By Pastor Mark Jordan
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NIV)
Yesterday I explored the idea of living in the cycle of love. It started with the idea that it’s hard to be commanded to love, because love is a choice. I want to take that a step farther today, thanks to our verse from Joshua 1:9.
I am a cautious person by nature. I like to gather all the available information before acting. Yes, there are times I’ve been too slow to act, and suffered because of it. I allowed myself to convince myself that this made me a coward, and that was terrifying. Reading Revelation 21:8, and seeing that cowards lead the list of those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God made me feel a major OUCH! So a few years ago I started reflecting on how God is bigger than my fears, and that made a HUGE difference for me.
Thankfully, as I’ve grown, I have learned a lot about courage. I resonate with what President Franklin Roosevelt said, that, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” As I think about my life, plenty makes the list of things bigger than my fear…and the more I act on them, the more courageous I feel. Can you relate?
I read a story about courage that truly inspired me. It was about a woman who helped rescue potential victims of the holocaust. She was asked about the courage it took to risk her own life to help others. Her reply was that she didn’t become righteous overnight, but refused to go over the cliff with everyone else. I think that speaks a lot about courage.
Knowing that God is with you wherever you go can certainly help keep you from going over the cliff of fear. The Lord wants to work with you to help you assess the things that are more important than your fear. You will recognize it, and know when God is calling you to stand up for Him and others who are vulnerable in this crazy culture. After all, He is with you, and wants to be the source of your confidence and courage.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I know you command me to be bold and courageous, so forgive me the times I am not. Help me to know that in those times when I am assessing what might be more important than my fear, that you are with me, and when you are with me, who can stand against me? I pray to you in the name of Jesus. Amen.