Be Of Good Courage

Isn’t it interesting that God tells some of the most notable people in the Bible, “Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you where you go?” (Joshua 1:9, NKJV) He tells Abraham. He tells Jacob. He tells Moses. He tells Joshua. He tells His twelve.
Perhaps He knew that they would be dismayed. Take Moses for example: can you blame him?  He delivers the children of Israel by the mighty hand of God. He leads them through the wilderness. He goes to the mountaintop to receive the commandments of God, only to return a few days later and see the children of Israel, along with Aaron, worshiping a golden calf they had made. He leads them up the edge of Caanan and ten of the men he commission to spy out the land convince the people they are not able to take the land. He deals with all the whining and complaining for forty years. Then, to cap it all off, in a moment of weakness he stumbles by hitting the rock instead of speaking to it.  God will not allow him to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land.  Is it any wonder he was dismayed?

Joshua take the offsprings of those Moses led and begins to conquer the land, only to have Achan ruin himself and his whole family. They suffer the defeat at Ai because they got too big for themselves.
The truth is, we are no different today. Sometimes our discouragement comes from the hands of others. Sometimes it comes from our own hands. People struggle, and so do we. We want to do what is right yet we struggle with the flesh and fleshly desires. We want to be spiritually-minded but at times the spirit of Satan overcomes the rule of Christ in our hearts. Sometimes it is our health. For some it is age. Others have problems in their marriage. Still others have challenges with the children.
The Lord said, “be of good courage, do not be afraid…I am with you.” When we know the Lord is with us, we can be of good courage and be not afraid. When the Lord is with us, all problems seem smaller. He is greater than any problem we may have. His power is for those who believe. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we think or ask.  He is able and willing. We need to know He is with us. We need to have the courage to face our fears and let faith overcome. We are not made for here. We are made to be with God.

How can we overcome? First pray. That seems trite. We do not pray because are so great. We pray because our God is mighty. I am weak, but He is strong. Prayer is pouring our hearts, desires, and concerns out to God. Cast them on Him for He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7, NKJV).
Second, find someone who will understand and comfort. Paul had Timothy and Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:12-20). No one can make it alone. When Elijah thought he was alone he asked God to take His life. When Daniel was alone he became weary. We all need someone to comfort us.

Third, find words of encouragement in God’s word. David wrote many Psalms while enduring personal struggles. Paul tells us about the challenges he had in his life. Find in God’s word a passage that will implant in your mind the word of God. Carry that passage around with you daily.
We all need courage. We all face fears. We all need for God to be with us.
Rickie Jenkins