” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:19 (NKJV)
I welcome you to the 6th month of our year of our “Time to Fly.” The LORD Who has carried us on Eagle’s Wings for the past 151 days, is strong and capable enough to see us through the remaining 214 days of 2021, including today. The LORD taught us in January that “It is Time to Fly,” and in February about “Understanding Kingdom Wealth.” Then, in March, we learned that “The Greatest is Love”, and about “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” in April. Finally, in May, the LORD taught us to “Occupy Till I Come.” This month, the lesson is to “Be Strong and Courageous.”
Our father in the LORD said it is Cooperation when you obey God when it is convenient for you. However, it is Submission if you obey when it is completely inconvenient for you. It takes lots of courage to submit, especially when you are in the dark, or the heavens seem like brass, or no voice of reason to understand the present. This is when we need to be strong and courageous.
The Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, going where God was guiding them to live in peace and freedom from captivity. They had to trust God, be strong for the journey, and courageous in the face of the unknown. Similarly, as we journey to Beulah Land, God requires us to be strong, courageous, and submissive to His Sovereign will, in living, in dying, whether it is convenient or not.
Reaching the place God has designed for you is a journey that lasts a lifetime. Being strong and courageous is a necessity in life. Sometimes, others need us to be strong and courageous for them. We must stand in the gap for others! If you do not feel strong or courageous, read His word, grow in faith, strength, and courage! Let us now define what it means to be strong and courageous.
God told Joshua to be strong. The recognition of what God can and will do on our behalves is part of what makes us strong in the LORD. When the LORD told Joshua, for example, “be strong and courageous,” it was accompanied by the promise “I will be with you” (Joshua 1:5-6, WEB). He never abandons us to fight alone so long as we do not run away from Him. When we are strong in the LORD and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10), then no power can stand against us because no power can stand against Him. As we face spiritual battles, God empowers us, assures us of victory, and promises He will be there fighting right along with us (Exodus 14:14).
In Ephesian 6, Paul taught about the high calling of God in Christ Jesus and the life that flows from it. He reminded believers that the Christian life means participation in a spiritual battle. From his own experience, the apostle knew the opposition was real and the warfare intense (Ephesians 6:12-13). Every conviction will one day have either verbal or attitudinal confrontations or even both. But it is the knowledge of God you have that will help in conquering all your confrontations.
Courage is the strength of purpose that enables one to withstand fear or difficulty. Physical courage is based on moral courage, that is, a reliance on the Presence and power of God and a commitment to His commandments. The principle of courage is required to walk on this journey as a disciple and believer in Jesus.
There are times in life when we need someone to say to us, “Take Courage!” or “Take Heart!” Usually, when God commissions a man for a challenging service, the first thing God impacts to him is courage coupled with strength. Why?
- The assignment is usually greater than the man.
- There is unavoidable opposition to his success (1 Corinthians 16:9). Great doors of opportunity come with great challenges and those challenges will stretch your faith.
Joshua had moments of fear when he looked at the insurmountable task of taking the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Look how many times God had to tell him to be strong! You and I can take these verses to heart as well when we feel overwhelmed.
- Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the LORD your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.”
- Deuteronomy 31:7 – “And Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, be strong, courageous, and firm, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to possess it.”
- Deuteronomy 31:23 – “And [the LORD] charged Joshua son of Nun, Be strong and courageous and firm, for you shall bring the Israelites into the land which I swore to give them, and I will be with you.
- Joshua 1:7 – “Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”
- Joshua 1:9 – “Have not I commanded you? (commanded!). Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (emphasis mine).
- Joshua 1:18 – “Only be strong, vigorous, and of good courage.”
- Joshua 10:25 – “Joshua said to them, Fear not nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage. For thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”
These verses provide encouragement that God is with us! If you are going through a potentially fearful situation, read them over and over to build your faith. I believe the pressures at the beginning of an undertaking for God are greater, because the devil knows it’s easier to uproot you when you’re small. Do not succumb! Also notice that by chapter 10, Joshua had learned it for himself and could pass it on to his people. These verses show us that it is normal to be scared (nervous, unsure, concerned, at times even tormented by the pressure), but we cannot let those feelings decide anything for us. Also, unlike Joshua, we have the Greater One living in us (1 John 4:4). We can be strengthened from the inside out!
12 Ways to Be Strong and Courageous
The phrase “be strong and courageous” is familiar to most, even to non-Christians. But what does this mean in a believer’s daily life?
- Recognize That God Commands Us to Be Strong and Courageous
As stated earlier, God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous in Joshua 1:9. We should also be strong in our faith and courageous in our resolve to act faithfully whatever God has commanded us to do. Particularly when we come to a crossroads, or are faced with major decisions, or even at the start of each new day.
- Remember That God Will Reward Our Steadfastness
James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”
- Use God’s Word as a Guide for Living Courageously
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
- Know That Jesus Has Already Overcome Our Struggles
John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
- God Will Be with Us in Times of Trouble
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” The words of the hymn ring true here: “No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand.”
- God Can Be a Refuge of Peace as We Go
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
- We Should Boldly Claim the Victory
Romans 8:37 says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us.”
- Being Strong and Courageous Remembers That God Is Greater than Our Adversaries.
2 Chronicles 32:7 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him.”
- The Powers of This World Cannot Harm Our Souls
Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
- We Should Remain Ever Vigilant in the place of Prayer.
1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” Furthermore, 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
- Courageously Preach the Word.
2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” Also, Daniel 12:3 says, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
- It Takes Courage to Worship and Praise God in All Situations.
Be like David, who said in Psalms 18:1-3, “I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in Whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”
Conclusion: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” When the spies entered the Promised Land, they found out that the people of Jericho, the great city, were in fact, quite terrified. The Bible records one of them telling the spies that “…our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” (Joshua 2:11). Although it is the Israelites who are commanded to be ‘strong’ and ‘courageous’, yet it is the hearts of the people of Jericho that melted in fear.
In each and every situation and circumstance in your life, the only thing that matters and should matter is if God is with you. And dear believer, He is. Always remember that by redemption, you are equipped to win in destiny. You must not return to heaven unnoticed, unknown, unsung, unannounced, and uncelebrated. The world is waiting for your manifestation, so be strong and be courageous to take your territory for the LORD Jesus. March on for the LORD your God is with you.
- Begin to thank God for this month. Thank Him for your life, thank Him for who you are and what you can do in God.
- I receive healing from the disease of discouragement.
- I receive new courage, inner strength, renewed vision, confidence, and security, in Jesus’ Name.
- No weapon that is formed or manufactured by Sanballat and Tobias shall prosper, in Jesus’ Name (Isaiah 54:17).
- Right now, I receive the magnetic anointing that attracts help, favor and all the pleasant things of life, in Jesus’ Name.
- From this month on, for every adventure that I embark on in life, I receive the power for swiftness of the eagle and the strength of a lion right now, in Jesus’ Name.
- Every tree that my Father has not planted shall be uprooted, in Jesus’ Name!
- I command the door of supernatural progress and breakthroughs to open unto me in all areas of my life as from today, in Jesus’ Name.
- Sing: It is well, it is well, with my soul, with my soul, etc.
- Anoint me afresh, LORD. Make me a terror to the enemies of my life.
- Help me. o LORD, to know all I need to know for my manifestation.
- I receive grace to overcome every confrontation, in Jesus’ Name.