1 Chronicles 19-20
“Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD do what is good in His sight.” (1 Chronicles 19:13, NKJV)
My stepdad use to say, “God hates a coward.” I’m not sure how true this is theologically, but I’ve come to understand that God wants us to have faith and courage. He told Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous.” (Joshua 1:7)
General Joab was facing a formidable army of Ammonites and Syrians. So he divided his forces among his brother Abishai and himself. If either one needed help, he would call for the other. The stakes were high. Joab knew that they might not get out of this alive. But he told his brother to be of good courage and to be strong. They would fight hard for their people and then trust the LORD to do what was right in His sight.
When we face formidable challenges, it is natural to be afraid. We fear the unknown. We fear the criticisms of others. We fear failure. When the stakes are high we may even fear for our lives. It is one thing to say, “Be of good courage,” but how do we do it?
First, we must know that God is with us and that we are doing His will. Our source of courage does not come from ourselves but from Him. If God is for us, then who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Second, we must act in faith. God does not provide His resources except by our faith. We need His wisdom, provision and strength, and these God freely gives to those who believe.
Third, we must strengthen ourselves in the LORD. There is a reason that God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. If we strengthen ourselves in the LORD through prayer and waiting upon Him, then He will give us the courage we need to overcome our fears.
Remember, that being courageous doesn’t mean that you are not afraid. It just means that your confidence exceeds your fears. Our confidence is in God to help us defeat every enemy, and He will help us do it!
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, NKJV)