“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Knowing the battles he would have to fight in order to conquer the promised land, God told Joshua this, no less than three times: “Be strong and of good courage.” Anytime you move forward, obstacles will block your path. Count on it!
H.G. Wells asked, “What on earth would a man do with himself, if something did not stand in his way?” What did he mean? That adversity is your friend — even when it feels like your enemy. Every obstacle you face reveals your strengths and weaknesses. It also shapes you and makes you wiser and more confident.
Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”
Anytime you leave your comfort zone and step out in faith to follow God, you will be tested. But you will also reach heights you thought were beyond you and go further than others who had greater talent but settled for the status quo.
In The Message paraphrase, Paul tells us: “Every detail works to your advantage … So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace” (2 Corinthians 4:15-17). Courage can be defined as simply “not giving up”.
Lord, grant me Your strength to continue when life becomes difficult or unpopular. Be gracious to me, O Lord, and give me Your grace to walk Your path each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.