I took a deep breath, looked straight ahead, and walked over to the table of people.
“Hi there!” I said as I approached.
I was actually greeted by friendly smiles and replies. Instead of freaking out inside, I felt calmer. It isn’t my custom to step out on a limb. It’s incredibly difficult for me to reach out to others, so I typically talk to my friends and family members. But God gave me enough strength and courage to be friendly that day.
Have you ever been in a similar situation?
Being strong and courageous often seems heroic and extraordinary. But, in reality, it isn’t heroic. It isn’t just for Batman and Superman. It isn’t just for men and women of the Bible who did great things for God.
Though being strong and courageous isn’t heroic, it is extraordinary. And it is a choice. Unfortunately, it’s a choice that we usually sweep to the back of our minds. We would rather live the way we’ve always lived and feel comfortable.
Courage is more common than we think. Every single day, we are faced with opportunities to be strong and courageous…or to fearfully back down. I often choose to fearfully back down. I could try to complicate the reasons why I do this, or I could admit that I’m simply terrified and unwilling to trust my Savior.
Would you call yourself a strong and courageous person? Or do you usually back down in fear?
As you may already know, Joshua chose to be strong and courageous after his former leader, Moses, died. But God had to tell him three times to have courage:
No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:5-9 NASB)
You will probably never be told to lead a group of thousands, but you must choose daily to be strong and courageous. Being strong and courageous looks like this in everyday life:
Going to the hospital to visit your sick father, even though he was rarely around in your childhood.
Saying hello to the new girl at church, even though she has given you the cold shoulder in the past.
Inviting your co-worker to Bible study, even though he has never expressed interest in Christianity.
Going for a run instead of opening a box of Oreos, even though you usually cope with stress by eating.
Opening your Bible to study a few chapters, even though God feels distant from you.
Attending a college and career Sunday school class, even though it can be awkward and uncomfortable.
Giving a monthly donation to a needy missionary family, even though your finances have been tight lately.
Breaking up with your boyfriend who has shown spiritual immaturity, even though he was the first guy to ask you out.
Talking lovingly to your friend about the sin in his life, even though he may be upset with you for doing it.
Joining the women’s ministry team at your church, even though you don’t know how it’ll fit into your schedule.
Do you see how “normal” courage is? We treat courage like it’s an abstract concept, but maybe that’s because we want to act like it doesn’t exist. We want life to be comfortable and cozy.
But we can always choose to have courage. We don’t have to do what we’ve always done or make the same choices we’ve always made. We can choose to be strong and courageous because God is always with us, just like He was with Joshua.
How will you be strong and courageous today? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me about your experience in the comments section!