You must know those times when you are sitting quietly and deep down you become aware of God’s tender voice. It was so clear. I heard the word – courage. I knew immediately that in His gentle way I was being reminded of something that I needed to do. In itself, the required action would seem like nothing to others. Yet, for me it required courage. After I had completed what I knew to be the right course of action a weight lifted from my shoulders. His peace filled my heart and silenced my anxiety.
The word encourage means to call one alongside. It is different to offering a compliment to make the person feel good about themselves. The word is used to urge someone to take action. I needed God’s courage to take this next step in my own life.
Sharing His Courage with others
My thoughts then drifted to friends who are currently facing difficult circumstances. You, like those friends of ours, might also be in a similar situation. You may also need to make a decision. It was at that moment that I realised the need to share some further thoughts with you. Words are vitally important. Because they carry life! We all need courage at times. When we encourage someone, we give him or her the strength to take their next step.
Be Strong and full of Courage
Joshua, the newly appointed leader of the Israelites heard this same word from the Lord. Be strong and full of courage. The Lord will always come alongside when we are faced with a situation that seems bigger than us. That’s how deeply He cares for us. This Jordan River crossing was a big step for Joshua. The way forward for you might be to share your salvation story with a work colleague. You may have felt the Lord prompt you to call a particular person. It could also involve changing your job. Yet, you have felt immobilised. However hard the change seems. Whatever the next step. Listen for the Lord’s tender whisper in your heart, courage!
I will give You
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” [Nelson Mandela].
There is a blessedness in moving forward. In taking that small step that you have neglected for some time. The Lord promised Joshua and the people of Israel. “I will give you every place where you set your foot.” I realised the significance of this statement. It has less to do with a physical location for us. When we respond in obedience to His voice we move another step further into our inheritance in God. We declare by our action that we love God. We discover afresh the delight of pleasing the Lord. Joy fills our lives. Peace floods our being and we recognise that He knows best.
Stand up, be strong and Filled with Courage
Fear can be a dreadful taskmaster. It minimises our understanding of who God is. It causes spiritual paralysis. Courage is the antidote. Without a doubt, we can trust in His faithfulness. We can always find confidence in Jesus to lead us in the right way. Even if we have never been this way before. That may well be the case, just like the nation of Israel under Joshua’s leadership. However, you and I can trust God’s wisdom every time. When He calls us to take action. To move forward. Or to take the next step. Listen for His quiet and gentle voice. He has promised to fill our hearts and minds with courage. And, to never leave or forsake us.
“He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”