Be Courageous


The definition of courage is the mental or moral strength to persevere, endure hardship, or do something difficult despite our fears. Its favorite cousin is faith, because we all know that sometimes it takes courage to step out in faith, especially when we have to do it alone. God tells us in His Word to be courageous because we are never relying on our own strength and abilities, but on His. He will never leave us or forsake us, and He cannot fail. So, we can be encouraged not because of what we can do, but because we worship a God that can do anything.

In Matthew 19:26(KJV), Jesus Christ said With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Some of the things that are happening in our world are pretty scary, and there are individuals that are paralyzed by fear. They don’t even want to get out of bed each morning because they believe that things like peace and unity are impossible, but that is only a view from humanity’s perspective. There are no limitations when it comes to the power of God’s overwhelming love. When we are fearful, through Christ we can push past it, and God will back our footsteps. The Word of God has multiple examples of people who were encouraged, fortified, and victorious through the strength of the Lord. They moved in obedience and faith despite being afraid, and they witnessed miraculous victories.

1Samuel 17 gives us one such record. It is about King David, who when he was a young boy, killed Goliath, a Philistine giant. Goliath was an enemy of the Israelites and was over nine feet tall. The Israelite and Philistine armies were poised for battle, but the Israelites were very afraid because of Goliath. Each day, he would make fun of them and dare them to fight. This is what happens to us today when we dare to stand in faith. People will try to intimidate us, and some will attempt to talk us out of our stand. Our faith makes them uncomfortable with their own fears.  We must know that this is something that happens when we stand on God’s Word. Even those we have counted on in the past might try and persuade us to give up or give in. They might make statements or attempt to undermine our courage, but we must be firm in our conviction to trust God.

As a youth, David, the youngest son of Jesse, was a shepherd who took care of his father’s sheep. His older brothers were in the Israelite army and were on the battlefield against the Philistines. Jesse asked David to take a basket of roasted grain and loaves of bread to his brothers. When he arrived to greet them, and heard Goliath taunting the Israelite army, he was incredulous that anyone would do so against God’s people. 1Samuel 17:26 (NLT) tells us, “David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”

Even at a young age, David’s faith in God was strong. Saul, the King of the Israelites at that time, heard about this young man’s question and sent for him. In 1Samuel 17:32, David said, Don’t worry about this Philistine…I’ll go fight him!” Saul thought it was a ridiculous statement coming from this ruddy-faced young boy, but David told him in verses 34-36 (NLT), “34 I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

David remembered the times that God had rescued him from the grasp of death. We have nothing like his circumstances, but often forget what God has done for us and how far He has brought us. In the face of adversity, we catch a case of amnesia when it comes to the goodness of God, and refuse to remember the many times He’s had our backs. We need to change this.

Verse 37(NLT) tells us, “Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the LORD be with you!”” Saul proceeded to try and arm David with the customary battle accoutrements, but David wasn’t comfortable in all that gear, so he picked up five stones from a stream. Armed with only his sheep herding stick and a slingshot, he proceeded across the valley to put a whoopin’ on that giant. When Goliath walked out toward David, spewing insults and curses, David hurled a stone with his sling and hit Goliath in the forehead. He fell to the ground, and David used Goliath’s own sword to finish him off. The rest of the Philistine army ran away.

Like the Israelites had been, sometimes we are paralyzed in fear, but we must remember that 2Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Fear comes from the devil. The enemy doesn’t want us to fulfill the destiny that God has given us and uses fear to divide, so that people are fragmented and unable to be unified in purpose. God has given us a spirit of love, power, and sound mind. Through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we are made whole and strong through his love.

There are many other examples of courage in the bible, but the common thread of all of them is an unwavering trust and belief in the power, strength, and love of God. David stood on the Word, and had courage knowing that God was going to give him victory over his enemies. Life is not always going to be a bed of roses. We are going to endure heartaches, disappointments, and loss. People will talk about us behind our backs, lie on us, and call us all kinds of names; but we serve a God that sits high and looks low. He has equipped us to handle the pressures of life, and will continually empower us to stand tall in the middle of adversity. We may not always feel courageous, but courage isn’t based on how we feel. God says BE courageous, this means we are to stand in faith with the full assurance that through Him we are victorious! ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Be Courageous!” written by JMack. 4theChristianMan.Com© 2017. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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