Over the landscape of the Bible, God’s words echo over twenty times…”Be strong and courageous!” and “Take courage!” But like the Lost and Found Dept., our courage can become absent only to be obtained again. Psalm 107:26 says, “In their peril their courage melted away.” But in II Samuel 7:27 it tells us, “So Your servant has found courage.” Courage can momentarily wane in the face of tragedy and disaster, but it can readily be found again when we look to God, for it tells us in I Corinthians 16:13. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” And Hebrews 3:6 also reminds us, “Hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” You are strong and courageous…established and determined by the God who arms you with everything you need.
Time was short for the elderly Joshua when he warned the Jewish leaders about being enticed by foreign gods. He wanted them to be fully aware of what the allure and deception of foreign gods could do to the Jewish people. He urged them to remain faithful to the Word of God…persevering with self-discipline in their walk…guarding their hearts and minds from deceit…veering neither to the right nor to the left but always keeping on the straight and narrow. Joshua’s words ring true for God’s people today…Be courageous, keep guard, remain faithful.
What happens when you encourage someone? They hear those words of inspiration and their spirit is renewed and energized. And as their spirit is lifted, that encouragement gives them the courage to persevere through the challenges they face. Never refuse the chance to encourage someone…it may be the one word they need to hang on.
Satan would like us to think we’re out there working for the Lord alone…like the Lone Ranger, isolated and unaided by others. Satan would like us to be fearful in talking to others about the Lord…not wanting to offend…wanting rather, to be “politically correct”, even if it goes against the Word of God. Satan would like us to keep quiet, not rocking the boat of this modern liberal society. Satan doesn’t care if we read the Bible or pray…just as long as we don’t do it in public. But Satan also knows the power of the spoken Word, and what a transformation could take place… if Christians weren’t silent.