I just watched a video showing a soldier getting baptized during the Iraqi War. https://www.facebook.com/naycrumors/videos/1052683941470470/?pnref=story. The temperature outside was 46 degrees. The courage I see here and in other people touches something deep inside me.
I use Isaiah 41:10 as an encourager in times when I need courage–but the fact is, I’ve never needed courage as much as many others have. This soldier, for instance, gets baptized in freezing water in front of other troops in a war zone. And think of the Christians beheaded these days. I use Is. 41:10 when I go to the dentist. What a contrast!
God told Joshua to be courageous. In fact, he commands him to be courageous, and he says it three times in one chapter. “Have I not commanded you?” the Lord says, “Be strong and courageous. Be not afraid. Don’t be discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 paraphrased)
It’s not just that we are strong on our own; God goes with us. He never leaves us. I remember my mother, at the time a widow in her early 50’s, following the Lord’s call to Israel, then Indonesia. I see my son and his wife taking their children and following the Lord’s call to Botswana. I see our military, other law enforcement, and those that witness for their faith no matter what country they’re in.
Why did the Lord command Joshua to be courageous? Because Joshua had a big job to do. We all do. God hasn’t called us just to have a good time everyday. Oh, he blesses us! No doubt about that, but it’s not about having a good time. Witnessing for Jesus takes courage, pulling those we love from the gates of hell takes courage. Doing what is right when others are doing wrong, takes courage. Laying down our desires and wants, so that we can follow Him, so we can do for others instead of always doing for ourselves takes courage.
I pray for courage because I need it. Paul asked the Ephesian church to pray for him, that he might have the courage to preach the gospel–that he might open his mouth boldly to make know the mystery of the Gospel. (Eph 6:19) Wow! Do I want that, too. Lord, give me courage that I may open my mouth boldly to make known your love, your sacrifice, and your Gospel.
Is. 41:10 NKJV: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.