Before Israel entered their Promised Land Moses charged them to "be strong and of good courage" (Deut. 31:6) Why? Because God they had to possess what God had given them and to possess their inheritance it required them to drive out the giants in the land. They had to fight and war to enter into their Promised Land.
So it is today. Everyone has a destiny and God has given all things to us that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3) through Christ Jesus. Though it is given, we still must possess it. Previously this month a theme was introduced regarding Faith, Endurance & Trials. This was followed by the Eternal Rewards for Faith that Overcomes. Through this we've learned about the role of tribulation, persecution and afflictions on our lives and the importance of warring with God's word.
Courage is required in war and my friends, whether we like it or not, we are at war. Revelation 12 describes a heavenly war that spilled on to earth and it is the source of all the conflicts today manifested through every sphere of society and culture.
Courage is required! Courage is required in the exercise of faith and faith, faith that works, is founded on love. Let's take a look at what we can learn by examining "courage" in the Bible.
Courage Flows from the Inside Out
In Deuteronomy the children of Israel failed to enter into the Promised Land because of fear. They rebelled against God's command. They choose not to believe what He said after they'd heard the report from the 12 spies. Only Caleb and Joshua believed God and challenged the opinion of the majority. God told Moses in Deuteronomy 1 that Joshua, in time, would lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. God told Moses to encourage him (Deut 31:38).
I like to think of encourage as in-courage. So what can we learn from this?
Applying God's Word Requires Courage
In Joshua 1:6-9 we find Joshua admonishing Israel three times to be strong and of good courage. He is modeling what Moses did for him. In addition, all of Israel had seen and knew of his reputation in battle. He had been proven. He understood that a leader cannot lead where he/she does not go. Leaders go first.
In verse 8 Joshua gives us one of the keys to courage and success. It is God's word. He says, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
This key is couched in between his admonishment to be strong and be of good courage. It takes courage to hold fast and speak to God's word in the face of opposition.
Perfect Love Drives out Fear
Fear is the antagonist of courage. 1 John 4:17 says "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear... but he who fears has not been made perfect in love." Where does love from from? It flows out of the heart. Who is love? God is love (1 John 4:16).
The Best Way to In-COURAGE Yourself
Who is the Word? Jesus is the Word of God (1 Jn 1:1 & Rev. 19:13) God is also love.
Therefore, the best way to encourage yourself is to spend time in His word and in His presence.
Faith Works by Love
Galatians 5:6 says that the only thing that counts is "faith working through love." Working through faith and love are the only things that will count with regards to the rewards spoken of in Eternal Rewards of Faith that Overcomes!
Courage is the offspring, the fruit of, the result of faith's interaction with love.
Lord I pray that you'd increase our courage and increase our faith by giving us more love. Love is the key to courage, faith and power.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. NKJV