt panic or fear! We’re not him. Sometimes we lack courage. However, as believers we should be operating in courage. Why? How?
Pt. 1 – Dis-Couraged
I wished I was Superman! I wished I could at any moment’s notice run to the nearest phone booth and change into my cape and handle every situation with supreme confidence and strength. However, the truth is that we aren’t supermen and we don’t handle ever situation without blinking. We face a scary world, a scary enemy, scary situations, and scary people. That is why believe that so many of us walk around dis-couraged. “Dis” meaning lack of or absence of courage. We know about God’s power. We know about the power of prayer. Yet, we continue to be fearful, panic filled, and discouraged. The thought “the other shoe has to drop” or I” can’t face another day” or “I don’t know what I am going to do” passes through our minds. It is a reality for us. And if we are not careful
There is one character that understands this plight.
Cowardly Lion -
Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
What we haven’t got is courage. We have become like the men that Jesus describes when He said, “in last day’s men would lose heart”. Remember that phrase if you will.
There have been others before us who needed a dose of courage as well. Perhaps one of the best known passages of Scripture when it comes to courage is the account of Joshua. I want us to look at that passage again and see if we can’t become dis discouraged!
TEXT: Joshua 1:1-3; 5-9
1AFTER THE death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ minister,
2Moses My servant is dead. So now arise [take his place], go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, the Israelites.
3Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses.
5No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.
6Be strong and of good courage (literally means to take heart), for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
7Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
8This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.
9Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
You have to understand the setting here. Moses is dead. Seems like a simple and obvious statement. However, in that one simple statement you have to realize the loss and fear that must have swept over the Israelites and Joshua. Their direct pipe line to God, to food, to water, to every decision is gone. Their map is gone! They are alone! Not to mention they are now moving to a new home and facing new foes, obstacles, and challenges. Moses is dead. I think Joshua was discouraged. I think Joshua wanted to duck and run.
You will remember that Moses had already been told by God that he couldn’t enter the Promised Land due to his disobedience. So as long as he was alive the entire nation of Israel was restricted from moving into their destiny. How many of us are discouraged by what we should be thankful for because in reality it is God’s hand at work to release us into our promise? What or who are we hanging on to that is keeping us from moving forward because we are dis-couraged without it! It or they have become our security blanket!
We become comfortable with the known and the unknown frightens us! Change scares us! Joshua was there. Joshua was face to face with uncertain times! Their social standing was at stake. Their finances were at stake? The living arrangements were at stake. Their national security was at stake!