I was driving home the other night and it was pretty late. I noticed a U-Haul truck sitting outside the apartment building next to mine. I noticed a man who sat down on the back of the U-Haul truck looking discouraged and exhausted. I could really relate to him having just moved out east to New England from Chicago just six months ago. The whole process of moving is exhausting enough, but almost worse is the discouragement found from moving to a new part of the country where you know almost no one.
Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to just get out of bed every morning. It takes a lot out of you when your eyes open every morning visualizing everything you will have to face in the day ahead of you. I know someone right now is thinking that I’ve lost it and that only those who go to war or who jump out of airplanes need courage to face their day. But I think many jobs require courage and depending on personalities and where God has placed you, it might require courage for you to face what you do every day even if it’s just being a mother or a lay leader leading a Bible study every week at your Church.
Once Moses died and God assigned Joshua to lead the Israelites he encouraged Joshua three times to be strong and very courageous. “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) Where is Joshua’s strength and courage supposed to be rooted in? Is his courage rooted in his own strength, his own abilities and his own skills? No. His strength and courage comes from the Lord, from the presence of God with Him. The presence of God brings encouragement. It’s not the same encouragement that comes from a good friend or significant other who can do little more than advice, comfort and support you. It’s the encouragement that comes knowing that the God who designed, built and sustains the universe is present with you. The same God who knows everyone’s thoughts and knows the hairs on their head, this same God who possesses limitless knowledge and endless mind capacity to do any number of things with that knowledge knows and cares about your problems.
The Apostle Paul seems to be someone with great courage and zeal and he writes, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Phil. 1:20) Paul is hoping that he will not be ashamed before God but wants the courage to live out a godly life on display for the entire world. He wants to boldly proclaim Jesus to everyone and will have the courage to be bold in his faith.
Think about the men of the Bible who needed courage to do what they had been called to do. Moses needed courage from God to face Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Joshua needed courage from God to take over for Moses and to lead God’s people into the Promised Land. Jeremiah needed reassurance of God’s presence and courage from the Almighty to do the ministry of the prophet that he was called to. Daniel received strength and was told to take heart when speaking with a Man who might have been angel or Jesus Himself. Jesus told his disciples to take heart and to be of good cheer since He had overcome the world. The Apostle Paul prayed for boldness and prayed that he’d have courage to represent Christ well.
So wherever you find yourself, even if it is on the back of a U-Haul truck, take heart, be strong and courageous. For Jesus is with you will give you strength and will protect you and provide for your every need to get you through whatever your going through. Take courage in Christ today.