“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go.”
I’m not sure whether you’ve noticed, but it’s becoming harder to be a strong, courageous Christian in today’s world. Our Christian beliefs are under attack from many sides including our right to freely practice our beliefs to the ever-growing temptation to live a worldly lifestyle to even being considered a hatemonger and bigot for standing for holy, godly ways. Even amidst all of the negatives around us, God still commands us to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9).
Courage is a product of our faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful God. We have no choice but to be strong in the face of anything or anyone that stands in opposition to our God if we really have a true and active faith. Being strong and courageous means standing for Christ even if you are standing alone.
Just think of Joshua and Caleb. They were willing to be bold in taking the land of Canaan when no one else would (Numbers 13). They knew who was on their side. Or how about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They didn’t crumble under the pressure of bowing before King Nebuchadnezzar. They were courageous even under the threat of death in a fiery, blazing furnace (Daniel 3). Finally, we have the example of the Apostles themselves. They stared down persecution and ultimately death rather than displease God through a lack of obedience and courage. The same God that provided bravery for those men is still the same God that gives us strength today (Philippians 4:13).
So we must ask the question, how can we be brave? It’s easier said than done isn’t it? It actually begins with humility. When we live a life of humble submission to God, we begin to realize where our power to defeat worry comes from. It doesn’t come from our abilities or our wisdom or our perseverance. Our strength comes from God. He goes with us each and every day giving us all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He is the one that reminds us we have nothing to fear, even death (Luke 12:4)! So be strong and courageous because the God we serve is our light, our salvation, and our refuge (Psalm 27:1).