“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
As I’ve been studying and sharing the lessons for the “A Church on the Move” sermon series, I’ve been reminded of the courage of the church in Acts. This group of men and women often left family and friends in order to follow Jesus. As Acts unfolds, they face increased persecution and even loss of life due to their desire to share the Gospel. Each day, they faced the possibility of arrest, abuse and even death. Their faith was fueled by courage.
God’s people have always been called to have courage. In our Wednesday morning Bible class, we began a study of the book of Joshua this week. In the first chapter, Joshua is commanded to “be strong and courageous”. As he prepares to lead Israel into the promised land, he will need courage. He doesn’t know exactly what Israel will experience. The trip is clouded with uncertainty. There are doubts and fears swirling through the people. It took courage for Joshua to take those steps across the Jordan River and to enter foreign territory. Courage has always been part of the story of the people of God.
We still need courage today. We live in an increasingly ungodly culture. We are faced with temptations to compromise our faith on a daily basis. It takes courage to share the gospel with friends and family members who might reject us because of the message we share. It takes courage to maintain integrity and character in workplaces where greed and “short cuts” are often encouraged. It takes courage to strive to follow Jesus in the halls of our local schools, when so many students aren’t living lives with a godly perspective. It takes courage to face the uncertainty and pain of aging as our bodies show signs of weakening. It takes courage to live a moral life in an immoral culture. It takes courage to take up your cross each day as you decided to follow Jesus. We still need courage today.
Courage has always been part of the story of the people of God. From the earliest days of the Old Testament to the times in which we now follow God, the people of God have needed courage. Whatever you are facing, God is well aware of it. He is with you walking the journey alongside you. Don’t give up. Be strong. Be courageous. You will overcome because our Savior has overcome.
God’s people have always needed courage. God will provide it, if we will just receive it. He was with Joshua, the first century church and our everlasting God is with His people today. Take courage. God will lead you where you need to be. He is faithful and His promises are true.