Let’s learn something valuable about courage.
Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Can you imagine being a child of God with absolutely FEARLESS STRENGTH AND COURAGE? That is quite a combination of elements serving as foundational on one’s character. Once again, we see three promises from the Lord, preceded by three prerequisites stated as commands. The word “be” has an implied subject which is “you.” It’s a command, and it’s your choice to obey that command. Let’s carry out our examination.
BE…OF A GOOD COURAGE – Courage is the quality of character that allows one to meet danger without fear. This is a word, like many words today, that is thrown about in conversation without true understanding of what it is. Please don’t be offended by my next statement. People have been said to be courageous because they acted in a selfless manner, but had no real knowledge of what they were facing. Love without knowledge will act in just such a manner. It can be properly stated that courage is taking loves action while being knowledgeable of the circumstances. Have you ever heard someone say after doing something that appeared courageous, “I would not have done that if I had given thought to the possible outcome.”? That is a demonstration of loving someone or something. In reality, it is courage is the action was carried out with reasonably complete understanding of the outcome.
In Joshua 1:7, we read the words, “Only be thou strong and very courageous…” I find the phrase, “very courageous,” intriguing. If one can be “very courageous,” then one can be simply “courageous,” or “somewhat courageous.” Think of the word, “perfect.” You cannot be “more perfect,” or “most perfect,” for perfect is perfect. But you CAN BE “very courageous.” That gives clear indication that courage is not a spur-of-the-moment reaction, but is a conditioned response. I recently saw a report of a professional surfer who saved a woman’s life in very dangerous surf. He was trained on how to survive in rough surf. He knew what to do ahead of time. He entered the water with that knowledge and a clear expectation of what would happen. Though someone may have attempted to help that woman because of a deep human love for her, without proper knowledge and preparation, knowing potential outcomes, the result would likely have been two deaths. While many would have called that a courageous act, in reality, it would not have been. Even the deepest of human love stepping into the unknown is not courage.
So, how does one develop courage? Through knowledge, and that knowledge begins with knowing the Word of God, having the mind of Christ, and being circumspect concerning the circumstances all about them. To “be very courageous,” or “of good courage,” one must accept the responsibility to be so, gain the knowledge to be so, and determine in one’s heart and mind to be so. It’s your choice. BE VERY COURAGEOUS!
Manna for Today – Deuteronomy 31:1-8; Joshua 1:6-9; Proverbs 4:20-23; Ephesians 6:10-18