How is your week going? Are you feeling strong and courageous after our talk on Monday? Have you noticed displays of courage around you – or with you? Today we’re going to look at some displays of strength and courage from the Bible. Let’s look at Joshua, David, Daniel, Peter, and Paul and circumstances they faced.
In Joshua 1:6-7, God’s gives Joshua direction to be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the laws my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. God’s plan to give His people the land He has promised them now included Joshua leading them. What a huge task! But Joshua was not alone. God gave instructions to guide him:
Lead the people to the land
Be very courageous
Obey all the laws Moses gave
Do not turn to the right or left
Following these instructions from God would insure Joshua’s success – IF Joshua followed them. Is it always easy to follow God’s instructions? Joshua faced challenges but God gave him the keys to success.
Can you tell who is involved in this situation by reading 1 Samuel 17:32? David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Who was the Philistine that David was talking about? Young David was willing to fight Goliath and confident of victory because of his faith that God would be with him. What an example of faith and courage!
What about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? They had the strength and courage to speak to King Nebuchadnezzar and tell him that they would not serve the gods of that land or worship the image of gold he had set up. (Daniel 3:18) Have you ever needed to speak to a supervisor at work or someone in a role of authority? Did you feel a little (or a lot) nervous? To me, this makes what these young men did even more courageous!
When I read Acts 5:29, I am amazed at the courage of the apostles when they are brought before the Sanhedrin and questioned about returning to Jerusalem to teach about Christ after being ordered not to. Peter replies: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” They had already seen what had happened to Jesus, but were still had the courage to stand up and state that they MUST obey God and not man. This makes me think of living in the world today and how difficult it can be to obey God and follow His teachings opening. Christians are so often persecuted in different ways – from social media comments to physical acts of violence. It still takes being strong and very courageous and not turning to the left or right but staying on the straight path God has given us.
Later in Acts, we see Paul that responded to those not wanting him to return to Jerusalem because they feared for his safety. He said: “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13) How many of us are willing to die for the name of the Lord Jesus? Can you think of anyone in your lifetime that has died for Christ?
Let’s revisit our memory verse: Psalm 27:14: Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Think about different situations that you have experienced or witnessed where courage had to be shown. Did faith in God’s power increase after those situations? Could those situations and their resolutions showing strength and courage be used to teach others about God, the Scriptures, and Christ?
I hope to see you on Friday to reflect on these talks about courage and to explore sources of courage in God’s Word. Which verses do you think we’ll focus on?