It Takes Courage

Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)
9 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.”
 
    In case you haven’t noticed, it takes courage to walk by faith.  Trying to walk by faith without courage would be like going swimming always afraid you are going to drown. 
 
    Courage is an essential ingredient to our ability to do things that we have never done before.   Without it, we are inclined to think about all the things that will not work out, be too hard, or be tormented by the fear of failure.  Such things are overcome by courage. 
 
    Courage is not the absence of fear or lack of looking at the difficulties that lie ahead, rather it is the overcoming of these things through the confidence we have in the Lord.  We feed our hearts with things that develop courage through faith in what the Lord has promised us, what He says we can do, and what He says He can do for us, in us and through us.  If the Lord says we can, then who are we (or anyone else for that matter) to say we can’t. 
 
    Courage will insure success.  It has been said that anytime God plants a vision in the heart of His people, it will be too hard for them to do it alone.   We will need God and we will need others to walk with us in the reality of what we see.  Anytime something is beyond our own ability it takes God’s strength and our courage to fulfill it.  If it takes God to reveal a thing, it will take God to fulfill it.  This is where courage is tried.  The temptation is to be dismayed or overcome by our lack of ability when we start counting the cost, see the greatness of the task, or understand how far beyond where we are the vision is leading us.  Good courage will fortify our resolve in the face of all these things to work towards them no matter how hard they may be. 
 
    Courage enables ordinary souls like you and me to do extra-ordinary things.  Why?  Because the courageous know that God is with them no matter where they go.  They know that with God all things are possible.  They know that God is faithful who has promised and also will perform it.  So they don’t faint in the day of adversity.  Instead they rise up in faith, declare the council and purpose of the Lord, and press on toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
 
    God didn’t say it would be easy.  He did say all things are possible to those who believe.  God didn’t say we wouldn’t have any problems as we seek to fulfill His purpose for our lives, but He did say that we can overcome them and find solution through the wisdom He imparts.  God didn’t say that we wouldn’t be resisted, but He did say we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who strengthens us.   So we take courage, finding it in the very presence of the Lord who is with us, and remembering all the things He has said to us.
 
    I pray that you will be encouraged and that you will become very courageous in the Lord.  You are called to fight and win battles, plant and reap harvests, build and establish ministries, lead and influence people.  Do it with courage and tenacity. Be strong and very courageous in the name of Jesus Christ.